Gloomy shoppers plan to cut back on eating out in 2011

Joanne Denney-Finch

Denney-Finch: shoppers are downbeat

Shoppers are feeling a lot gloomier about their financial prospects for 2011 compared to last year and three fifths – 61% – of shoppers say they plan to cut down on eating or drinking out in the year ahead, according to IGD’s latest ShopperTrack research published today.

According to the IGD research, 60% of shoppers think they will be worse-off in the next 12 months – more than double the level (27%) in October 2010.

When asked by ShopperTrack, ‘how do you expect your personal circumstances to change in the next 12 months?’, shoppers said:

  • I will be a lot better off (1% v. 8% October 2010)
  • I will be slightly better off (9% v. 21%)
  • About the same (29% v. 44%)
  • I will be slightly worse off (42% v. 22%)
  • I will be a lot worse off (18% v. 5%)

Shoppers also intend to spend less on clothes in response to more pressures on their income, such as higher petrol prices. Over half – 58% – say they will spend less on clothes shopping in 2011.

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Shoppers are clearly feeling a lot more downbeat than they were last year and plan to do some major belt tightening. Shoppers of all ages and across all socio-economic groups are telling us they intend to cut back on non-essentials, such as going to the theatre or on holiday.

“Shoppers seem to be less keen to economise on their food and grocery shopping, with only around a third (32%) citing this as a category they intend to spend less on. But this figure could be even lower, as our research also reveals that 32% of shoppers mistakenly believe that January’s VAT increase applies to all their food and grocery shopping.”

IGD ShopperTrack found when asked:

‘Thinking about changes to the economy will you economise on any of the following in the year ahead?’,  the top eleven answers shoppers said were:

  • Eating or drinking out (61%)
  • Clothes shopping (58%)
  • Going out to the theatre/cinema/concerts (48%)
  • Holidays (43%)
  • Home entertainment such as DVDs, payTV (41%)
  • Treating yourself such as beauty treatment, massage (39%)
  • Traveling by car (34%)
  • Cutting back on savings (33%)
  • Charitable donations (32%)
  • Home and garden improvements (32%)
  • Food shopping (32%)

2.     ‘How do you expect your personal economic circumstances to change in the next 12 months?’, these shoppers said they expected to be worse-off:

  • 68% from the DE socio-economic group
  • 56% from the ABC1
  • 65% of over-55’s
  • 67% of 35-54 year-olds
  • But only 45% of 18-34 year-olds

3.     ‘The Government increased VAT to 20% on 4 January 2011. Thinking about your grocery shop, which products does this change apply to?’ shoppers said:

  • All my food and groceries (32%)
  • Main meal items, like fresh meat or ready meals (28%)
  • Some treat foods and drinks, like sweets, crisps and ice-cream (61%)
  • Alcohol and tobacco (79%)
  • Non-edible grocery items I regularly buy, like toothpaste and washing powder (64%)
  • Electrical products, such as TVs and CDs/DVDs (83%)