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Shoppers Might Not Rush to Stores Even After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Even as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out to millions of Americans across the country, many people could remain unlikely to shop at brick and mortar for their footwear and apparel purchases.

A new survey from First Insight indicated that most consumers will not rush back to stores after getting vaccinated. The market research firm, which polled more than 1,000 people, found that 44% of shoppers would visit shoe stores about the same amount or less post-inoculation. About 43% would stop by accessories and jewelry boutiques less or about the same amount following vaccination, while 41% would drop in at luxury shops and 40% would seek out apparel stores less or about the same amount following inoculation.

A lack of public understanding of the problems that occur following vaccination has led to a heated debate over the benefits of immunization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being distributed in the United States have gone through rigorous studies to ensure they are as safe as possible. However, First Insight noted that 31% of respondents would not get or are not sure if they want to receive the shot.

The skepticism also comes as certain parts of the country are contending with a surge in COVID-19 cases, which First Insight said is deterring 60% of Americans from shopping in stores. What’s more, there have been growing concerns that a national lockdown could be enforced, which would lead 61% of consumers to significantly or somewhat cut back spending, the firm reported.

Over the past 10 months, as the health crisis took hold in the U.S., many retailers — especially those located in malls — suffered from a drop in footfall and revenues as shoppers turned to online platforms and pulled back discretionary spending. Some experts have suggested that the shift in purchase behaviors will continue well into the year, further accelerating omnichannel and digital gains.

Notably, First Insight shared that 51% of men and 73% of women still don’t feel safe trying on products in a dressing room, while 52% of men and 67% of women remain cautious about trying on shoes in stores. Additionally, 51% of men and 68% of women don’t feel comfortable working with a sales associate.

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