From May people started preparing for summer. At that point the 14-day quarantine was in place in the UK for all of those returning from foreign travel. The pubs and restaurants were closed and though they have opened up we are also seeing the quarantine back in full force with Croatia and Austria joining the list and Portugal coming off it.
Early doors we saw from Google trends that consumers were rushing to buy picnic baskets, blankets and golf accessories. And whilst this tells us the UK was preparing to spend more time outside, what was more revealing from these ‘outdoor’ purchase behaviours was that consumers were still looking to enjoy themselves, whilst abiding by the post-lockdown rules and this is still the trend. Partly due, I am sure, to holiday uncertainly. Online stores are booming in some areas and the economy needs this boost but give a thought to the environment and maybe try buying more second-hand items?
While the weather remains mainly on the good side of a very British summer, we are still seeing people meeting up in parks and gardens and enjoying socially distanced sports activities. As the weather changes – how will we will keep socially fulfilled? Gyms are open to reduced numbers, but many places remain shut as opening at less than full occupancy is not cost effective.
The pandemic has hit in an age where there is much online content available to us. However, if we go back to the 70s and 80s where we were ‘latch-key kids’ how would we have coped without the world wide web, Amazon, Netflix and many other platforms when we are locked inside?
As we moved into the summer we started to see, alongside the relaxation of the rules, suitcases starting to pop up in the top 10 Google searches. Golf accessories remained a firm favourite and wetsuits, tents and GPS navigation systems climbed into the charts with the portable shower topping the list.
What these trends tell us is, despite the ‘unprecedented’ circumstances, people’s desires are relatively unchanged: we are still looking to have holiday experiences, engage fully with life and not let the situation get us down. And if budget airlines aren’t there to facilitate overseas adventure – we’ll still find a way to have fun.
So, even though many of the events that pepper our calendars were cancelled this year we keep on going and we will enjoy summer – or what’s left of it.