MANCHESTER, UK, March 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A year has gone by since the start of the pandemic in the UK and life has been left pretty unrecognisable for most of us. The lockdown has really taken its toll on businesses, but while we’re all looking forward to getting back to normal, we have to consider that normal might never be the same again.
As far as retail is concerned, a lack of footfall isn’t anything new. There has been a steady decrease in the amount of people visiting shopping centres over the past few years and while the pandemic has highlighted the need for people to feel as safe as possible when they shop, people could actually be looking for a far different experience in the future.
In a post-pandemic world, retail will have to adapt to the changing values and attitudes of the consumer. A new focus on convenience and safety will be the driving force behind many of the decisions consumers will make. Shopping centres could very well keep masks mandatory, enforce social distancing, take temperatures at entryways and continue to measure and manage capacity levels in store.
Consumers and retailers are already beginning to show interest in the use of sanitation pods to ensure confidence in safety measures. Recently, sanitation pods from Spectrum X were used in the high profile Heavyweight Championship fight between Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev, with all attendees including the boxers themselves passing through the patented SpectriPOD prior to entry to the SSE Arena in Wembley.
Along with measures such as spraying down clothing, surfaces and goods, these pods could allow retailers to deactivate pathogens and make sure people are protected from surface to surface transmission. For the consumer, safety and comfort will be paramount, but there is also a desire for real change in retail.
Shoppers are beginning to ask whether or not their money is making a positive impact on the world, which has caused a shift in the way people purchase goods. People are making choices based on ethics and sustainability, seeking out companies that have high ethical standards over those that offer low prices and fast fashion.
Rethinking the role of retail in society will be key to rebuilding loyalty and trust in a post-pandemic world. Shopping is on a path to becoming more of a leisure activity for the consumer, usually involving some kind of social interaction and food or coffee. Therefore, shopping centres and malls that provide multi-purpose environments, home delivery, pop-up shops, and experiences that cannot be replicated with e-commerce, will thrive.
As we have all seen in the last year, people can adapt to a new situation very quickly, and business is no exception. While these changes to health, safety and the function of retail in the future can seem dramatic, for those who are willing to embrace the new normal, it could be just the revival needed.
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