Survey finds the physical environment offers the best opportunity to restore consumer control during in-person shopping and dining

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Emily Albright Miller

CHICAGO– The past year has left consumers feeling powerless over their social lives, work lives, and their ability to shop and dine out safely. Weaknesses in physical retail were exposed and as a result brands are leaning into the learnings that will help bring autonomy back to the consumer.

Big Red Rooster, a JLL company, partnered with ENGINE Insights and surveyed over 1,000 representative U.S. adults about how consumer behaviors and expectations have evolved in the wake of COVID-19, shedding insights into how physical spaces can refuel consumer confidence through in-person physical experiences.

“A perceived lack of control caused one-third of consumers to feel some amount of anxiety on their last trip to a store or restaurant. There’s a lot of opportunity for brands to increase confidence and restore that control,” said Emily Albright Miller, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Big Red Rooster. “With 55 percent of consumers reporting they go to physical stores to seek assistance from store employees, brands shouldn’t overlook how the human component of an in-store or dining experience holds significant power in serving as a source of comfort in physical retail commerce. For many, it’s the very reason they chose to shop in-person instead of online.”

Demographics are driving significant increases in the consumer desire for control when shopping and dining in-person, with Boomers ranking the highest in desire. Additionally, men are more likely to visit a store for the human element, with 59 percent selecting this driver compared to 51 percent of women.

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