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Non-essential shop reopening: Over half of UK consumers feel safe returning to the High Street

08 April 2021

Key findings from Deloitte’s latest consumer research show:

  • Over half (56%) of consumers feel safe returning to the High Street, up 16 percentage points month-on-month;
  • Two in five (38%) consumers are buying more locally-sourced items right now, even if they cost a little more;
  • A third (36%) of UK consumers feel safe dining out at a restaurant; but
  • Just one in four (24%) UK consumers feel safe attending in-person events. This rises to 37% amongst 18-34 year-olds; three times higher than those aged 55+ (12%).

Ian Geddes, head of retail, Deloitte:

“As non-essential shops prepare to reopen on Monday, it is encouraging that the majority of UK consumers have fewer safety concerns in returning to the High Street, compared to last month. Reduced spending opportunities over the last year have improved disposable incomes for some, meaning they are also poised to spend. This pent-up demand is likely to see an enthusiastic return to shops as restrictions gradually ease across the UK.

“After a prolonged period of shop closures, it is also clear that many consumer behaviours formed over the course of the year have now become entrenched. We’ve seen record levels of sales online, with many consumers discovering the convenience of online shopping for the very first time. For some, old habits may not return.”

Andreas Scriven, head of hospitality and leisure, Deloitte:

“With the easing of lockdown measures on hospitality, many consumers will be looking forward to meeting friends and family in beer gardens and sharing a meal outdoors from next week. Longer-term though, consumers are likely to make a gradual return to other leisure activities, like traveling or mingling among large groups. It remains to be seen how long it will take to return to pre-pandemic levels.

“Whilst many leisure experiences are harder to replicate at home or virtually, wider behavioural shifts are more systemic and likely to stay with some degree of permanency, such as working, cooking and streaming from home.”


Notes to Editors

About the research

Deloitte’s monthly Global State of the Consumer Tracker was conducted in 18 countries between 25th and 31st March 2021, and queried at least 1,000 consumers in each country, including the UK.

About Deloitte

In this press release references to “Deloitte” are references to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”) a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte LLP is a subsidiary of Deloitte NSE LLP, which is a member firm of DTTL, and is among the UK's leading professional services firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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