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Survey: COVID-19 concerns grow among consumers

man shopping online

Shopping habits are changing as a result of the continuing COVID-19 outbreak, not necessarily to retailers’ benefit.

According to a new survey of U.S. adult consumers with Internet access from Coresight Research conducted the week of April 1, half of respondents are cutting back purchases in some areas. The clothing and footwear category is seeing the greatest number of respondents curbing spending. 

The coronavirus crisis is driving an increasing proportion of respondents to make more purchases online. A substantial proportion of those buying more online are buying more apparel through e-commerce, but the number of shoppers switching apparel spend to e-commerce is not enough to recoup the sales lost through mass store closures. 

The overall proportion of respondents saying they were buying less of certain categories exceeded the proportion buying more of certain categories for the first time since Coresight began conducting COVID-19-related consumer surveys the week of March 17.

More than half (53%) of respondents are now extremely concerned about the outbreak, up seven percentage points in a week. Another 36% are somewhat concerned.

Consumers are also concerned about their employment situation. Around one in 10 respondents said they had already lost their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak, versus 9% the prior week. However, 41% of respondents were worried about losing their job or part of their income, down from around 46% the previous week. 

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