“The initial national lockdown in March 2020 caused a seismic shock to societal norms, uprooting everyday lives in the way people work, socialise, communicate and shop. Our research shows that during this initial lockdown, most consumers anticipated a six-month period of disruption (until around November 2020) before a return to normal. In hindsight, this was a gross underestimate. But as the impact of the pandemic endures, consumers have become more accustomed to living under varying degrees of restrictions and have adapted behaviours accordingly.
“We found a correlation between how long people thought the virus would continue and the amount they have cut back discretionary spending. Almost two in five consumers (38%) think that their lives will return to normal by June 2021, rising to 55% by September 2021 and 65% by December 2021. However, this leaves 35% who believe it will take more than a year for their lives to return to normal, with 16% of those believing things will never return to normal.