Scottish shoppers happy to ‘look local’ post-lockdown


New research has revealed that 17,000 local high street stores could open across the UK in the next 12 months, as shoppers adapt to a post-lockdown world by ‘looking local’.

Data from Barclays Corporate Banking shows that consumers in Scotland have returned to physical stores with confidence since restrictions began to ease: 69% say they have felt safe, or very safe, to return to the high street.

The bank surveyed 306 senior retail managers and 2,005 consumers during May, finding that 39% of the latter are planning on stepping up their in-store shopping over the coming year, while 42% said it is their favourite way to shop.

However, the benefits are most likely to be seen in local high streets rather than in big cities. The research shows that home and hybrid working patterns will persist into 2022 for more than a third (36%) of workers in Scotland, with 14% expecting to work entirely from home and 22% anticipating a part-home, part-office model.

Almost a third of consumers (31%) across Scotland now say that the best way a retailer can appeal to them is to open stores in their local area.

As a result, many retailers are reviewing their location strategies. In fact, the Barclays’ research revealed that 18% of retail businesses in the UK with 10 or more employees are eyeing community store openings, with each of them looking at five new premises on average.



Euan Murray, relationship director and retail specialist for Barclays Corporate Banking in Scotland
Euan Murray, retail specialist for Barclays Corporate Banking in Scotland

Euan Murray, relationship director and retail specialist for Barclays Corporate Banking in Scotland, said: “E-commerce has been the undisputed winner of the pandemic, but not far behind are community high streets, as shoppers seek to ‘look local’ and support the stores on their doorstep.

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“With the continuation of home working, this shows no sign of slowing down, and retailers are now looking at evaluating their store estates to meet local demand.”

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