A Lockdown Legacy: Local
Hampshire Fare’s #StayLoyalStayLocal campaign initiated after the first lockdown hit the spot with many consumers.
A year on, new research from Barclaycard Payments has revealed that buying local is one of the biggest shifts in consumer behaviour to have emerged as a result of the pandemic. It is also expected to be a ‘lockdown legacy’ according to Tom Cheesewright, one of Britain’s leading futurists.
He explains: “Echoes of this pandemic will be heard long after lockdown is lifted through a sustained shift in our buying behaviours. Changes we expected to happen over a decade have been condensed into a year.”
He predicts that consumers will continue to seek a greater connection with their local community. Research from Barclaycard Payments shows that nearly two-thirds of consumers in the UK have chosen to buy closer to home in the past year - evident in a 63% rise in spending at specialist food and drink stores such as butchers, bakeries and greengrocers in March 2021, compared to the same month last year. This is due to the shift to working from home as well as a strengthened interest in supporting businesses that have kept communities going through hard times. Nine in ten people who have been shopping locally throughout the pandemic say they will keep doing this to support smaller and independent businesses even after all restrictions end.
It is also anticipated that the growth in home deliveries is here to stay, ditto the ‘Click & Collect’ boom, and the surge in online grocery shopping, which is even more pronounced among the over 65s.
Other shopping behaviours which could have a positive impact on local independents include more ‘mindful spending’. Nearly three-quarters of people now think more carefully about how they spend their money, and half said they have put more thought into what they’ve bought for others, with the majority confident this will continue.
Another development are ‘dine-at-home experiences’. In an attempt to recreate the restaurant experience at home, 10 per cent of Brits tried a DIY meal kit for the first time during lockdown. Around a quarter of those who have been ordering at-home restaurant kits say they will continue even after hospitality venues reopen. One in five say they will still order at-home alcoholic drinks tasting experiences.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, commented on the report: “We are delighted to learn that consumers have appreciated the value of local to their local economies and local communities during this difficult time. However, we cannot be complacent. Local businesses, such as craft breweries and pubs, have very real concerns about their futures."