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Over half of Americans think physical stores should close this Black Friday

With concerns over the coronavirus pandemic looming, new research reveals just how concerned Americans are about shopping in stores.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Brands across the USA are preparing to have a 'digital-first' holiday season, as shoppers shun the in-store experience

New research from Paris, France-based digital experience analytics provider, Contentsquare, has revealed that more than half (52%) of US shoppers believe physical stores should close this Black Friday, citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

It used data from over 4,000 consumers around the world for its Holiday readiness report and has been monitoring consumer shopping behaviors during the pandemic.

Analysis of the data showed that American shoppers are by far the most concerned about COVID-19, with American men aged 35-44 being the most likely to avoid stores due to fears of the coronavirus.

US consumers have made it clear that they will not be hitting the shops this Black Friday. Almost half of American respondents (45%) say that they will avoid visiting physical stores because of concerns about COVID-19.

This is in contrast to shoppers across the rest of the world. Just over one in three (39%) of British shoppers, 36% of French shoppers, and only 26% of German shoppers say that they would avoid physical stores.

This is in spite of the fact that many of those in Europe are currently experiencing a lockdown of all but essential shops.

Last year, 54% of Americans had conducted the majority of their Christmas shopping in physical shops so this is a significant shift away from shopping in stores. However consumer sentiment seems to be changing rapidly.

Almost nine in ten (88%) of American consumers had no plans to shop in store in August 2020, however this has now dropped to 45% who have no plans to shop in store. This shows a slow but sure boost in consumer confidence.

This reluctance to shop in-store could pose a major blow for the US retail industry, but it's not all bad news for brands.

Jonathan Cherki, founder and CEO of Contentsquare said, "Shoppers choosing to stay home this Black Friday doesn't have to be bad news for America's retailers.

All our data suggests that consumers are still spending and — in some cases — are planning to spend more than ever this holiday season. All that's changed is that the vast majority of this shopping has now moved online".

One in five consumers intend to spend the same, or even more, on Christmas shopping this year — with the majority set to be spent with online retailers.

With 35% of consumers saying that they plan to switch to online shopping in 2020, retailers that already have a strong online presence are tipped to succeed this holiday season.

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