Coronavirus has changed the way we shop forever. In a bid to avoid supermarkets, Brits have turned to online delivery and convenience stores to fill the gap. But will this trend last after lockdown? New research from YouGov suggests it might

Convenience was one of the big winners in terms of grocery sales during lockdown. Sales at independents were up 63.1% in the 12 weeks to 17 May 2020, according to latest Kantar data, with the sector reaching a market share of 2.5% – the biggest since 2009.

With Brits doing more of their shopping locally, the convenience retail sector has enjoyed larger basket sizes and spend since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the HIM & MCA Insight UK Convenience Market Report 2020. Basket value has grown 17% year-on-year to £7.46 and average basket size is 2.5 items – up from 2.3 in 2019.

Which shouldn’t come as a surprise. A YouGov survey of over 1,000 adults on 19 - 24 June 2020, found nearly two fifths of Brits (38%) shopped locally for food and drink during lockdown. That figure rose to 44% of 33-44 year olds, who were the most likely to say they purchased food and drink items from local sources as a result of lockdown.

It tallies with the findings of the recent ACS Covid-19 Impact Survey, which found two thirds of convenience stores saw a sales increase between April and May.

Encouragingly, the research suggests people will keep shopping locally when lockdown is completely lifted. In total, 70% of Brits who shopped for food and locally during lockdown said they would continue doing so to some extent.

While 46% said they would continue to purchase from local sources to same extent when lockdown ends, almost one in four (24%) said they would increase their purchases from local producers.

Only 25% said they would reduce or stop shopping for groceries locally once the lockdown fully ends.

And while 52% of shoppers surveyed said they would aim to do as much shopping as possibly in their favourite supermarket to avoid visiting numerous shopping destinations, almost an equal number (50%) said they would do their main shop in a supermarket - but top up locally.

Another 15% said they would limit the amount they visit large supermarkets when the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

“Our data suggests that those who have switched to shopping locally for food and drink on the high street don’t intend to stop,” YouGov concluded.