The retail industry has received a welcome boost after research revealed that cautiously optimistic consumers are preparing to loosen their purse strings when lockdown ends.

Last week saw the reopening of car showrooms and outdoor markets, while non-essential shops are about to open their doors following a three-month enforced closure.

And the first OnePoll Consumer Confidence Survey found 61 per cent of UK adults expected to spend the same or more on household purchases than they did last year.

Another 9 per cent were preparing to spend a lot more.

This is likely to prove encouraging for the embattled High Street, with respondents expressing their intention to purchase goods such as carpets, furniture, and electrical products for their home.

The national survey of 2,600 adults found that, despite going through a bleak three months, two-thirds were confident enough that their life will eventually go back to how it was before.

However, while 7 per cent of UK adults were expecting an above inflation pay rise, one-quarter feared they would suffer a fall in annual income, while 18 per cent though they would have to look for a new job.

A consequence of this could be a transformation in the way people buy their food.

Cost-cutting is key for many, with 16 per cent saying they planned to use the same supermarket while being more bargain conscious, while one-fifth will be opting for cheaper stores to do their food shop.

Fewer than half of those questioned by OnePoll said they would go back to how they shopped beforehand.

But 15 per cent were planning to use supermarket delivery services more — which could be a welcome boost for Britain’s van manufacturing sector, particularly among firms which produce zero-emission vehicles.

The property industry can also expect a boost, with 14 per cent of respondents saying they would relocate or move to a new house.

This figure was highest among 25-34 years olds (23 per cent).

This was tempered by a fear that house prices would fall. Twice as many people expected to see a drop in prices than those who thought property in their area would increase in value.

However, this could be a positive development for first-time buyers and those looking to climb the property ladder.

The travel industry also has some positives after a torrid six months, with one in 10 people admitting they had missed their foreign trips so much they were planning on going away more than they did last year.

Of the 2,600 surveyed by OnePoll, 495 identified themselves as managers, directors, or business owners.

More than half of this group said they expected their business to come out of the pandemic the same or better than it was last year.

And four in 10 expected their business to come out worse, while 1 per cent feared going bankrupt or being forced to close.


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