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Huge surge in business post COVID-19 lock down

20 Apr 20

Credit: HorizonPoll
Huge surge in business post COVID-19 lock down
Millions of New Zealanders will start using business and other services

New research shows what New Zealanders say they will do when released from Alert Level 4 lockdown.

In the first six months, if allowed, there will be huge surges in custom for the retail, postal and courier and travel sectors.

Within these, fast food outlets, hardware stores, garden centres and cafes will see millions of customers return.

Some services open during Alert Level 4 lockdown, will also see a large growth in trade.

The April 7-12, 2020, survey by Horizon Research finds the number using petrol stations will jump from 43% of adults to 82% (up from around 1,553,200 people to an estimated 2,930,100 people).

The number using hardware stores will lift from 4% during the lockdown to 52% (151,000 now, rising to 1,876,600).

For hard hit hospitality businesses, like cafes, there will be a strong resurgence – as soon as their use is allowed.

Cafes rank seventh for intended use out of 47 potential activities measured: 51% of adults will use a café, around 1,837,200 adults.

Between 13% and 25% of adults will shop at electronics, appliance and furnishing stores.

Tourism and travel

The tourism and related businesses will enjoy a re start, with more than a million adults intending to take domestic holidays and road trips.

29%, or around 1,053,000 adults, will go on a domestic holiday.

33%, or around 1,175,700 would go on New Zealand road trips.

19%, or around 697,000 adults, would definitely take domestic flights, 327,200 say they would take international flights – assuming they are available.

8%, or around 276,800, would stay in hotels and 11% (an estimated 388,300 people) in motels.

Courier businesses:

Courier and postal services will enjoy some of the biggest increases in the first six months as lockdown restrictions are eased.

The number of adults sending non-essential, non-commercial, courier items will increase from 7% to 43% (258,900 to 1,528,000 users).

Events and lifestyle:

While there will be a huge return to eating fast foods and going to restaurants and cafes, half a million will go back to the gym, around the same level of use measured in 2016 and by Horizon in 2018.

There will also be a resurgence in the numbers attending sports events, funerals, weddings and events.

The number going to movies will rise to 31% of adults, around 1,110,900 people.

Results by activity type are detailed in tables below.


Detailed projections for 47 activities adults will definitely do in the 6 months after Level 4 restrictions are eased are:

The survey was conducted among members of Horizon’s nationwide specialist HorizonPoll online research panel between April 7 and 12 (mostly between April 7 and 9). There were 1,267 respondents aged 18+. The survey sample is weighted by age, gender, employment status, educational level and personal income to ensure a representative sample of the adult population at the 2018 census. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.8%.

The survey is being used to inform pandemic managers and others, but was not commissioned by any client.

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For further information please contact:

Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research, email,nz, telephone 021 848 576, or Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research, email gmcinan@horizonresearch.conz, telephone 021 076 2040.

Detailed demographic profiling of projected numbers planning to undertake each of the 47 measured activities is available from Horizon.