Retail re-opens: Local Insights & research report

April 30, 2021

“Thirsty drinkers rush to beer gardens despite -5C chill, queues form outside Primark at 6am, shaggy-haired Brits get long overdue cuts and gyms reopen as Covid rules are eased at LAST - but Boris Johnson warns 'behave responsibly”.

Mail Online

Were you one to be excited about the re-opening of non-essential Retail, or did you become so used the way things were whilst becoming complacent with shopping online?

Here at Pivotal, although we specialise in in-store Retail displays and our drive is within this sector, we passionately still believe that there is nothing better than physical retail shopping.

Our aim is to help both brands and Retailers on the shopper’s journey and experience, engaging them with the right products and increasing overall shopfloor footfall, to help with increasing the brand awareness and sales of our clients.

We also take part in our own research to collate data within the Retail sector. Our marketing team make sure that the insights we proceed are real and effective.

With the COVID-19 Pandemic, lockdown and its restrictions, this hit us hard and as it did for a lot of us.

On Monday 12th April 2021 marked the first day where non-essential retail and other businesses could re-open their doors to the public, a day which they have been longing and preparing for. So much so even the Hospitality sector, such as pubs, bars and restaurants had to quickly adapt and use their funds to create safe and secure seating and dining in their designated gardens and outdoor areas.

On Saturday 10th April, 2 days away from non-essential Retail opening their doors, we created a Poll on our Linkedin account stating: “Non-essential Retail opens next Monday! How are we feeling?” with the following answers.

Want to know the results? Drum roll please…

  • So excited - 40%
  • Apprehensive/ nervous - 8%
  • Dreading how busy it will be - 15%
  • Not really fussed - 38%
  • (Based on 53 votes)

Looking at these results helped us get a feel for how our fellow followers were feeling. Were the ‘so excited’ taken too far? We look at how excited you were…

Is it safe?

Through thorough research, the most popular and vital steps that brands and retailers need to consider for both their shoppers and staff are the following actions:

  • Apply social distancing guidance (floor tape/ signs)
  • Clear and reachable hand sanitising equipment
  • Use screens/ barriers to separate people from each other, inclusive of staff (at the counter for example)
  • All customers to wear face coverings (unless exempt)
  • Working with the minimum number of people wherever possible to operate efficiently
  • Staggering arrival, departure, and break time
  • Providing relevant signage/ reminders/ awareness
  • Both access to stairs/ aisles/ lifts and having both directions in safe distances
  • Air flow (keeping doors open/ ventilation facilities)
  • Monitoring of commonly used areas (such as toilets, eating areas and changing facilities)
  • Increase in cleaning frequencies
  • The supply of PPE
  • Source: The Retail Mutual.

Why are the shops back to being ‘dead’?

Many important factors to take into consideration as to why the stores are now back to being no longer busy over the rush could boil down to a few factors.

  • Many are now back to work, therefore only being able to visit shops after the working day and over the weekends.
  • We became so used to shopping online, that visiting stores just are not of customer’s interest, despite the votes looking positive for the physical retail landscape.
  • We are all shopped out in that mad first week of stores opening, we are all waiting for the next pay day!

Are stores being compliant with health & safety?

Upon recent store to store research around Leicester and other surrounding cities, stores are being compliant with maintaining a hand sanitising solution at the forefront of the store and having screens up on their till check out area.

Stores that can afford a security system, such as footfall calculation are still going ahead – such as Primark. Whilst independent and smaller brand stores simply do not have the budget for this.

Due to Government guidelines, it is still expected that all customers are to wear face mask/ face guards, unless they are Medically exempt to not wear them.

*These are our own personal findings and research. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.

Alternatively, if you have a retail project we can be of any assistance to, please get in touch:

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