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Pandemic’s impact on shopping includes 'good mix’

Mixed trend: there has been some positives for local shopping as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic (File photograph)

On-island shopping habits have changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in some ways it is having a positive impact.

“People are travelling less, so there is a chance they will do more shopping online. But also, because they are travelling less, they are shopping locally,” Lorraine Shailer, chairwoman of the retail division of the Chamber of Commerce said.

A new survey has found that one-in-three residents expect to do more of their non-essential items shopping online rather than in-person in the next three to six months.

However, almost half of those who responded to the opinion poll said they expected to browse and shop for non-essential items in-person at stores.

“People are being more organised about their shopping,” Ms Shailer said, describing the situation as a good mix between online and in-person shopping.

“They are shopping locally more and buying what they need. There are also a lot of new businesses and markets popping up.”

Narrative Research Bermuda conducted a survey to gauge if customers’ shopping habits have changed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused many stores and restaurants to close their doors to in-person sales earlier this year.

It found that 69 per cent of those who responded were likely to visit and eat at a favourite restaurant in the next six months, 48 per cent would browse and shop in stores in-person for non-essential items, and 22 per cent said they would likely take a “staycation” at a local hotel or resort.

In terms of shopping habits for non-essential items, 37 per cent said they would shop more online than in person, while 22 per cent would shop more in-person than online.

Younger residents anticipated doing more online shopping in the future, while those aged 55 and over indicated they would do a greater proportion of shopping in-person.

Meanwhile, Ms Shailer said the trend to work from home rather than commute to an office in Hamilton has affected shopping habits.

“We’ve noticed the weekend traffic is more than it used to be, perhaps because people are working from home and are coming in (to Hamilton) on a Saturday to pick things up. Customers’ routines have changed in more ways than one,” she said.

Disruption to supply chains is also being factored in by customers as they plan what to buy, particularly with the festive season ahead.

Ms Shailer said: “There are going to be a lot more people on the island for Christmas than before, and because of that people are being organised.”

She said people are thinking more about what they are shopping for and buying earlier than they might otherwise have done.

The shopping trend survey results were part of the Narrative Research Bermuda Omnibus Survey conducted in September, using a random sample of adult Bermuda residents. The shopping habits data was collected from an online survey of 365 members of the Narrative Research Bermuda’s proprietary online panel.

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Published November 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm (Updated November 12, 2020 at 4:31 pm)

Pandemic’s impact on shopping includes 'good mix’

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