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Consumer shopping in Britain has changed dramatically over the last fifty years in terms of habits and shopping trends.

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Introduction

Introduction Consumer shopping in Britain has changed dramatically over the last fifty years in terms of habits and shopping trends. Prior to the 1960's consumers would have needed to shop everyday, visiting a number of small different shops, such as bakers, butchers and so on, to buy the necessary ingredients for a day's meal. However in the last two decades this shopping pattern has change dramatically. This is due to a number of different factors, namely: The increase in the proportion of women working, the ability to store food longer, the growth of fridge and freezer capacity and the dramatic increase in car ownership. The single biggest influence, however, has been the growth of the multiple grocers such as supermarkets and out of town superstores in the last 5 to 10 years. Table 1: Number of shopping trips per week FREQUENCY OF SHOPPING Number of shopping trips per household per week 1991 1995 1997 2000 2.3 2.0 1.8 1.8 Source: Superpanel This has shifted the concentration of grocery retailing to become the domain of the larger food retailers, such as Sainsbury's, Tesco, Safeway and ASDA. ...read more.

Middle

This caused the group to increase its prices on goods and to try and sell off as much as 500 of its stores. They hoped to be left with only 850 stores in total, which would be run as a smaller, and more profitable organisation. However, only 46 of the larger Somerfield stores could be sold and the company still had 1400 stores in total. The result of this was an all time low share price for the Somerfield Group in the year 1998-1999 and serious concerns were raised about the future of the business. Table 2: Market shares of the leading UK Supermarkets between 1996-2000 % Share of Grocers 52 w/e August 1997 1998 1999 2000 SOMERFIELD 5.3 5.1 4.5 4.1 KWIK SAVE 6.0 5.4 5.0 3.5 ASDA 13.4 14.1 15.0 16.3 MORRISONS 3.9 4.0 4.6 5.2 SAFEWAY 10.3 10.3 9.9 10.2 SAINSBURY 19.7 19.7 19.1 18.6 TESCO 22.0 22.9 23.5 24.2 Source: Superpanel, Till Roll Share of Trade As can be seen from Table 1, Kwik-Save has lost 2.5% of the market share between 1996-2000; this is a loss of approximately 50% loss of its original market share. ...read more.

Conclusion

There seems to be a current trend towards short life convenience foods means that there will be a pull with shoppers needing to shop more frequently to re-stock these kinds of items. Therefore the store should concentrate on selling products that are suited to these kinds of top-up trips. Products such as bread and milk dominate top-up trips, with pet food and tea bags also featuring heavily. These types of good should be heavily advertised in the local press as well as having promotional discounts on these goods. However the correct balance should be taken between promotional activity to boost sales and profitability, which suffers when too much stock is given away. In addition to this clever product placement of other items in the store such as canned goods, sauces and cleaning products the customer will tend to buy these additional products on top of what they initially came to buy. By also increasing the opening hours of the stores, possibly to even 24 hours at certain prime locations to accommodate the different lifestyles led by an increasingly number of customers would increase trade. The larger supermarket retailers, such as Tescos and Safeway, have already taken up this opportunity. They have started opening convenience stores within petrol stations. ...read more.

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