New research from Kantar has revealed a 4% rise in the number of trips to UK supermarkets in April, an exciting sign of consumers’ increased confidence both to spend and to shop in person. The question facing the industry now is whether this is a passing fad, or the beginning of a new shopping paradigm.
Melissa Minkow has put together her thoughts on the significance of these new figures and how the supermarkets should interpret them:
“I’ve been hesitant to say that the big jumps in brick and mortar shopping post-reopening will be sustained because I feel a lot of that is just pent-up excitement for in-person events in general.
“However, these grocery store numbers feels a bit different for a couple reasons. Grocery shopping is such a routine, habitual behaviour that a change here could actually be more intentional and therefore sustained over a long time – whereas shopping in other categories isn’t as routinised a practice, meaning change can happen back and forth more frequently.
“This habitual aspect is especially relevant to Brits who are known for their signature ‘weekly shop’ for groceries. Thus, rising in-store numbers in such an ingrained category can really hold weight. Additionally, British shoppers are some of the most comfortable consumers when it comes to buying groceries online, so this rise could truly be saying something about a cultural shift. It is possible that Brits have exhausted their online bandwidth over the last year and are ready to bring back more analogue retail experiences. Definitely too early to say, but this could be something to keep track of.”