Thursday 8 April 2021 3:26 pm

End of lockdown: Most UK shoppers feel safe about returning to the high street on 12 April

Most consumers feel safe returning to the high street, the latest research has shown ahead of non-essential retailers reopening on 12 April.

According to a survey by Deloitte, 56 per cent of shoppers will feel safe about coronavirus risks when heading out to the high street next week, a 16 percentage point increase compared to last month.

Read more: Asos bags record profit as pandemic continues to drive sales

A third of UK consumers said they feel confident about dining out at a restaurant, with outdoor trading set to resume from Monday before indoor meals are allowed in May.

However, just one in four consumers feel safe about attending in-person events, with just 12 per cent of those aged over 55 comfortable at the prospect of returning to live shows.

The figure rises to 37 per cent amongst those aged between 18 and 34, who are less likely to suffer a severe illness if they contract the virus. 

Ian Geddes, head of retail at Deloitte, said it is “encouraging that the majority of UK consumers have fewer safety concerns in returning to the high street, compared to last month”

 “Reduced spending opportunities over the last year have improved disposable incomes for some, meaning they are also poised to spend,” he said.

“This pent-up demand is likely to see an enthusiastic return to shops as restrictions gradually ease across the UK.

Read more: Dunelm to beat profit expectations as online sales more than treble

However, Geddes added: “After a prolonged period of shop closures, it is also clear that many consumer behaviours formed over the course of the year have now become entrenched. 

“We’ve seen record levels of sales online, with many consumers discovering the convenience of online shopping for the very first time. For some, old habits may not return.”