Independent retailers are expected to benefit from consumers returning to the local high street rather than large out-of-town shopping malls as lockdown begins to ease across the UK.
With many UK stores looking to open from the beginning of June, leading data and analytics company GlobalData has revealed that it expects to see a shift in footfall as customers support their local businesses and favour staying local over travelling to a major shopping destination.
More than 80% of consumers who responded to the survey said they intend to visit high streets, town centres or in-town shopping centres either more than or the same amount as previously.
The presence of independent retailers and local businesses in town centres is expected also appeal to shoppers looking to support small local companies, thanks to the sense of community which has been amplified for many over recent weeks.
“Local town centres in particular will be better protected,” said lead analyst Sofie Willmott. “[Consumers] will prefer to make a short journey to their nearby high street (by driving or walking) rather than travelling unnecessarily to reach a shopping destination.”
“The hardest hit major locations will be out of town shopping centres and supermalls,” she continued, “as consumers will be put off by the large number of people that could potentially be visiting at the same time and the difficulty of sticking to social distancing.”