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Under 35s more willing to embrace loosening of lockdown

Lauretta Roberts
04 May 2020

Consumers in the under-35 age group feel more optimistic and will be more willing to embrace the lockdown loosening when it happens, research shows, suggesting retailers catering for this sector will see sales bounce back more quickly.

The majority of UK consumers remain concerned about lifting lockdown restrictions as the nation heads towards 30,000 fatalities from COVID-19 but the younger age group, given the low level of fatalities in this age group, are more ready to kickstart the economy.

GlobalData Lead Retail Analyst Sofie Willmott, commented: “42% of under 35s are extremely concerned about coronavirus in comparison to 53.7% of over 35s. Those over 35 will feel more cautious about returning to non-essential retail stores once they are able to re-open and retailers will need to clearly communicate the safety measures they have in place to ease their worries.”


Retailers whose customers are primarily over 35 should therefore prepare for online sales to remain inflated and should gear up warehouses to be able to cope with the ongoing demand while trying to improve delivery times that have been slowed down by social distancing measures being introduced, it has been suggested.

Willmott continued: “Younger consumers are ready for their lives to return to normal with 44.9% expecting this to happen by the end of June, if not sooner. Under 35s are likely to be those first back into non-essential shops as the risk of serious of consequences of COVID-19 is lower for them. Retailers such as JD Sports and Primark will see the benefit as young consumers are eager to leave the house after weeks of restrictions.

"15.7% of over 35s do not expect things to return to normal until the end of year (versus 10.2% of under 35s) so will be prepared to stay home for a longer period and it will be harder for retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis & Partners to coax their customers back into branches. Following the initial instructions from the government to stay at home for 12 weeks, many older consumers are not convinced this is long enough with almost one fifth expecting to wait till the end of the year until their lives return to normal.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the UK's plans to ease lockdown on Sunday. His next review had been due to take place on Thursday but the Government is taking the time to review more scientific data before announcing any plans. Leaked news suggests that some primary school children may be allowed back to school from 1 June.

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