When lockdown first started, nobody knew what to expect and nobody could predict what the long term impacts of this period of isolation, social distancing and quarantining would be. One thing that quickly became apparent for a lot of people was that day-to-day life was about to undergo a massive change.

Lockdown trends soon started to appear everywhere, from banana bread how to’s and DIY haircuts, to daily workout videos and Zoom quizzes with old friends. Here at OnBuy, we were curious to find out which of these lifestyle changes that originated in lockdown were here to stay, and more importantly, how these changes are going to affect Britain in the long run.

To find the answers to these questions, we commissioned a survey of 2,572 members of the public, asking them what lifestyle changes they were planning to stick to as lockdown eases and what the reasons behind these decisions were.

We discovered that gyms are set to be one of the hardest hit industries in the UK, with only 63% of gym goers continuing with their membership, meaning that gyms could lose as much as 37% revenue.

The restaurant industry could also suffer, with 35% of respondents planning to significantly reduce or stop eating out at restaurants altogether, while a further third indicated that they plan to stop or seriously cut down on visits to high street retail stores. The research comes after recent news that gym and sports retailer DW Sports will be going into administration, and much-loved high street restaurant chain Pizza Express is considering closing 67 UK restaurants, amongst other household brands announcing cuts and closures.


Unsplash/Risen Wang

The ten industries that will be hit hardest by the changing lifestyle habits of Brits

1. Gyms

- 37% loss in revenue

37% of gym goers said they would not renew or have already cancelled their gym membership. The main reason for this being that they feel gyms are unsafe (47% believe so), followed by 21% of people who now prefer exercising at home or outdoors. Sixteen percent also stated that they can no longer afford a membership.

2. Restaurants

- 35% loss in revenue

35% of respondents stated that they planned to significantly reduce or stop eating out altogether at restaurants. Safety was again one of the most popular issues (31% feel unsafe eating out), but the top response was that they had improved their own cooking during lockdown (36%).

3. High street retail

- 33% loss in revenue

33% of people plan to stop or significantly reduce visits to high street stores. As well as safety concerns (25%), the most popular reason was that they preferred shopping online (59%).

4. Beauty Parlours

- 31% loss in revenue

31% plan to use beauty salons significantly less, aside from safety (21%), a quarter of people have invested in their own home treatments, while a third (31%) don’t wish to spend money on beauty related services anymore.

5. Aviation

- 31% loss in revenue

31% of respondents do not intend to travel abroad for at least another year. Again, safety was a popular reason (38%), along with a new interest in holidaying within the UK (25%) and less disposable income to spend on foreign holidays (24%).


Unsplash/Edi Libedinsky

6. Nightlife

- 28% loss in revenue

28% of people have said that even when clubs reopen and pubs can operate at full capacity, they have no desire to return to them. The most popular reason for this was that lockdown has made them realise how much money they have saved by not going out (53%), followed by a newfound love of staying in (25%).

7. Coffee shops

- 25% loss in revenue

25% say they plan to completely cut out trips to coffee shops, as a third of these respondents stated that they invested in new coffee machines for their home while in lockdown (31%), while the most popular answer was to save money (48%).

8. Hairdressers

- 24% loss in revenue

24% are planning to significantly reduce or completely stop trips to hairdressers, with the realisation that they didn’t need to visit the salon frequently being the main reason (45%), followed by plans to continue getting their hair cut by a friend or family member after buying their own equipment (29%).

9. Hotels

- 21% loss in revenue

21% of respondents said they planned to avoid hotels for at least the next year. Safety was a major concern (34%), followed by a desire to holiday in more remote accommodation away from large groups of people (31%).

10. Cinemas

- 20% loss in revenue

20% of people do not plan on visiting cinemas until at least next year. Again, safety concerns were a popular response (29%), but a lack of exciting films in the current release schedule for 2020 was the most popular answer (36%).

Empty highstreet

Unsplash/Linda Gerbec

Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said,

“I think that for a lot of people, lockdown became a time for a bit of personal reflection and a re-evaluation of their spending habits. While this will be great for tightening up the purse strings and saving a few pounds, there will inevitably be knock on effects across the economy.

“While these lifestyle changes won’t have been the sole cause, we’ve already seen how hard some of the big national chains have been hit this year and the sad news is that it looks like more will follow. With lockdown restrictions easing, things will be sure to pick up soon and certainty can return to the British economy.”