Local, digital and panic: shopping behaviours of the UK and Polish consumers during the first wave of the pandemic

Authors: Dorota Celinska-Janowicz*, University of Warsaw, EUROREG
Topics: Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Social Geography
Keywords: COVID, shopping, Poland, UK, stocking, e-commerce
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 5
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


COVID-19 pandemic influenced practically all aspects of our lives. Shopping behaviour was not an exception. In most European countries the pandemic and governments’ lockdown reactions have changed these behaviours dramatically. Shopping, previously treated as a multifunctional social and leisure activity, was reduced to its most basic function – the distribution of essential goods. Unusual shopping behaviours were observed, such as panic buying and stockpiling as well as increased demand for specific products categories like toilet paper or yeast. The aim of the paper is to present shopping behaviours during the pandemic among the UK and Polish consumers living in medium-sized towns. The analysis was based on the results of the online survey conducted in April and May 2020. Despite the different approach of national governments towards pandemic and restrictions, the survey revealed that in most cases the impact of COVID on shopping behaviours was similar on consumers in both countries, manifesting in shopping more local and online as well as stockpiling. In most of the cases, observed differences were related to a different level of e-commerce penetration in both countries.

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