Survey: Consumers impacted by how employers are treating workers

Marianne Wilson
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Consumers are watching.

The manner in which essential retailers treat their employees during the COVID-19 crisis is having a significant impact on consumer shopping decisions, according to a new study by First Insight. The company found that overall, 59% of respondents surveyed in early April said they would shop less at an essential retailer that has sick employees come to work.

The study also found that men feel most strongly about this, with 68% of male shoppers compared to 50% of female shoppers responding that it was impacting their purchase decisions. Millennials are  showing the greatest impact when compared to their generational counterparts. Sixty-five percent of Millennials were less inclined to shop at an essential retailer that would make this choice, compared to 58% of both Generation Z and Generation X, and 54% of Baby Boomers.

“Essential retailers and brands need to know that while consumers may be desperate for goods and resources in some cases, just being one of the few open stores isn’t enough,” said Greg Petro, CEO, First Insight. “How these companies treat employees and consumers, particularly when it comes to health and safety, will likely have a lasting impact that will endure beyond the Coronavirus pandemic, and consumers are acting with their wallets already.”

The new findings were revealed as part of First Insight’s ongoing series of consumer sentiment studies entitled, “The Impact of Coronavirus on Consumer Purchase Decisions and Behaviors.” Now publishing the third study in the series, the company has been tracking consumer data since February 28, 2020, fielding additional studies on March 17 and April 3, 2020. Each survey sample is balanced by gender, geography and generation.