rexfeatures_9711361a-1Brookfield Place Shopping Mall in New York. CREDIT: KARLHEINZ IRLMEIER/SHUTTERSTOCK

Retailers are preparing to reopen their stores. But what if consumer behaviors have drastically changed?

A survey by retail predictive analytics platform First Insight found that only half of consumers feel comfortable returning to stores — and malls and department stores, in particular, were deemed the least safe.

Although men consistently reported being more at ease with returning to stores than women, the numbers for non-essential stores never went higher than 49% for either demographic. Department stores were viewed as safe by 37% of respondents, while visiting malls was supported by only 33% of consumers.

“As retail visits expand past essential places like grocery and drug stores, other retailers, and malls in particular, need to be thinking of ways to inspire a sense of safety for consumers, and it will need to go beyond offering gloves and masks at the door,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight.

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