Family wearing face mask in shopping mall in Asia. Mother and children wear facemask during coronavirus and flu outbreak in China. Virus and illness protection. Kids in masks in public crowded place.

Consumers are still wary of returning to public places, even in the midst of summer — which isn’t great news for retailers or food service locations, according to Coresight Research.

In its latest weekly U.S. consumer survey,  which provides updates on consumer behavior and sentiment during the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the firm found that the proportion of consumers avoiding any kind of public place rose to 87 percent, up from 85 percent last week, which shows a near-consistent upward trend since the first week of July, authors of the report said.

“Along with consumers’ increased wariness, the high avoidance rate could reflect reversals in reopening due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases in a growing number of states,” they noted, with workplaces seeing the highest week-over-week jump in avoidance rate this week, and foodservice locations the second most avoided public place, with more than six in 10 respondents currently doing so, the report said.

Coresight Research_July 22

Image courtesy of Coresight Research. 

The proportion of respondents avoiding shopping centers/malls went up slightly this week, after a seven-percentage-point spike last week, with two-thirds of consumers avoiding these locations, all according to the report.

And it comes as no surprise that online apparel spending jumped once again, with 31 percent of consumers buying online — the proportion increased around 22 percentage points since the question was first asked the week of April 1.

“From our questions asking consumers what they have done in the past two weeks, online apparel shopping remains the top spending-related activity, even though the proportion of respondents who had done this has plateaued at around one-third,” authors of the report explained.

Lastly, fewer consumers expect to retain changed behaviors over the long term, which dropped to 55 percent this week. “The near-consistent downward trend we have seen since the week of June 10 suggests that this trend is past its peak and consumers are slightly more willing to return to their regular activities than previously. We have seen fluctuations over the past couple of weeks in the proportion of respondents who expect to shop less overall,” the report said.

For more Business news from WWD, see:

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