11:38 h / 2021/03/25
A survey suggests that local, independent stores are likely to benefit from permanent changes in the way customers now shop.
Smaller, local stores and online retailers are likely to benefit from permanent changes in shopping habits after a year of Covid-19 restrictions, according to a report one year on from the first UK lockdown.
More than nine out of 10 of people who have been shopping locally during the pandemic say they will continue to do so, according to a survey carried out by Barclaycard.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers in the UK have chosen to buy closer to home in the past year. The survey focused on grocery shopping, and showed a 63% rise in spending at specialist food and drink stores last month, however, these trends have been found to be replicated in other retail sectors as consumers realise the advantages of shopping within their local communities.
Independent stores, including toy retailers, have been boosted by the shift to working from home, as well as strengthened interest in supporting businesses that have kept communities going through hard times. This is good news for retailers located in small towns and local high streets, but may come at a cost to others, having a detrimental effect on footfall in city centres. Keeping in touch with customers via social media over lockdown, many toy indies have told us they feel they have actually strengthened bonds with their client base.