Almost two thirds of shoppers (61%) in the UK still feel unsafe when shopping on their high streets, according to new research carried out by retail analysts Maybe.
The survey of 2,000 people, which took place in early December, revealed the public want retailers to do more to ensure their safety while shopping this holiday season.
Some 33% of participants said that safety is their most important consideration when choosing where to spend their money, followed by pricing (22%), supporting local retailers (16%) and the availability of late night shopping (16%).
Furthermore, the number of consumers that feel staff wearing PPE doesn’t make them feel any safer has risen to 21% at the start of December, compared to 14% in early November.
Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe, said: “Our research suggests that to make the most of this Christmas, retailers have to place shopper and staff safety at the very top of their list of priorities.
“Shoppers placing importance on safety ahead of pricing represents a genuine paradigm shift for the sector at large. To put it simply – if shoppers don’t feel safe in your store, it’s likely they’ll go elsewhere.”
She added: “It’s clear that the majority of retailers are putting Covid-safe measures in place, however the amount of consumers who don’t feel safe when shopping appears to be increasing – this suggests that more needs to be done in terms of the steps that stores are taking.
“It’s hugely encouraging that 16% of shoppers are placing emphasis on supporting local retailers during a challenging time for all high street business.”