UK consumers still prefer to shop in-store, poll reveals

The research from News UK shows that 56% of The Times and The Sunday Times’ readers and 65% of The Sun’s readers want to see a product in person before making a purchase.

In addition, almost 80% of those surveyed agreed that online shopping is having a negative impact on the high street and local communities. Similarly, 79% agreed that there will always be a role for the in-store experience and that the high street offers a sense of community.

The poll found 87% of The Times and The Sunday Times’ readers were interested in seeing more independent shops on the high street, while 70% of The Sun’s readers were wanting more local markets.

The survey also shows that the percentage of people shopping during the week has risen from 29% pre-pandemic to 41%.

When asked about what communications they would most like to see from retail brands post-lockdown, 90% of readers of The Sun are looking for discounted offers and 86% of The Times and The Sunday Times’ readers want to know what services are available. Meanwhile, 80% of all readers are interested to know what is being done to ensure a Covid-safe shopping environment.

Susie Powell, News UK’s retail director of advertising Sales, said: “The research shows our readers’ strong desire to return to shopping in stores and it is striking how many want to see retailers looking to the future with optimism. It is heartening that they believe there will always be a place for an in-store experience, so now is the time to give consumers exactly what they are looking for – an engaging and exciting retail environment.”

News UK Retail Director of Sales, Neil Spencer, added: “The results of this research are clear: News UK readers value independent retailers. It’s good news that our readers intend to keep driving footfall to independent stores. Newspaper shoppers visit convenience stores more frequently than non-newspaper shoppers and spend more in supermarkets, further driving incremental basket value for all retailers.”