Target's soaring online growth suggests scared shoppers may not return when malls and department stores reopen

April 24 2020 by Tanya Garcia for MarketWatch


Malls and other retailers are slowly beginning to reopen, but that doesn’t mean consumers are lining up to shop.

In fact, if Target Corp.’s TGT, +3.81% skyrocketing digital growth is any indication, shoppers will stay put and make their purchases from home.

States like Georgia and Alabama are starting to loosen stay-at-home restrictions in an effort to reopen the economy for business, giving residents the option to spend money at places outside of the home besides the grocery store.

However, retail predictive analytics company, First Insight's data shows that shoppers are in no rush to head back to the local mall. A new survey shows that only 33% of consumers feel safe shopping in a mall, compared with 54% who feel safe shopping in a grocery store, half who feel safe at a drugstore chain, and 45% who feel safe at a big-box retailer, like Walmart Inc. WMT, +0.70% or Target.

“As retail visits expand past essential retail like grocery and drugstores, 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, chief executive of First Insight, in a statement.

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marketwatch  Coronavirus  COVID-19  Consumer Survey  Safety  face masks  drug stores  shopping mall  gloves

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