Consumers prefer to shop locally after impact of pandemic – DMA

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More than half of UK consumers now prefer to shop locally following the lockdowns imposed by the global pandemic.

That’s according to a study by the DMA, which asked consumers about their preferences when it comes to buying from brands. 

The research reveals people across the UK are increasingly interested in supporting local businesses when making buying decisions (58%) – especially those aged 65+ (67%).

Consumers shop locally

It is clear that many consumers have continued to shop locally throughout 2021, even once restrictions were lifted. 

Indeed, possibly due to positive experiences during lockdown and a newly formed community spirit, consumers have become more willing to support homegrown businesses.

According to those surveyed, supporting the local economy (36%), convenience (21%), and the desire for environmental sustainability (13%) are what drives this preference.

dma consumers shop locally

The pandemic challenged many people to shop differently, and many, as the DMA found in the Acquisition and the Consumer Mindset 2021 report, have seemingly welcomed this renewed focus on the community.

“Over the past few years, sustainability and accountability have been growing concerns expressed about our industry”, said Tim Bond, Director of Insight at the DMA. 

“Values matter to consumers and our latest findings highlight the increasing significance of community spirit, inclusivity, and environmental awareness as important values for brands to possess. 

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“The pandemic has renewed our focus on supporting the local economy and this is reflected by many consumers continuing to use local businesses.” 

There is also increased consumer interest in aligning purchasing decisions with ethical beliefs. 

As such, it is likely more specialist retailers, who only sell goods adhering to specific ethical guidelines, will continue to emerge.

To find out more about the research, visit: