21 Aug 2020
Posted in Retail
Eat Out to Help Out scheme set to attract 22 million people with local retailers benefitting from increased footfall, according to a GlobalData survey
- 22 million people, representing 40.6% of UK consumers, have used or plan to use the Eat Out to Help Out scheme*
- 6% of consumers have used or plan to use the scheme during the daytime when shops will be open, boosting footfall
- Despite this, UK offline non-food spend will plummet 25.2% this year, according to GlobalData forecasts
A total of 22 million people, representing 40.6% of UK consumers, have used or plan to use the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, according to a survey by leading data and analytics company GlobalData. Driven by under 35s*, the increased number of people venturing out because of the scheme is set to benefit desperate retailers, even though consumer concern around COVID-19 remains high. However, despite this much needed boost, UK offline non-food spend is set to plummet 25.2% versus last year.
Retailers with stores in neighbourhood locations and on high streets will see the biggest impact from the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, with 60.6% and 45.2% of scheme users, respectively, planning to visit cafes or restaurants in these spots. Over three quarters of UK consumers (78.6%) remain concerned about COVID-19 and, as a result, are reluctant to travel unnecessarily meaning that retail locations that are more difficult to reach by foot or in a short car journey such as out-of-town shopping centres, will see less impact on footfall and spend.
Sofie Willmott, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Many British consumers are keen to utilize the Eat Out to Help Out scheme to regain a sense of normality, while obtaining value for money and simultaneously helping businesses to get back on their feet. Retailers located in easily accessible neighbourhood areas, close to restaurants, will see the most significant boost with 76.6% of consumers planning to use the scheme during the daytime when shops will be open.”
Although the scheme will bring consumers back out to public places, it alone will not be enough to stem the flow of retail spend shifting online. GlobalData forecasts that UK offline non-food spend will plummet 25.2% in 2020, heavily impacted by stores being shuttered for three months alongside the additional, potentially off-putting safety measures required when visiting shops. Spend via the online channel is set to rise by 13.4%.
Willmott continues: “Evident from announcements by key players Next and ASOS, the pandemic has accelerated changes that were already happening in the retail market with shoppers veering towards digital shopping and away from physical stores. Retailers including M&S and John Lewis & Partners have responded quickly with plans to shutter stores permanently and make redundancies, as the major shift towards online caused by COVID-19 will not be reversed.”
*Data taken from GlobalData’s survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK consumers, aged 16+ conducted in early August