Brits pledge ongoing support for local businesses as shops reopen and lockdown eases


  • Nearly three quarters of Brits think supporting the local economy is key to overcoming the crisis
  • Lockdown leads to increased confidence in online spending, according to research from PayPal
  • At peak of lockdown over 1,500 dog treats and 9,400 drawing products were bought online by Brits every day

London, 25 June 2020: As restrictions begin to lift across the UK and non-essential retailers re-open in England, new data from PayPal reveals lockdown has given Brits time to rethink their spending priorities. Nearly three quarters (73%) believe supporting the local economy is key to emerging from the crisis.

Consumers realised the importance of small and medium businesses or local shops during lockdown, with over half (57%) saying they chose to shop small to help support both their local and the national economy.

Now lockdown is starting to ease, 85% of British consumers say they will continue to shop online with small and medium retailers at the same or even greater frequency. A further 90% say they plan to do the same with the local stores they have discovered.

Lockdown spending patterns

The data from PayPal also reveals how our purchasing habits shifted during the peak of lockdown, as we had no option but to buy everyday products online.

Half of Brits (50%) discovered they can buy everything they need online with no problem. This was particularly true for the over 65s, nearly two fifths (39%) of whom bought a product or service online for the first time during lockdown.

In the UK over 1,500 dog treats, 9,400 drawing and painting products, 3,200 bathroom accessories and 1,700 cleaning products were bought online by Brits every day.

During the first weeks of lockdown, sales of hair-cutting and colouring products spiked by 377%. With Brits forced to pamper themselves at home, sales of beauty and personal care items also jumped by 90%, with eight nail polishes and nine haircare products bought online every minute.

There was a 144% increase in the purchase of patio, lawn, and outdoor items, with four plants or seed packets bought by green-fingered Brits every minute.

Vincent Belloc, Managing Director at PayPal UK, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown has forced us all to make significant changes in our lives, including how we spend our money and where. The daily number of transactions on PayPal globally accelerated throughout April, and on May 1st we saw a record number of transactions from around the world that surpassed even last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“Whilst times remain uncertain and the future for many businesses is unclear, there is a glimmer of hope in how we as a nation want to come together to support each other and our local communities. 

“At a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever to support small businesses – not only does money spent directly help owners and their families, but it contributes to the benefit small businesses as a whole have on the UK economy. We, at PayPal, are here to support businesses of all sizes, as well as consumers, to be able to pay and get paid easily and with confidence.”

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Notes to Editors 

Statistics are drawn from a nationally representative survey of 2,000 members of the general UK population. Conducted by IPSOS on behalf of PayPal between 8th to 15th May 2020.

Additional data provided by the PayPal Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) who analysed growth in PayPal Transactions between Apr 2020 vs Jan 2020 across SKU categories, daily average transactions of the top products purchased in April 2020 using PayPal and the two Weeks Pre-Lockdown (9th Mar to 22nd Mar) was compared with two weeks Post-Lockdown (23rd Mar to 5th Apr).

About PayPal

PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 300 million consumers and merchants in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy.

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