Half of all Brits are unlikely to step foot in a shopping centre for at least three months according to new research.
Shoppers who took part in the survey revealed that 66% are put off from overcrowding, while 55% said that long queues is there main worry.
Over half (54%) expressed their concerns of people maintaining social distancing since shops have begun reopening over the past month.
Outdoor malls could become the future of shopping as almost half of Brits would prefer to shop in the fresh air, rather than in vast indoor centres like Bluewater in Kent, Lakeside in Essex, and Meadowhall in Sheffield.
The poll of 2,000 adults for outdoor shopping centre The Valley, in Evesham, Worcester, found that fresh air (61%), more space to keep to social distancing guidelines (50%), and wider walkways between shops (41%) are just some of the things that appeal to shoppers as we come out of lockdown.
In the first two weeks since most of their shops re-opened, The Valley has recorded 80% of footfall and 90% of total shopper spend compared with the same two weeks of last year.
Phil Maclean, retail director for The Valley says: “It’s a positive story of recovery. We’ve had an impressive first two weeks, with people clearly choosing to shop in outdoor centres where they can get back to some normality whilst feeling safe.
“Spend is high right across the board, from garden to cookware, fashion to bedding and jewellery to craft – it seems that the desire for physical shopping is still popular still popular for many.
“With plenty of space between shops, large outdoor spaces to take a break, free and easy parking plus good crowd management to avoid large queues and overcrowding. It’s easy to see why people prefer this environment to crowded city centre malls.”
While half of Brits might be cautious about returning to indoor shopping areas, 35% of garden centres and 29% of DIY shops have seen the most customers.
In terms of the future of shopping centres, 61% of Brits say they are worried, while three quarters of them saying they are more concerned now pre-lockdown.