We are in the fifth week of the UK Government's COVID-19 lockdown period with more to come and with the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended until the end of June. The results of this YouGov survey offer an interesting insight into customer attitudes on socialising post lockdown; which appear to bring good news for garden centres, hairdressers and barbers but are not so encouraging for gyms, pubs and restaurants with the survey results suggesting people will be more worried about going to places where there is likely to be closer contact with others.
Businesses will need to be looking ahead to consider transformation options to adapt to the new post lockdown world and new customer attitudes. The extent of the adaptations required may depend on the profile of each business' client base with the YouGov survey results suggesting that younger people and men are more comfortable visiting public places than older people or women.
We expect restaurants and pubs may become interested in acquiring and utilising more outside space, for example, gardens and terraces, to encourage customers to feel more comfortable returning. This will likely raise planning and consent issues which will require advance planning to get ready for returning customers when the restrictions are lifted. We recommend seeking early advice on your options.