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Published
May 12, 2020
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As stores reopen, most U.S. shoppers don't feel safe trying clothes, beauty products

Published
May 12, 2020

As stores reopen across the U.S, the majority of consumers are ready to buy in-store, but will be shopping a little differently, according to a recent study by First Insight. 

As stores reopen, shoppers don't feel safe trying clothes, beauty products - Facebook: Lululemon


“While many shoppers seem ready to go back in-store, particularly to buy clothing, the experience is anything but business-as-usual,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, in a news statement. 

“The coronavirus has moved the industry away from high-touch to low-touch. The ‘new normal’ for retailers will be to work with shoppers in a hands-free way to help them to find what they need while also giving them the space to feel comfortable, particularly with high-risk groups like baby boomers."

Indeed, 54 percent of consumers are ready to buy apparel in-store, while 36 percent said they will be shopping for home improvement and 32 percent for footwear.

Sixty-five percent of women said they will not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms, while 78 percent said they would not feel safe testing beauty products. 

Moreover, 66 percent of respondents said they would not feel safe working with a sales associate.

Male respondents were slightly more trusting, but the majority also agreed they would not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms, testing beauty products nor would they feel comfortable working with a sales associate.

Likewise, the study found that, of the generations, millennials feel the safest returning to the shopping environment overall, with 49 percent of millennials surveyed saying they would not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms compared to 71 percent of baby boomers. 

Similarly, 58 percent would not feel safe testing beauty products compared to 86 percent of baby boomers, and 48 percent of millennials would not feel safe working with a sales associate, versus 72 percent of baby boomers.

Respondents said tactics that would make them feel safest include hand sanitizer and limiting the amount of people in-store (80 percent respectively), wearing a facemask (79 percent), as well as temperature checks (69 percent), self-checkout (69 percent) and farther distances between product racks or shelving (68 percent). 

Still, worry about the coronavirus is subsiding slightly, with 76 percent of respondents being worried on April 30th, versus 82 percent on April 20, 2020.

The percent of consumers cutting back on spending due to Coronavirus also decreased, with 58 percent of respondents reporting cutbacks in spending on April 30 compared to 62 percent on April 20.

First Insight’s findings are based on the results of a U.S. consumer study of more than 1,000 respondents balanced by gender, geography and generation, fielded on April 30, 2020.

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