National study finds Brits quit queues after 6 mins 46 seconds

queue of people

Research has revealed that 6 minutes and 46 seconds is the exact moment Brits will quit a queue, proving there is a limit to our willingness to wait in line.

The survey also crowned East Midlands as the most patient shoppers, waiting up to 7 minutes and 12 seconds in queue, and the Welsh as the least patient lasting only 6 minutes and 6 seconds before turning away.


Despite Brits’ renowned queue etiquette, it’s not something we want to do when we’re ready to spend money. Two thirds of shoppers have decided not to buy an item because of the size of the queue in-store, highlighting the importance of ecommerce for retailers of all sizes.

When it comes to online shopping, retailers should keep returns policies top of mind with 9 in 10 shoppers saying it’s important and affects their purchasing decision. While two thirds said they buy more when an online store has a good returns policy.

Lightspeed Founder and CEO Dax Dasilva, who commissioned the research explains: “We are living in an on-demand economy which means shopper attention spans are becoming shorter. As independent retailers face tough competition from retail giants, they need to consider their customer’s needs more than ever. Our research shows a queue can seriously impact in-store sales so SMEs need to employ ways to reduce store queue times and better engage customers – this could include in-store iPad tills and the option to shop online.

Our research shows an omnichannel presence can no longer be ignored and shop owners need to ensure they have a high-quality presence wherever their customers are interacting with them, be that online or in-store.”