How do we go shopping?

Covid is changing how we work, shop, and generally get around.

Public Transport usage has taken a big hit, and road traffic has become more congested. Business is looking at staggered hours and High Street traders are re-looking at car park spaces as outdoor areas, but have we really changed how we shop?

A recent survey in Berlin – reported in a Bicycle Network post – echoes previous studies that highlight the mismatch between what retailers and business think happens and how we actually shop and use retail spaces.

Victoria Walks found that people walk to the shops more than twice as often as shopkeepers believe.

About 30 to 40 per cent of shoppers on main streets in inner and middle suburbs such as Brunswick, Camberwell, Fairfield and Northcote walk – about equal to the proportion of drivers.

The misunderstanding seems to come from the fact that the Retailers and Business Owners tend to drive to work ( 60% ) and assume their customers do the same. They also under-estimated the number of customers that lived within 1 kilometre ( 51% not the 13% they guessed – and some venues far more than that )

The other surprise was that foot, bike, and public transport travel accounted for around 90% of the total sales turnover in these High Street shopping areas. Car drivers spent more per trip but made far fewer trips.

These studies don’t factor in all the change Covid is bringing – but it looks very likely that walking and biking will play increasing roles in how we shop and enjoy our venues.