Public appreciate efforts of retailers and their staff according to BRC-Opinium survey

The BRC and Opinium have been working together to track consumer behaviours and their sentiment towards coronavirus. This research has run weekly since 1st May 2020, with the latest survey taking place between 26-29 June 2020.

  • Public perceptions of retail staff has improved since the pandemic began. 35% saying their views of retail staff has improved, compared with 3% who say it’s got worse (62% stayed the same or unsure).
  • 49% of respondents felt that retailers were doing enough to protect the public from coronavirus, with only 10% disagreeing. This is slightly down on the previous week (53% agree, 9% disagree).
  • 12% of shoppers intended to visit shops to browse, down from 15% last week. Those who intended to visit shops for necessary items also fell slightly from 53% to 52%. Those who said they would avoid visiting shops if possible rose from 28% to 32%. Younger (18-34) respondents showed the most willingness to visit shops, with 15% saying they intended to browse, compared with 27% who intended to avoid going to shops if possible.
  • Respondents feeling comfortable about making purchases in-store fell to 59% for groceries (19% uncomfortable) while non-groceries* fell slightly to 35%  (17% uncomfortable). This compared to 64% (18% uncomfortable) for groceries and 39% (15% uncomfortable) for non-groceries the previous week.
  • On the wearing of masks, 60% either currently wear a mask in stores, or intend to. This is the same as the previous week.

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“With footfall only up slightly during the second week of reopening, it seems that the initial burst of enthusiasm on the high street may not last, as the ongoing pandemic and economic downturn weigh down on consumers.

“Nonetheless, retail colleagues have shown themselves to be among the real heroes of the pandemic, with over a third of people saying their view of them has improved, compared with just 3% who disagreed. It is now time that Government ensure that these heroes are recognised, and that the jobs of three million retail workers are protected. This will require additional measures by Government to boost demand and rebuild public confidence.”

“The haphazard response to the outbreak in Leicester has shown that Government must create a clear framework for handling future local outbreaks, supporting retailers and other businesses in the areas affected.”