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HUB-Supply Chain Supply Chain Industry Updates

Many Consumers Continue to be Wary of Public Places

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Retail supply chains are likely to continue to face challenges on the demand side through the remainder of the year as consumers grapple with their sense of safety in public places.

In a recent survey of more than 7,000 U.S. consumers, the IBM Institute for Business Value found 35% don’t plan to visit shopping centers or malls through the rest of 2020. Larger percentages said they also plan to avoid amusement parks or sporting events, demonstrating how the pandemic has drastically changed consumer behaviors.

“The results from our ongoing survey underscore that consumer attitudes continue to shift as the effects of the virus fluctuate around the country, and consumers are preparing themselves for more permanent changes in behavior,” said Jesus Mantas, senior managing partner for IBM Services. “These new behaviors define the new preferences that business leaders need to be able to deliver to meet consumers where they are. This is no longer a question of competitive advantage — it’s a matter of business survival.”

Other findings from IBM’s survey:

  • 68% of consumers expect a second wave of COVID-19 later in 2020.
  • Only 13% expect the economy to return to where it was pre-pandemic.
  • 84% said they would prefer to continue to work remotely at least occasionally.
  • 27% reported they have visited bars or restaurants during the pandemic.
  • 53% plan to use public transportation less frequently or not at all.
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