Heads up, Winn-Dixie. According to a new survey from Charlotte-based marketing firm Chernoff Newman, NC consumers are more likely to visit businesses that are taking precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Survey responses reveal that North Carolina’s shoppers might not be as upset about having to wear face masks as some media reports make them out to be.
One month into the pandemic, Chernoff Newman did a similar survey of consumer attitudes in North Carolina and South Carolina. Comparing the two polls shows you just how much has changed over five months, and also just how much has remained the same.
NC Consumers Have Learned To Deal
About two-thirds of North Carolinians continue to report that this pandemic is causing them some stress. But they’re not as anxious as they were a few months ago. Back in April, the survey asked respondents to rate their stress levels on a scale of one to five. “One” represented stress levels “close to meltdown” while “five” was “pretty zen.” In July, 3 percent of North Carolinians surveyed said they were at “one,” down from 4.4 percent in April. Similarly, 16.2 percent of respondents rated their stress levels as ” pretty zen” in July, up from 12.4 percent in April.
How NC Consumers Rate Their Own Efforts To Reduce Spread of COVID-19
One section new to Chernoff Newman’s most recent survey? This time around, the market research firm asked respondents to rate their own efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Some highlights:
- 41.6 percent say they “practice social distancing all the time.”
- 47 percent say they “wear a mask at all times” in public places.
(Caveat: This data is self-reported. The woman I saw wearing a lace face mask in Trader Joe’s over the weekend may have thought she was acing the whole ‘rona thing. Ditto for the myriad North Carolinians who appear to belief that the virus doesn’t travel through nasal passages. I give all of these people very pointed “mom looks.” They appear not to notice. It’s probably the mask.)
Businesses That Take Precautions Make Customers Feel More Comfortable Being There
Precautions like face mask wearing won’t stop every single virus particle from spreading. But science is showing us that wearing a mask drastically reduces spread, and are the best hope we have right now of getting back to business.
The surveys show that North Carolinians are feeling better about frequenting businesses that are taking precautions. Some highlights:
44.6 percent of respondents say they’re “much more likely” to visit businesses where all employees wear face masks.
45 percent are “much more likely” to visit places where social distancing is clearly in place, and followed.
41.6 percent are “much more likely” to visit places where hand sanitizer is widely available.
40 percent are “much more likely” to visit businesses that require customers to wear face masks. 29.2 percent are “somewhat more likely.”
38.6 percent of NC consumers are “much more likely” to visit businesses limiting the number of people in a space at the same time.
How Consumers Feel about Businesses’ Responses To Protests.
The survey also polled people on how they’re feeling about the job outlook, vacation plans, recent social justice demonstrations and more. 34.4 percent of consumers surveyed in North Carolina said they were more likely to support companies that “make a statement … [about] ongoing protests around police violence and racial injustices.” 21.6 were less likely to support companies weighing in on recent unrest. 32.4 percent of those surveyed said that a statement from a company either way “has no impact on my support.”
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