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Through our network of Shepherds, we recently found that 82% of all stores across the UK still have Covid-19 restrictions in place at their entrances.

Department stores (87%) and supermarkets (86%) were most likely to have visible restrictions in place whereas only half of independent stores had them.

In addition, there was no queue at 93% of stores and more than four-fifths (85%) had hand sanitizer visible at the store entrance.

Almost three quarters (71%) of stores did not have a one-way system in place. However, people were social distancing in 77% of all stores and 93% said they felt safe in store.

Using our network of Shepherds to collect the data, our research covers 270 stores in 12 cities and took place on Saturday 5th June. Shepherds checked a range of retail outlets including clothes and department stores, electrical retailers, health & beauty outlets, supermarkets, independent stores, and others such as WH Smith.

We carried out similar research in June 2020, of 500 supermarkets, which showed 70% of all supermarkets had clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene upon arrival. In addition, the average queue time a year ago was seven minutes and only 70% of supermarkets then had visible hand sanitizer, compared to 84% now.

We also also surveyed 764 of our Shepherds about eCommerce in May 2021 and revealed that people will still head to the high street. 37% of people said they do most of their shopping online now, a rise from 25% who said the same before COVID. In terms of what people are buying online, 33% said clothes, 23% said tech products, and 20% groceries.

Our research shows that even with the proposed lift of restrictions, retailers are still taking precautions to protect their customers and staff. It’s great news for retailers that people feel safe in-store and with more and more people going back to the High Street, they should continue to make this a priority.

Lindsay Forster, CEO at Shepper
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