Online shopping may kill the need to visit physical retailers during lockdown easing

15 June 2020, 20:07

By Seán Hickey

The practicality of online shopping may make the coronavirus bounce back more difficult for high street retailers.

Esther Pugh is a consumer behaviours expert at Leeds Beckett University and she was on air after England reopened non-essential retailers in the next phase of its lockdown easing strategy.

Ms Pugh told Iain Dale that although scenes showed hysteria on the High Street as crowds gathered in front of shops "the online offer is so fantastic now we can buy nearly all these things from the comfort of our front room" and more and more people will realise online shopping is the more practical option.

"A lot of retailers have made online shopping such an experience that now perhaps we don't need to go to that physical store for the experience" she said.

Iain asked the consumer behaviour expert if she thought the "government needs to be much more careful about its messaging" around social distancing and what people are allowed to now do in lockdown easing. Ms Pugh noted that in terms of social distancing, "mostly outside the stores was where it was being monitored."

Ms Pugh urged the public to keep aware of regulations while shopping and acknowledged "once we get into the store we get taken over by the environment, the visual merchandise so we do need to be careful with that."

In the beginning of the conversation, Iain pointed to footage of queues outside retailers across England on Monday morning and stated that "people are not behaving rationally are they?"

Ms Pugh noted that "we've been in lockdown for three months and now we can't wait to get back into these stores" and could understand the hype around reopening.

After over three months of lockdown, "we just want to have fun" the consumer behaviour expert noted.

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