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Survey finds 90% of people in Woodbridge will shop locally after lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:45 01 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:19 01 June 2020

Kirsteen Torrance, who runs Woodbridge Kitchen Company, said the Suffolk town will thrive after the coronavirus lockdown ends.  PICTURE: Woodbridge Kitchen Company

Kirsteen Torrance, who runs Woodbridge Kitchen Company, said the Suffolk town will thrive after the coronavirus lockdown ends. PICTURE: Woodbridge Kitchen Company

Woodbridge Kitchen Company

Nearly 90% of shoppers in Woodbridge will shun big stores and spend their money locally from June 15, a survey has found.

The Thoroughfare in Woodbridge came second in the Great British High Street Awards last year. Picture: RACHEL EDGEThe Thoroughfare in Woodbridge came second in the Great British High Street Awards last year. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The poll of Woodbridge residents revealed that 86.5% plan to shop closer to home when stores reopen.

Most of the 136 people who took the survey said they were committed to boosting the local economy following the three-month lockdown – 80% cited this as their main motivation.

MORE: Local retailer hopes record sales won’t come to abrupt end as lockdown ends

A further 57% of shoppers said they would visit their local shops because it offered them a more enjoyable experience than shopping online, and 34% said that it would be safer than navigating the crowds in supermarkets.

James Lightfoot, chairman of Choose Woodbridge, which conducted the poll, said: “The results of our research indicate that our wonderful independents are set to get a real boost to their businesses as they reopen thanks to the fierce sense of community spirit that exists in Woodbridge.”

Kirsteen Torrance, who runs Woodbridge Kitchen Company, said: “Lots of shops in and around Woodbridge have had to adapt significantly to survive through this period – including our store which moved online.

“We are confident that Woodbridge won’t just survive this crisis – but will thrive too. And that’s all thanks to the community that it sits within.”

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The research revealed that while 64% increased their online shopping since March, 60% struggled to get food delivered, 49% struggled with availability of certain items they needed and 31% said online retailers had unfairly raised prices.

Find all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Of those businesses which were forced to shut during lockdown, hairdressers were listed as the most missed, followed by garden centres, coffee shops, restaurants, and the pub.

Julie Murray, marketing director at Notcutts garden centre, which opened its doors last week, said: “What’s been interesting for all shops starting to re-emerge from this period is how many new faces we are seeing.

“I think this is because people have been a little more nervous of the big wild world and have started to live their lives more locally.

“This won’t suddenly stop after lockdown so there is still the opportunity for small local stores to retain and grow the customer base that has already turned to them during this crisis.

Shops reopening from June 15 will be adhering to the guidelines set out by the government.

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