New survey: U.S. consumers look ahead to stores reopening

First Insight survey finds consumers hope bricks & mortar to get back in business by end of May

Pittsburgh, Pa. – U.S. consumers are feeling more optimistic about when they’ll be able to get back into stores, according to new research from First Insight.

Sixty percent feel that stores should reopen by the end of May. Some have an even earlier time table. Consumers living outside of New York, Millennials and men were most likely to believe stores should be at the end of April or early May.

“It’s clear that people are getting antsy and ready to get back to some form of normalcy, including shopping in-store,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight. “However, the continuing increases in percentages of those worried about the Coronavirus in the last weeks points to the true reality of the situation. We may still have a way to go.”

The latest survey found 87% of consumers are worried about the Coronavirus versus 71% in the last survey in mid-March, an increase of 23%.

Key findings:

  • Millennials are the most avid. Between 59-63% of respondents across every generation felt stores should be open by the end of May. However, Millennials are the most hopeful, with 39% of Millennials feeling stores should be open by the end of April/early May compared to 31% of Generation Z, 30% of Generation X and 28% of Baby Boomers.
  • Men are ready to shop: While 65% of men and 54% of women felt stores should reopen by the end of May, 39% of male respondents felt stores should open weeks earlier, by the end of April/early May, compared to women (25%).
  • Location counts. Forty-three percent of respondents living in Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles and San Francisco felt stores should reopen by the end of April or early May. Thirty-five percent of respondents in the New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut areas felt the same, on par with rural areas (the survey was performed before New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order extending the New York Pause to the end of April). The greater Seattle area in Washington State showed to be the least optimistic, with only 28% of respondents agreeing.

Petro suggested retailers and brands should be planning now to ensue they have the right product and price when the time comes, even if it’s just being offered online for now.

“It’s a delicate balance, but those who are connected closest with their customers will be best aligned should they be given the green light to reopen their doors,” he added.

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