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Consumers planning to spend on local businesses after lockdown

6 May 2020 Data Insights

Small businesses may see the light once the COVID-19 lockdown has lifted. Already, consumers are making plans for where their money will go once they’re allowed out to restaurants, pubs, and shops, and when they can ask their hairdresser to tidy up their locks once more.

Almost half of people have saved money since lockdown, according to a survey we commissioned in April that questioned 2,023 people. What’s more, 20% are planning to splash the cash once they’re allowed out again. But there might be some changes to who consumers spend their money with. Take a look at the results and see what people’s plans are after lockdown.

What people will be spending on first

After weeks and weeks of not being able to attend those salon appointments, people may well be flocking in to get their hair trimmed, re-dyed, and generally neatened up. In fact, 40% said they’re most looking forward to getting a haircut once lockdown is done.

With more freedom with how to spend their leisure time, people are looking to make the most of it. That’s why 31% are most looking forward to booking a holiday and going abroad, 27% are raring to go to the pub, and 26% want to go to an outdoor restaurant. In fact, when asked about eating out, 22% said they’re missing their local restaurant most and are looking forward to going there after lockdown.

For 20%, being able to try on clothes in person beats online shopping, so they’re most excited to go clothes shopping. And 19% are excited to get the real cinema experience again, rather than simply streaming films at home.

Changing consumer values

But the situation is causing people to rethink who they spend their money with. More than half (58%) said lockdown has made them more conscious of how challenging it is to run an independent business, which is why 53% agreed they’ll continue supporting local restaurants and cafes after lockdown by spending more money there.

For the businesses that stayed open, 62% agreed that they’d stay loyal to the local businesses that worked to help them through lockdown. What’s more, almost half (44%) said that lockdown has made them change their shopping habits and they now plan to shop locally.

Yet, the economic uncertainty has knocked consumer confidence, with 46% saying they won’t be spending as much after lockdown as they did before for this reason.

How lockdown changed consumer views

There are reasons why consumers are looking more towards local businesses after lockdown. The kinds of practices they’ve seen, from the behaviour of big business to the dedication of key workers, is what’s driving changes in consumer values.

When it comes to shopping for essentials, 37% said their local shops provided better produce than big supermarket chains and they’ll be using them after lockdown. What’s more, 45% said they were appalled with how some large businesses behaved during lockdown, which is making them review how they shop.

For key workers who were still working at small local businesses during lockdown, 52% of respondents said they’d be happy to spend a bit more if it meant that those workers could get a pay rise.

Where lockdown savings will be spent 

Staying home all the time has helped some people save money, and they’ve got ideas about where those savings will go after lockdown.

Almost a quarter (23%) said they’ll be spending their money on a holiday after lockdown. This could be promising news for UK holiday companies, as 11% of all respondents are looking to book a staycation. That aside, 11% said they’ll use their savings on a meal out, 6% want a night out, and 8% want to buy new clothes.

These unusual times have shaken up the economy greatly but knowing consumers’ spending ideas could help you plan your business’s next steps when the market starts up again. With more attention on the hard work and excellent service local businesses put in, they could have a more positive future after this difficult period. And when it comes to taking card payments, let Paymentsense provide the right merchant services for the job.


Censuswide conducted the research, surveying 2,023 general respondents between 24th April 2020 and 27th April 2020.

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