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Post Pandemic Plausible Directions – Back in the High Street

By Marty Resnick | July 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

plausible directionsContinuous ForesightTrendspotting

We recently published a report that was a cross Research and Advisory initiative at Gartner. Analysts from many different industries, coverage areas, and teams participated in this list, that to be fair was published in early May. So it does not take into account some recent events and disruptions.

I wanted to spend the next several days sharing each one and would appreciate any feedback. The entire report  is  available Top 10 Plausible Directions Resulting from COVID-19

A webinar on this topic could also be found here.

Keep in mind, COVID-19 will have short- and long-term implications for all organizations. There are many opposing trends and parallel scenarios. These posts will explore each one.

The next plausible direction is Back in the High Street.



Back to the high street refers to how businesses, customer and citizens will crave and prioritize face-to-face, in person, real-world interactions post-COVID-19 as lockdowns end in many countries worldwide.


  • Increase in in-person purchase/consumption of products & services
  • Impact of subsequent recession on household income and business revenue

Short-Term Impacts

  • Boom in retail, entertainment and travel as customers seek to escape their homes
  • Customer will choose face-to-face interactions over digital ones, leading to a temporary reversal of the “death of the high street” trend
  • Products and services consumption will increase face-to-face, while digital product and service consumption will drop

Long-Term Impacts

  • More employees will choose to meet clients face-to-face to regain lost business and/or secure renewals/new business
  • Spending will drop as many households will have suffered a drop in income during the crisis. Either the business boom will be short-lived or people will spend on credit, increasing household debt and risk of defaulting on payments
  • Organizations reduce investments in digital products and services as demand drops

Recommended Response

  • Continue to support customer interactions via both physical and digital channels. Customers want choice and digital channels offer more cost-effective ways of engaging with customers
  • Build algorithms to monitor changes in customer behavior and inform your decisions
  • Financial services organizations should monitor customer spending behavior and flag and support those customers who are at risk of defaulting on payments

Just a reminder –

The entire report  is  available Top 10 Plausible Directions Resulting from COVID-19

A webinar on this topic could also be found here.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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