Has the local movement become a way of life for Americans?
Consumers’ recently renewed refocus on their local communities amid the pandemic will become a long-term trend bringing about the “Decade of the Home,” according to an Accenture study.
Among the findings based on two surveys taken in early-and mid-June of 8,000 consumers across 20 countries:
- Fifty-six percent said that the pandemic has caused them to shop neighborhood stores, with 79 percent planning to continue to do so long-term;
- Fifty-six percent said they’re buying more locally sourced products, with 84 percent planning to continue to do so long-term;
- Respondents showed a net 25 percent increase in intention of purchase local brands – and 20 percent for national brands – versus an eight percent net decline in intention to purchase global brands.
The localization push is believed to be supported by continuing discomfort with public spaces and travel, as well as growing household income fears, that will combine to continue to keep people mostly at home.
The survey found 69 percent of respondents expect to do most of their socializing over the next six months either in their home, a friend’s home or virtually. Fifty-three percent who never worked from home previously now plan to work from home more often in the future.
“Home is now the new frontier — it’s become the workplace, the schoolroom, the place to try new hobbies, the place to socialize and a safe sanctuary — so companies must account for this reality,” said Oliver Wright, managing director and head of Accenture’s global Consumer Goods practice, in a statement.
Accenture said brands can find ways to connect consumers with local businesses. In Denmark, for example, Carlsberg’s “Adopt a Keg” campaign lets consumers scan store-bought bottles or cans of Carlsberg that later can be redeemed for draft beers in bars or restaurants once they reopen.
National retailers also have ways to tap local appeal by working with local suppliers or artists, supporting local organizations and serving as community hubs.
Accenture’s report, however, noted that some small, independent stores are seen by consumers as “local treasures” and supported as “much-loved places that they fear won’t survive.”
- COVID-19 Likely to Usher in “Decade of the Home,” According to Accenture Survey Research – Accenture/Business Wire
- COVID-19: New habits are here to stay for retail consumers – Accenture
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the “Decade of the Home” ahead of us as Accenture predicts? What will it take for independent retailers to compete against regional and national chains over the next 10 months as well as the next 10 years?