COVID-19 Has Impacted Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Sustainability


WWD | September 2, 2020


Sustainability has gained more traction among shoppers, according to Coresight Research — and the much-needed change in consumers’ sentiments took place during the coronavirus pandemic.


In the firm’s weekly U.S. consumer survey, some 29 percent of respondents said the pandemic has prioritized sustainability for shoppers, citing reasons such as shifting priorities and lockdown, “indicating the potential for rapid change.” Comparatively, some 16 percent said the crisis made sustainability less of a factor.


“Among those who said the crisis has made sustainability more of a factor, the number-one reason cited was that consumers have reflected on what is most important amid the pandemic” authors of the report said. Among those who said the crisis has made sustainability less of a factor, it’s due to other things that have taken priority, such as avoiding the virus and saving money, they added.


Avoiding the virus, as an increasing concern, has made shopping in public, still declining in popularity. Eighty percent of respondents said they continue to avoid shopping in any public area.


“The proportion of respondents that are currently avoiding shopping centers/malls slid slightly again this week, to 58 percent this week, compared to six in 10 last week. Although shopping malls remained the most-avoided places among consumers, we have seen a gradual declining trend in the avoidance rate, which has dropped by roughly eight percentage points from the peak of two-thirds on July 22.


As far as avoiding food service locations, the proportion of respondents fell back by almost six percentage points to the lowest level seen since June. And as for entertainment and leisure venues, this week was the highest decline in avoidance rate, of almost seven percentage points.


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