Safety, Health Protocols Are Top Must-Haves for Shoppers

Consumers expect retailers to have highly visible, robust sanitation measures in place.

July 24, 2020

NEW YORK—Retailers who don’t have stringent health and safety measures in place will find themselves scrambling to keep customers, according to new data from Ipsos Consumer Health & Safety Index, Chain Store Age reports.

Health and safety procedures top the list for store must haves, according to customers considering returning to stores, with 29% of consumers surveyed refusing to shop at a retailer at all if they knew the store wasn’t taking health and safety precautions. “Consistent and visible execution of health and safety protocols drives consumers to return to stores,” said Nick Mercurio, executive vice president and service line head of U.S. channel performance at Ipsos.

Consumers trust retailers who make their efforts to keep stores and employees safe and healthy visible through signage and reminders, such as workers cleaning during shopping hours. Ipsos also found that supermarkets remain the most trusted industry, with a quarter of all shoppers saying they trust grocery stores the most, with 32% of consumers putting grocery as “best at implementing health and safety protocols.”

Drugstores came in second in terms of trust, while consumers ranked wireless stores and quick-service restaurants at the bottom in terms of trust and implementation. In addition, 82% of consumers expressed concern that relaxing health and safety protocols at stores would lead to a surge in coronavirus cases.  

Health and safety procedures stayed at the top as the most important reason for going back to a store, jumping from 42% in May to 48% in early July. Overall, 94% of consumers agreed that “stores that are doing a good job in health and safety compliance will earn my business.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.

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