Post-Pandemic Consumer Trends?

Certainly, Covid-19 will mark the next evolution of how we want to live

Perhaps when we look back at this period from a future time, people will use the references ‘pre’ & ‘post’ pandemic; a phrase I’m using already. I’m not trying to be clever, it’s just that I have no idea what ‘normal’ is and so, describing something as a ‘new normal’ just doesn’t make any sense to me.

One thing is for sure: it’s too soon for anyone to be 100% confident in predicting the long term effect on lifestyle of the coronavirus. Other than, it’s made 2020 one of the most notorious years in living memory and it’s only May.

2020 was to have been remembered as the time we were all given the chance to live our own ‘Roaring Twenties’; a time of parties, glamour, prosperity and creativity. Right now it couldn’t feel further away from this …

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Almost everyone is in the position we humans hate the most: we have no idea what’s next, what is going to happen, or when. Everything is uncertain. To help myself, I sat down and wrote down all the thoughts I had about the next period in time; then I edited it down, and edited it once more, before editing it a final time.

The result was a short list of thoughts that you can read below. Maybe you’ll agree with some, in part with one or two; maybe you’ll add your own thoughts (I’d love to read them) or simply disagree with all of mine … that’s OK too!

Here goes …

The world will experience short-term, temporary change and long-term, permanent change. 

Potential short-term change: 

  • Tourism, holidaying abroad & business travel (overnight stays) will remain depressed as the majority of people continue to be fearful of infection, crowded small spaces and cleaning-thoroughness outside their home. (This has potential to last a decade)
  • More people will seek the flexibility to WFH, but not permanently. The majority of office-based workers will want a mix of WFH and from the office. The prevailing belief that this will allow them to continue to enjoy a better-work-life-balance.
  • Some people will choose not to go into hospital for non-emergency procedures.
  • Nationalism will rise, in a consumer & business sense  (another possible permanent change) 

Possible long-term change:  

  • For the first time since the early 90’s there will be an economic downturn the main feature of which will be high unemployment across the developed world.
  • The bulk of consumer spending will be made for home refurbishment, or New Home décor.
  • The Fashion sector will find this period very difficult to recover from … ever. Consumers will decide that purchasing new clothes simply because the ‘new season’ dictates different colours, patterns etc … ‘feels wrong’ on a multitude of levels. This may well be the true beginning of slow-fashion.
  • A significant proportion of the world population will self-impose a derivative of current social-distancing rules.
  • Many more restaurants in the casual-dining sector will close, as consumers discover the joy of and acquire new skills for, home-cooking.
  • Cafes and bars will, for the same reason, find recovery difficult. Also in the recent past ‘general opinion’ has been that there are too many relative to demand, in most towns & cities.
  • Only a small proportion of the population that do not already WFH, want to WFH permanently; but when they are ‘at work’ many will want more space with a home look & feel. 
  • Extra space will be created in existing workplaces due to a reduced need for meeting-rooms. WFH recently has demonstrated that virtual meetings can be more time-efficient and more productive.      

If this raises any questions in your business, we’d be delighted to explore your challenges with you and if we can, help. We are skilled at predicting the future, with a track record of a high degree of success. We’ve also a vast amount of experience in helping our clients secure the future they wanted, but couldn’t see.

Don’t sit back wondering where to get guidance ab out or answers to your concerns about the next couple of years? Don’t think you’re alone in this. We spend all of our working lives thinking about the ‘what if’s, what might be’s and what will most likely be …. precisely so that you can focus on doing what you’re best at.

Let’s put those two things together … call/text/WhatsApp me +44 7896 088 996 or email me

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4 thoughts on “Post-Pandemic Consumer Trends?

  1. Hey Yvonne – another valuable contribution, thank you so much. We very much agree with you, in fact we have created a complete report for the UK Garden industry about future consumer & design trends relating to outdoor spaces … stay safe! This time will (we are also sure like you) also strengthen & broaden the ‘Grow Your Own’ movement.

  2. Read your article with interest and agree with all your points and those from Yasmin. In addition I would add consumers will have a renewed interest in their outdoor spaces, whether that be a balcony or a larger garden. The lockdown has seen us being thankful for any outdoor space we have and there’s a huge interest in creating a green haven as an extension of our homes. It isn’t just the end result we want – we have all started to realise the holistic benefits of gardening and the positive contribution it can make to our health and wellbeing. I think there’s a particular move to growing your own, which in turn feeds into the move to us taking joy in cooking and creating meals at home rather than eating out.

  3. Thanks Yasmin … that’s a great contribution to the discussion. Takeaway from ‘hi-end’ restaurants could be the way in which some of them survive long-term. Retailers of all products for the home, should look forward to fairing better than they might otherwise have expected.

  4. I agree with all of your points and would add three:
    1. People will take more interest in interior design now that they’ve had to spend weeks/months locked down in their own home. They will want to make it more comfortable and more beautiful. I predict an increase in investment in DIY, home decor, property improvements and an appreciation for how space can affect mood.
    2. People will have got used to preparing food at home, and interested in new recipes. I predict we will enjoy more take-away food and expect higher quality than we have had so far, and we will want to make it a special occasion when we eat it. There will be renewed interest in the aesthetics and function of the Dining Room.
    3. People have enjoyed board games, reading books, doing quizzes and puzzles etc. Some families have had quality time together. I predict we will continue with these pastimes and will make a permanent change to our surroundings to keep it going, keep it tidy and accessible. Designers will make a modern version of the games table – no green baize but something colourful I hope. And some neat storage solutions for the lounge or… games room!
    Let’s hope we have recognised and will keep the good things, and that we can work our way through and out the other end of the not so good.

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