LAST UPDATE: DEC. 1, 2021

Tracking the Return to Normal: Shopping

Morning Consult is tracking how safe consumers feel returning to retail spaces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic
By: Alyssa Meyers

 

This tracker is part of a series from Morning Consult gauging when consumers will return to normal activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and sign up for alerts.

Even considering the e-commerce boom during lockdowns, brick-and-mortar shopping is here to stay. But when consumers will feel safe returning to physical stores and shopping malls remains an unanswered question. Below, Morning Consult provides some insights into shoppers’ state of mind.

Morning Consult is tracking pent-up demand and excitement for many of the activities listed on this page. Bookmark this page for weekly updates of these figures, and read our deep dive on which industries will see a post-pandemic boom in consumer demand.

KEY TRENDS

  • Comfort Shopping at Malls Falls Amid Holiday Shopping Season: 60% of Americans said they feel safe going to a mall as of a Nov. 29-30 survey, Morning Consult’s first to be conducted since media reports of the omicron variant first surfaced. That’s down 4 percentage points from 64% last week, when it was in reach of a record high of 66% set on the Fourth of July.
  • Americans Are Also Less Comfortable at Grocery Stores, Department Stores, Boutiques: The shares of U.S. adults who said they’re comfortable going to a grocery store fell 3 points from 81% last week to 79% this week, the lowest comfort with the activity has been since an Oct. 7-9 survey. Comfort at department stores also declined by 3 points, from 70% to 67%, and comfort at local shops dropped 4 points, from 70% to 66%.

Current Spending Habits Compared to Pre-Pandemic
Respondents were asked whether they're spending more or less than they usually do since the COVID-19 pandemic started
Respondents were asked whether they're spending more or less online than they usually do since the COVID-19 pandemic started
Survey conducted Nov. 29-30, 2021, among 2,200 U.S. adults with a margin of error of +/-2%.

Comfort at Shopping Malls
The share of respondents who said they feel comfortable going to a shopping mall right now:
Weekly surveys are conducted among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults and have a margin of error of +/-2%.

Shoppers Are More Comfortable in Boutiques, Department Stores Than Malls
Respondents were asked whether they feel comfortable doing the following right now:
Survey conducted Nov. 29-30, 2021, among 2,200 U.S. adults with a margin of error of +/-2%.

Tracking the Return to Normal

When will things return to normal and what will our new normal look like? It’s a question that business, economic and government leaders are grappling with as more and more Americans receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To help answer this complicated question, Morning Consult is tracking how consumer attitudes are shifting across a wide range of categories, from travel to entertainment to dining, to gain greater insight into not only when consumers will be ready to return to their normal activities, but how their habits will be forever changed. We’ll be updating these pages every week with new data and analyses. Sign up for alerts below.

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