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Majority of Americans Want to See More Masks Before Resuming Travel and Shopping

Despite States and Economy Reopening, Only 13% of Americans Have Summer Travel Plans, According to New Consumer Survey by L.E.K. Consulting and Civis Analytics

BOSTON (June 30, 2020) – Before returning to pre-COVID-19 travel and shopping activities, the majority of U.S. consumers want to see businesses following stricter hygiene measures, such as employees wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), improved cleaning practices and reductions in the number of people allowed in a space, according to a new survey of 2,667 Americans by L.E.K. Consulting and Civis Analytics.

The findings suggest that businesses – across retail, entertainment and travel – have a significant role to play in helping shape the return of customers. Some of the hygiene measures that consumers say they desire before returning to normal activity include:

  • Employees wearing PPE: Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) said this is very important before they return to normal activity at taxi and ride-hailing services, 69% said the same for nail salons and spas, 67% for gyms, 63% for bars, 61% for movies and live events and 60% for flights.
  • Improved cleaning practices: 74% said this is very important before they return to normal activity at gyms, 72% said the same for vacation rentals, 67% for flights, 67% for bars, 65% for movies and live events and 60% for shopping malls.
  • Reduction in the people in a space: 68% said this is very important before they return to normal activity at gyms, 65% said the same for nail salons and spas, 64% for flights, 63% for bars and 63% for music and live events.

“Based on how Americans are feeling, the onus is really on businesses to make people comfortable to return to their establishments in the post-COVID-19 reality,” said Manny Picciola, Managing Director at L.E.K. Consulting.

When it comes to travel, only 13% of Americans currently have summer travel plans they expect to keep, and just 30% are considering summer travel plans this year. Last year, a Bankrate survey found that 52% of American adults planned to take a vacation in summer 2019.

The top reasons, according to the L.E.K. and Civis survey, for consumers who had intended to make summer travel plans but are not currently booking travel include: concerns about getting sick COVID-19 (50%), an unwillingness to travel without a COVID-19 vaccine developed (45%) and concerns about traveling as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise (44%).

“Notably, finances seem to be less of a concern for nontravelers than COVID-19 health risks. Only 35% of nontravelers listed income security as a reason for not traveling,” says Maria Steingoltz, Managing Director at L.E.K.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Overall, consumer sentiment is improving, with 50% of consumers having a similar or moderately improved view of the U.S. economy as compared to mid-March.
  • In areas where restrictions are lifting, consumers are slow to return to discretionary spending: only 15-20% have visited clothing and apparel stores over the past three to four weeks and just 5-10% have visited a beauty store.
  • Consumers said a significant majority of their store visits remain motivated by the need to pick up a specific item rather than to browse as an activity.

The survey of 2,667 American consumers, fielded on May 28, 2020, is representative of the general U.S. population and designed to shed light on how consumers’ habits, spending and sentiments are being affected by COVID-19. It is the fourth edition of the survey, which was first fielded on March 18, 2020 as the pandemic was beginning.

 

About L.E.K. Consulting
L.E.K. Consulting is a global management consulting firm that uses deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis to help business leaders achieve practical results with real impact. We are uncompromising in our approach to helping clients consistently make better decisions, deliver improved business performance and create greater shareholder returns. The firm advises and supports global companies that are leaders in their industries — including the largest private and public-sector organizations, private equity firms, and emerging entrepreneurial businesses. Founded in 1983, L.E.K. employs more than 1,600 professionals across the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. For more information, go to www.lek.com.

 

About Civis Analytics
Civis Analytics helps leading public and private sector organizations use data to gain a competitive advantage in how they identify, attract, and engage people. With a blend of proprietary data, technology and advisory services, and an interdisciplinary team of data scientists, developers, and survey science experts, Civis helps organizations stop guessing and start using statistical proof to guide decisions. Learn more about Civis at www.civisanalytics.com.