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US: only 32% of the shoppers say they are ready to buy footwear in stores

May 19, 2020 United States
US: only 32% of the shoppers say they are ready to buy footwear in stores
As stores reopen across the US, a recent study by First Insight found that the majority of consumers (54%) are ready to buy apparel in-store. For footwear, those saying they are willing to go back to stores is lower (32%)
“While many shoppers seem ready to go back in-store, particularly to buy clothing, the experience is anything but business-as-usual”, stated Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, a customer-driven digital product testing solution for brands and retailers. “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. Not feeling safe trying on clothing also begs many questions on how retailers and brands will need to adapt their return and exchange policy in the coming weeks.”

As stores reopen across the US, the study by First Insight found that most consumers (54%) are ready to buy apparel in-store, followed by home improvement (36%) and footwear (32%). 65% of women say they will not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms, 78% would not feel safe testing beauty products and 66% would not feel safe working with a sales associate. By comparison, 54% of men said they would not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms, 64% would not feel safe testing beauty products and 54% would not be comfortable working with a sales associate.

Millennials

The study also found that, of the generations, Millennials feel the safest returning to the shopping environment overall.  Only 49% of Millennials surveyed said they would not feel safe trying on clothes in dressing rooms compared to 71% of Baby Boomers. Similarly, 58% would not feel safe testing beauty products compared to 86% of Baby Boomers, and 48% of Millennials would not feel safe working with a sales associate (72% in the Baby Boomers case).


Feel Safe In-Store

Respondents felt that hand sanitizer and limiting the amount of people in-store (80%) and wearing a facemask (79%) would make them feel safest. Temperature checks (69%), self-checkout (69%) and farther distances between product racks or shelving (68%) ranked less important to consumers when considering safety of shopping experiences in-store. 


Note: Baby Boomers is the name commonly given to the generations of individuals born between 1946 and 1964, during the post–World War II baby boom. Millennials are the generations born in the 1980s and 1990s.

Image credits: Clark Street Mercantile on Unsplash

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