Survey: Physical Stores Offer Chance to Restore Consumer Desire for Control

The effects of the pandemic have left many consumers feeling powerless over their social lives, work lives, and their ability to shop and dine out safely. However, physical spaces can refuel consumer confidence through in-person physical experiences, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Big Red Rooster, a JLL company, and ENGINE Insights.

“A perceived lack of control caused one-third of consumers to feel some amount of anxiety on their last trip to a store or restaurant,” said Emily Albright Miller, SVP, Strategy at Big Red Rooster in a statement. “There’s a lot of opportunity for brands to increase confidence and restore that control. With 55% of consumers reporting they go to physical stores to seek assistance from store employees, brands shouldn’t overlook how the human component of an in-store or dining experience holds significant power in serving as a source of comfort in physical retail commerce. For many, it’s the very reason they chose to shop in-person instead of online.”

Baby boomers rank highest in their desire for control when shopping and dining in person. Additionally, men are more likely to visit a store for the human element, with 59% selecting this driver compared to 51% of women.

While 76% of consumers said they go to physical stores or restaurants because they know exactly what to expect from the experience, only two-thirds of consumers reported feeling fully confident in the safety and service standards of their last trip. Gen Z, known for being particularly security-driven, is the least likely to have felt fully confident.


Another 72% of consumers said they go to physical stores or restaurants because they want the enjoyment of picking out products in person, and 74% reported that they go because they receive products immediately, without the wait.

“Consumers cherish the enjoyment that comes with seeing and feeling products in person before making a purchase,” said Miller. “In-person shopping offers immediate gratification that can’t be replicated online. The ability to offer consumers the opportunity to shop whenever, wherever, or however they want provides an unmatched feeling of freedom and flexibility. Those are the feelings that create brand loyalists.”

To view the full survey and results, visit

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