When the government relaxed the lockdown on non-essential retail stores on 15th June, many shoppers were elated. There were long and prolonged queues on London’s Oxford Street, outside Selfridges, M&S, and Footlocker. That shows how popular the outlets are. In so many ways, the hustle and bustle on the major streets implied that things were back to normal.
Although many of those who decided to step out to do some retail therapy despite the continuous spread of the coronavirus expressed concerns about impending job losses in the sector and an urgent need to rejig the economy, the overwhelming mood was that people were expecting the whole situation to be back to normal after 11 weeks of stagnancy.
In spite of the hectic scenes witnessed across the country, with prolonged overnight queues which sometimes lasted for days, the majority of people preferred to stay safe at home, with some employees expressing surprise at customers’ insistence on shopping physically instead of ordering their goods online.
Amazon, the retail e-commerce giant, attracted more than one-third of all online purchases, as shoppers hurried to purchase household necessities that online supermarket outlets had already sold out on during the initial stockpiling rush.
The local grocery store
UK shoppers have now turned to local groceries and online stores because of the rising fear of shopping at supermarkets amid the spread of the coronavirus.
A report from analyst Kantar shows that one in every five British households purchased groceries online in the past month, causing a 91% increase in sales for home delivery. Similarly, sales in small independent stores increased by 69% in just three months between April and June.
The shift in the style of shopping occurred as only about half of those interviewed by Kantar said they felt safe whenever they visited a convenience store or a supermarket, indicating a significant shift in attitude towards neighbourhood shops.
Online Shopping Catalogues
Recent research by Ofcom found that the surge in online shopping is an indication that people in the UK now spend more time online during the lockdown than ever before.
Adults now spend an average of four hours online every day – more than a quarter of the time of the day that they stay awake. This is very high compared to September last year when they spent below three and a half hours daily online.
The rate at which people utilise the online shopping and digital payment systems in the UK has risen rapidly. Britain’s payment system is now going largely cashless as the majority of businesses have refused to accept notes and coins for fear of contracting the coronavirus.
Shoppers who still depend on paper money to shop and pay for items are worried about the system going cashless. Therefore, there is no doubt that the rate at which people shop online will keep increasing as internet sales jumped by a third last month relative to the same period the previous year.
This has aroused shoppers’ interests in online catalogues. So, consider using online catalogues like the deals on offer from Catalogues 24/7 with discount vouchers and a variety of brands in electricals, fashion, and furniture.