Half of Britons wary of indoor shopping centres - survey

Jul 7, 2020
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With most shopping destinations now open in the UK, it's interesting to see the attitudes of consumers to the different types of location and a new study shows that around half of Britons are still not sure that they want to go into covered shopping malls at present.

The Valley

The research, which comes from outdoor shopping centre The Valley, in Evesham, Worcestershire, was based on the views of 2,000 adults. It shows that a huge number of consumers aren’t prepared to go into an indoor shopping centre for at least three months.

The survey also shows that consumers are worried about the viability of shopping centres following the collapse of malls giant Intu.

The reasons for shoppers being averse to indoor malls include overcrowding (66%), long queues (55%) and fears about social distancing (54%). And almost half of Britons said they’d prefer to shop in the open air.

Consumers are very focused on fresh air (61%), more space to keep to social distancing guidelines (50%), and wider walkways between shops (41%).

These findings would appear to be borne out by the shopping centre’s own results in the past two weeks since non-essential stores reopened with The Valley having recorded 80% of footfall and 90% of total shopper spend compared to the same two weeks of last year. This points to a fairly strong recovery in the current constrained circumstances.

As mentioned, the survey also showed a lot of people (61% of respondents) worry about the future of shopping centres, with three quarters saying they worry more now than they did pre-lockdown.

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