Shoppers face shortages as panic buying escalates
Almost three quarters (72%) of UK shoppers are facing shortages of retail products as the coronavirus crisis continues to take its toll.
While 25% of consumers admit to stockpiling goods, 15% say they cannot afford to stockpile despite fears over food shortages.
Some (63%) of consumers believe the coronavirus is a high threat to UK health, up from just 36% two weeks ago.
In the context of social distancing, two-fifths of consumers say they are avoiding public transport, restaurants and entertainment destinations, while 25% are shunning shopping locations. Shoppers say they are pausing clothing, leisure and travel-related expenditure.
Some 64% of UK consumers say they intend to buy more products online in the future to avoid physical contact, while going forward 63% plan to avoid public transport and 49% expect they will be avoiding shopping locations in the months to come.
Source: Retail Economics
Global ad spend tempered by worsening Covid-19 outbreak
Total media ad spend worldwide is expected to reach $691.7bn (£593.6bn) in 2020, up from 7% in 2019. However, these figures are down from the 7.4% rise previously forecast, which predicted global ad spend would reach $712bn (£611bn).
This year total media ad spending in China is expected to reach $113.7bn (£97.6bn), down from the previous estimate of $121.13bn (£104bn) due to the impact the spread of coronavirus is having on business.
China’s 2020 ad spend growth rate has been downgraded to 8.4% from 10.5%, due to a reduction in spend across all media formats, including digital.
Outdoor ad spend could also feel a negative impact worldwide if social distancing and self-isolation measures persist globally.
UK consumers fear virus will financially impact their family
Half of UK consumers believe the coronavirus outbreak will have a financial impact on their family, while 23% say they are taking the personal threat posed by the virus seriously.
Some 18% of Brits are stocking up on food, while 6% admit to stockpiling bottled water as the crisis continues. If shortages are experienced in their local store, 89% of UK consumers say this will be caused by stockpiling, compared to just 11% who would blame these shortages on supply chain issues.
Source: Ipsos Mori
Online sales flat as slow start to the year continues
Winter storms, flooding and now the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused online sales to drop by 0.4% year on year in February.
A continuation of January’s weak performance (down 0.4%), online sales fell well below the three month (4%), six month (7.5%) and 12-month rolling averages (5.3%.)
Multi-channel retailers saw sales growth plummet by 8.2%, compared to their online only counterparts, which registered growth of 12.5%. Gardening sales were affected worse by the wet weather, down 22% from February 2019, while footwear sales fell by 7.6%.
Source: IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index
Young people turn to TV
The number of 16-34 year olds watching ITV news and daytime programmes rose by 26% on 2019 (16-18 March) as young people turned to TV for information and entertainment during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Viewership of the ITV lunchtime news among 16-34 year olds rose by 160% versus the year-to-date average, while viewership of the News at Ten programme rose by 33% among this younger demographic.
Looking at the total audience, ITV’s lunchtime news programme recorded its biggest audience since New Year’s Day 2014 – doubling its ratings year on year – while more than 4 million tuned into the ITV evening regional news.
ITV Daytime reached a six year high, notching up its biggest audience since Christmas Day 2013, including flagship show This Morning, which grew its audience by 93%.