Consumers stay local during lockdown

A majority of consumers in the West Midlands (55%) have used more local stores and services to help support them during lockdown, according to new research from Deloitte Digital analysing the impact of the pandemic on customer experience.

Some 58% of West Midlands’ consumers also said they will be more likely to spend money at a business that offers locally produced products once the lockdown has lifted, than they would have done before the stay-at-home order was imposed.

Deloitte Digital’s research, analysing responses from 2,140 consumers aged 16 and over in Great Britain between 22nd and 26th May 2020, found that 21% of consumers in the West Midlands have stopped using a business due to their response to COVID-19.

Across Britain, those aged 16-24 were found to be the most likely to have stopped using a brand due to its response to COVID-19. One in four (28%) consumers in this age group say they have stopped using a business for this reason, for instance that has refused to prioritise front-line workers or failed to ensure the safety of their employees.

Meanwhile, 19% of all respondents say they have started using a brand as a result of their response, such as a business that has prioritised front-line workers or quickly introduced measures to keep their employees safe.

Martin Willetts, consulting partner and retail specialist at Deloitte in Birmingham, said: “Consumers may have begun shopping locally out of necessity rather than choice, however they are rediscovering their local shop as a place for human contact and personal service when they need it most. With people increasingly supporting their local area, businesses that have a strong understanding of the community will be the most likely to recover well and thrive in the coming months.”

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