Shoppers are staying close to home and consumers are turning to stores of wholesale customers, new research shows.
Commissioned by TWC, sponsored by Cirkle, and conducted by KAM Media, the ‘Forging a New Future in Convenience Retailing’ report reflects the views of over 560 consumers and shows that 75% (39.8 million*) of the UK adult population have visited a convenience store in the last six weeks, with 52% of consumers stating their local convenience store has become more important to them since lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March.
Furthermore, almost a third of responders confirmed they will continue to use their local store more regularly on an ongoing basis, once the current government guidelines are relaxed. With risk of Covid-19 infection remaining top of consumers’ minds, over 77% of consumers says they feel ‘very safe’ or ‘somewhat safe’, when shopping in their local store.
The study also looks at consumer perceptions and finds that 51% of responders say they are not aware of any price increases. However, 44% think prices have gone up although it is important to note that 47% of consumers stated that they would find an increase acceptable (to some degree), under the current market conditions.
Whilst it is generally believed that fewer products are on promotion than were three months ago, only 44% of shoppers have noticed this decrease, with 13% of consumers saying they have noticed more promotions in their local store since lockdown and 43% saying they have seen no difference.
Commenting on the report, TWC’s development director Tom Fender, says “Forging a New Future in Convenience Retailing’ gives a new perspective on the value of community stores and explores consumers’ perception of promotions and pricing which is a highly topical and current issue.
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“Our aim is to provide valuable information and insight to help retailers and brands prepare for the ‘new normal’ as the UK comes out of lockdown. Shopping behaviours have changed overnight and in this Report we are exploring the short to medium term future of the UK convenience channel.”