It’s been two weeks since Malta’s non-essential shops reopened but only 31% of the population have visited them since then, a survey has found.
A study conducted by Lovin Malta and Onest Data among a representative sample of 500 people found a high degree of caution amongst the Maltese population, with 60% stating they plan to wait more than a month before visiting a retail outlet.
Out of the people who have stayed away from these stores, 48% said it is too early to visit them because the COVID-19 virus is still out there, 31% said they are shopping online instead, 28% said they believe masks don’t provide enough protection and 16% said they stayed away because they thought many people would have flocked to the stores.
Meanwhile, 8% said they felt there was no need for them to visit these stores at the moment or they would have gone without a problem.
From those who have hit up the shops, clothes, handbags and shoe stores have been the most commonly visited since reopening.
47% of these respondents said they have visited such stores, compared with 30% who visited a home decor store, 21% who visited a toy and hobby shop, 18% who visited a florist, 12% who visited a perfumery and cosmetics store, 10% who visited a furniture outlet, 9% who visited a discount store, 7% who visited a lotto booth, 6% who visited a jeweller and 4% who visited a VRT testing station.
What about businesses?
With so few people actually visiting the stores, it comes as no surprise that only 32% of businesses who participated in the survey said the relaxation of measures has had a positive impact on their business.
Meanwhile, 35% of businesses responded that the measures had a neutral effect, while 33% said they actually had a negative effect, reflecting concerns raised by some business owners to Times of Malta today that they are spending more on utility bills, including ACs, than they are earning through sales.
Despite almost a third of people stating they are opting for online shopping, 64% of business owners said they believe online sales cannot make up for lost physical business and 54% said they don’t even sell online.
For those who do sell online, Facebook Shop is the most used payment platform, utilised by 33% of businesses, followed by custom solutions (used by 21%) and Shopify (used by 18%).
The survey was carried out amongst a representative sample of the Maltese population (556 replies, confidence level of 95% and margin of error of 4%) by data specialists, bringing the latest insights regarding the lifting of non-essential shopping regulations
What do you make of these results?
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