Pound stores continue to thrive in the UK’s high street and have created loyalty among savvy shoppers who will not turn their backs on them even if the economy picks up, according to the latest YouGov research.
It found almost one third (32%) of GB adults has shopped at a pound store in the last three months.
Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents have bought products from one or more key categories in the past three months and are spending less at supermarkets/other stores in at least one category, as a result.
Cleaning products are the most popular pound store purchases – 21% of respondents have bought these items in the past three months. Eighteen per cent have purchased toiletries, 17% have bought chocolate and/or sweets and 13% have purchased snacks and/or crisps.
Saving money is the overwhelming reason for using pound stores, with 60% of respondents citing this as the main reason for shopping there. This is particularly true for women and older respondents: 67% of females and 66% of those 55 and older head to pound stores to be thrifty, said researchers.
YouGov’s research also challenges the myth pound stores cater mainly to C2DEs (social grades). It found ABC1s just as likely to shop at pound stores, which suggests ‘savvy shopping’ is not simply a reflection of relative wealth, it said.
However, when it comes to reasons for shopping in pound stores there are regional differences: almost a quarter (24%) of respondents in London say the deals on offer are the main reason they shop in pound stores; in Scotland the figure rises to 41%, but in the north of England 19% of pound shop customers cite deals as their main reason for shopping.
YouGov consulting director Rob Cushen said pound stores will continue to chip away at the supermarkets’ share of wallet in key categories like cleaning products unless and until they offer closer pricing or deal parity.
“Our research suggests shoppers aren’t simply planning to head back to supermarkets when the financial situation improves: 74% of respondents who bought something from a pound store in the last three months say they will continue shopping there even if the economy improves,” he said.
“What this means is the deals on offer are creating loyalty amongst savvy shoppers and larger supermarket chains will need to fight hard in these categories to rebuild share.”