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This holiday season, Northwest residents are gearing up to shop—from their couches

November 18, 2021 by PEMCO Insurance

​With the holiday season upon us, consumers across the Pacific Northwest are starting to tick items off their holiday shopping lists, but the majority may choose to do so from the comfort of their couch. According to a recent poll from PEMCO Insurance, despite the fact that easing COVID-19 restrictions are making it easier to venture out, Northwest residents are shopping online as much as ever— 82% of Seattle and Portland residents say they're buying online the same amount or even more than they did at the height of the pandemic.

According to the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll, Northwest residents, like consumers everywhere, were embracing the convenience of online shopping even before the global pandemic confined us to our homes. In fact, when asked how their shopping habits have evolved over the past few years, 9 out of 10 Northwest residents say they've been migrating to the web – 90% say they shop online about same amount or more than they have in recent years.

While that trend certainly continued due to the pandemic, the PEMCO poll finds that many shoppers aren't turning back even though more stores are now able to offer in-person purchasing. Even with stay-at-home orders lifted and many residents resuming their pre-pandemic activities, nearly 1 in 4 residents (23%) say they're shopping online more now than they did during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As much as we're all anxious to get out and about these days, it seems as though the safety and convenience of online shopping can't be beat," said PEMCO spokesperson Derek Wing. "As we enter new phases of the pandemic, Northwest shoppers are still choosing to log on to their computers and turn to their phones to get their shopping done. With some big holiday shopping days just around the corner, it'll be interesting to see how these trends continue to play out across the Northwest."

Regardless of how they shop, according to the poll, Northwest consumers' commitment to supporting local businesses is unwavering. Prior to the pandemic, 77% of Seattleites and 79% of Portlanders said that shopping locally was at least somewhat important. Of them, some residents – about 40% – went a step further to say that choosing to patron local businesses was very or extremely important to them. 

The PEMCO poll suggests that's not just lip service. More than three-quarters of Seattle and Portland residents say buying local isn't just important to them, they follow through with their support – 79% said they're likely to purchase items from local businesses when given the choice to do so.

For some consumers, shopping local is an even higher priority than it was during peak pandemic times. Nearly one-quarter of residents (23%) say that shopping local is even more important to them now compared to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a guide to shopping local, check out the City of Seattle's Shop Your Block interactive map, or Portland's Shop Small PDX site.

For a complete summary of PEMCO's proprietary poll results visit, where you'll find responses collected by FBK Research of Seattle in August 2021.


About the PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll

PEMCO Mutual Insurance commissioned this independent survey, conducted by FBK Research of Seattle, that asked Washington and Oregon residents questions about driving habits and attitudes toward current Northwest issues. The sample size, 420 respondents in the Seattle Metro (King, Snohomish, Pierce Counties) region and 418 respondents in the Portland Metro (Multnomah, Marion, Clackamas, Washington Counties) region yields an accuracy of +/- 5.0% respectively at the 95% confidence level. In other words, if this study were conducted 100 times, in 95 instances the data will not vary by more than the associated error range. 

About PEMCO Mutual Insurance  

PEMCO Mutual Insurance is the Defender of Your Northwest, providing auto, home, renters and boat coverage. Named by Forbes as one of America's Best Insurance Companies 2022 with the #1 ranking in Auto, we are consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee expertise and social impact. Our Mutual Good programs raise the achievement levels for youth in education; build stronger, greener communities; and increase safety at home, on the road and at play. Our mission: Free our communities to worry less and live more.


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