Majority of High Street retailers reject plans for mandatory Covid ‘Shopping Passports’, new survey shows


“Covid passports” could still be required for customers visiting shops in England after the removal of lockdown restrictions on 21 June, Downing Street has indicated.

The government is considering the introduction of “Covid-status certification” as lockdown eases, so that individuals wanting to enter shops like Next or H&M would need to prove that they have either been vaccinated, recently tested or gained immunity through previous infection.

The idea provoked horror and concern among retailers, with 58% of retailers fully against the idea, according to a new Brightpearl survey. 

More than half of stores polled (54%) also said they would be ‘extremely unhappy’ if the Government introduced a mandatory Covid vaccination passport later this year for shoppers.

However, 4 in 10 retailers would be more open to the idea if the plans were made optional. 

The survey of hundreds of retailers from Brightpearl, which provides digital operations solutions for some of the world’s biggest retail brands, highlighted concern that ‘shopping passports’ could drive a further shift to online shopping, which has accelerated since the onset of the pandemic. 

Of those surveyed, 80% agreed that mandatory vaccination passports would drive more people to shop online than in store.

Concerningly for stores already in financial distress, 79% claim that the plans would have a huge impact on High Street footfall and revenues.

“It’s clear High Street retailers are against the idea of vaccination passports to enter shops because it could act as a deterrent and drive more people to shop online instead,” said Nick Shaw, Brightpearl’s Chief Revenue Officer. 

“One of the impacts of Covid is the recognition from brands that they need to diversify their channels in case one of them is suddenly challenged. Regardless of whether vaccination passports are introduced or not, retailers should be working to lessen their reliance of one single channel by adopting multiple touchpoints to discover, connect and purchase – while of course ensuring these experiences are joined up and consistent for customers” 

Brightpearl works with thousands of retailers introducing software that puts orders, inventory, financials, POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) in one place.