Courtney-Reagan-CNBC

Will shoppers return?

...But it’s unclear if retailers with a larger footprint in areas that reopen will see a sales resurgence.

Surveys suggest Americans may be reluctant to head to public places, even as authorities allow doors to open to once again serve the public. Nearly a dozen states have announced plans to roll back some coronavirus restrictions including Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont. The timing of rollbacks and what’s allowed vary widely. 

Coresight found that more than two-thirds in its survey plan to avoid some kind of public place or plan to change travel plans after lockdowns end.

By specific location, shopping centers and malls were the top place consumers plan to avoid, at more 45%. Consumers showed a bit more willingness to come back to shops, with just 28% planning to steer clear in Coresight’s survey.

In a separate survey, shoppers expressed various levels of fearfulness about physical locations, with just 33% telling First Insight they feel safe going to a mall, though over half said they feel safe in a grocery store. However, there was a clear gender divide, with women more fearful than man about all formats. That could be significant because women largely do most of the shopping in the U.S. Less than a quarter of women said they felt comfortable shopping in a mall compared with 41% of men.

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