Post lockdown attitudes - will customers be too worried to go out?


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. 

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Many Brits say they will feel uncomfortable going to newly reopened stores and services once the lockdown is lifted It looks increasingly likely that COVID-19 lockdown restrictions will begin to ease in the coming weeks, allowing certain businesses to reopen. There is a hope, among business owners and Government ministers, that this will help kickstart the economy. However, new YouGov research shows that the public still feel wary about returning to public places, even if the rules permit them to do so. The places that are rumoured to be reopening first, such as garden centres or clothing stores, are also the places that people would feel most comfortable returning to. Although in both cases there are substantial minorities who would still feel uncomfortable.
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