Will Sussex residents be returning to the shops? See the results of our poll

Sussex residents have had their say on whether they will be returning to non-essential shops in our poll.

Monday, 15th June 2020, 5:05 pm
Updated Monday, 15th June 2020, 5:06 pm

Due to the easing of lockdown measures, non-essential retail stores like clothing outlets were allowed to start trading again today (June 15) by the Government.

Despite certain stores having queues of customers, such as Primark and Sports Direct, town centres were still much quieter than before lockdown was announced on March 23.

We launched a reader poll, asking followers of our Facebook pages if they would be returning to our high streets or avoiding them.

Customers queueing in Sussex as non-essential shops reopened

Here are the results.

Chichester Observer: 71% avoid, 29% return

Worthing Herald: 77% avoid, 23% return

West Sussex County Times (Horsham): 73% avoid, 27% return

Eastbourne Herald: 81% avoid, 19% return

Hastings Observer: 76% avoid, 24% return

Among those commenting, two primary reasons readers were not keen on going to the shops were continuing concerns for their health and the convenience of online shopping.

On the Worthing Herald Facebook page, Kath Banner said: "I prefer to shop online. No fuss, no queues, no germs."

Alluding to those that have been furloughed due to the pandemic, Sue West added: "Also a lot are still not working, so no money to spend."

Jo Stack, responding to the Eastbourne Herald poll, said: "I don’t want to go. For me at the moment the risk still feels too great for too small a gain.

"Equally I’m quite happy shopping online. It’s cheaper a lot of the time for a start.

"I’ve realised all the time I wasted in shops is now time to do other things, like enjoy the countryside, get the exercise I always believed I didn’t have time for etc.

"I’m in no hurry to return to my previous way of living."

Retailers have been preparing for the reopening by introducing new ways of socially-distanced shopping, such as hand sanitiser stations and marked pathways which shoppers will have to follow.

They have taken their cue from supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential stores which have remained open throughout the lockdown.

This comes as our papers launched their #SupportLocal campaign, urging you to shop at your favourite local independent stores.

Did you go shopping today? If so, we would like to hear from you about your experience. Email us or message us on Facebook.