Just one in five Britons are expected to hit the High Street as soon as the coronavirus lockdown ends amid fears over their finances and job security, a poll has found.
More than half of people in the UK hope to be back at the shops within two weeks, while about 80 per cent expect to return within a month.
But about 15 per cent of consumers say it will take them at least three months to return to shops, while a further 5 per cent plan to shift most purchases online.
The Jefferies survey also found people are generally not booking holidays for the rest of 2020
The lockdown has been in place since March 23 and will last until at least May 7 as Britain battles with the pandemic which has already killed 16,500 people.
Now, a survey by investment bank Jefferies revealed in The Times has interviewed more than 5,500 people from 11 countries to see how they are coping.
It found two thirds of Britons fear for both their finances and job security, with their biggest domestic concern being running out of food or household products.
The poll also revealed people feel the experience will change them and the world for the better, and governments are generally seen to be handling the crisis well.
The poll found Americans are more optimistic about their finances than those in Europe
The survey also found that people’s house purchase intentions remain largely unchanged
Global comparisons from the study show that people in the US and Asia are more keen to return to shops than those in Europe immediately after the lockdown.
Countries are expected to gradually ease their respective lockdown measures in the coming months, with Germany already beginning to relax shop closures.
It comes after figures revealed UK retail footfall experienced its sharpest ever decline after shops shut their doors in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Footfall across retail destinations dived by 44.7 per cent in March due to the lockdown, according to the BRC-ShopperTrak footfall monitor released yesterday.
A man cycles along a near-empty high street in Leicester on Sunday as shops remain shut
An empty Camden High Street in North London as the UK continues to remain in lockdown
It found that UK footfall declined by 17.7 per cent in the three weeks before the lockdown was enforced on March 23.
Top ten items that Britons have been buying more of online during the lockdown
- Olive oil 563.5%
- Outdoor play equipment 480.5%
- Video game consoles 412.9%
- Painkillers 322.1%
- Water filters 298.8%
- Free weights 273.4%
- Yoga mats 266.9%
- Laptops 250.6%
- Gift bags 234.4%
- Board games 225.1%
Sales compared to 2019. Data provided by online advertising firm Criteo.
In the two weeks after lockdown came in, footfall sank by an average of 83.2 per cent after non-essential shops shut and people were told to stay at home.
High streets saw footfall decline 41.8 per cent in March compared with the year before, as increased use of convenience stores provided a rare positive.
Many stores will never re-open with firms such as Debenhams and Laura Ashley going into administration, while Oasis and Warehouse have gone bust.
At the same time, billionaire Sir Philip Green, has indicated stores in his Arcadia group, which includes Topshop and Miss Selfridge, may be permanently closed.
But there is evidence that some online stores are booming as a result of orders from stay at home shoppers.
Some 43.5 per cent of all non-food spending was done through web stores in March, with big increases for home fitness equipment and board games.
A study by online advertising firm Criteo found olive oil has seen the biggest rise of any product in UK internet sales, increasing by 563.5 per cent compared to 2019.
But kitsch vintage-style chain Cath Kidston has filed for administration, and shops including H&M and Primark are refusing to pay rent to landlords.
The pressure has only been slightly eased by the Government’s decision to waive all business rates on shops for the year ahead.
In rural areas, residents have seen previously busy high streets invaded by animals emboldened by the lack of human activity – including in Llandudno, North Wales.