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  • There have been huge changes in consumer habits due to COVID-19, read on to learn more.

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Huge changes in consumer habits due to COVID-19

A survey* of 1,646 adults compiled by YouGov, delving into people's shopping habits since lockdown began, has revealed how often people have been visiting different types of shops to get their essentials, and if frequency has changed since lockdown started.

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Corner shops

Corner shops are a fundamental part of life under lockdown, with the majority of the UK (80%**) viewing corner shops as an essential service. This is reflected in the rise in frequency of visits to corner shops, with almost a quarter (23%) of the UK stating that they have increased the amount of times they have shopped in them during COVID-19.

Online Shopping

The second largest rise in the type of way British people are consuming their essential goods is through online shopping (16% more frequently). These are despite reports that online prices of items in high demand foods have increased by 4.4% overall.

It seems that those online are struggling to obtain their essentials. More than half (54%) reported they have experienced difficulties in sourcing the products they need. This compares to two fifths (39%) of shoppers finding it hard to secure these items in the supermarket.

For regular online shoppers the difficulties with finding products and delivery slots has meant almost one quarter (24%) of those who have previously shopped online, have been utilising the services less frequently.


The largest disparity in shopping behaviour prior to lockdown is related to supermarkets, with 61% of people claiming to visit less often than previously.

Despite the reduction of visits to supermarkets, the majority of consumers have reported a positive experience when visiting, with 62% of people considering supermarkets to be taking positive measures to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Additionally, over half of UK shoppers (53%) have claimed they have had an overall positive experience in terms of queuing, despite rumours of lengthy queue times at the supermarkets.

Joel Kempson, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said : "It is unsurprising that consumers have changed the way they buy essentials since lockdown began. These figures highlight how well people are following the government guidelines to shop as infrequently as possible.

"Additionally, with over 63% of businesses reporting reduced turnover due to the effects of Covid-19, a quarter of UK businesses coming to a temporary halt and 21,000 closing down all together, shoppers are no doubt going to be managing their money and watching spending habits very carefully."

To help those who are worried about budgeting amid these unprecedented times, money.co.uk has created a helpful 'How to manage on a reduced salary during the coronavirus crisis' guide, for those looking to save money and best manage their cash.

London Behaviours

There is a major difference in consumer habits in the capital, with 1 in 6 (16%) reporting they have shopped more frequently at food markets, while the figure for the rest of the country is considerably lower (3%).

Additionally, 18% of Londoners are shopping at supermarkets more than prior to lockdown, compared with just 8% of the rest of the country.

For more information on how COVID-19 may impact your finances and guidance on how to manage it, please visit: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/coronavirus

SOURCE: *https://yougov.co.uk/topics/food/articles-reports/2020/04/17/covid-19-brits-turn-corner-shops-essentials ** https://yougov.co.uk/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2020/04/10/covid-19-essential

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Salman Haqqi

Salman Haqqi, Senior Personal Finance Writer

Salman Haqqi spent 10 years as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. He left the world of journalism to pursue his passion for personal finance.

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Joel Kempson

Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer

Joel Kempson devotes his time to helping people navigate the world of personal finance and make informed decisions about their money. He spent his early career writing about TV, movies, comic books and rock music.

Read Joel Kempson's articles and guides