Hunt for value drives multi-channel shopping in Europe, says IGD

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European shoppers seeking the best value for their consumer goods shopping are visiting more retail formats and increasing the popularity of multi-channel retailing, according to the latest research from IGD.

The Evolving Channel Mix report, published today (6 April), reveals nearly half (49%) of shoppers are using different retail formats – from supermarkets and hypermarkets to convenience stores and online – to take advantage of the different special offers, while nearly four in 10 (37%) do so to save money.

The hunt for value-for-money is key to the popularity of multi-channel retailing across Europe:

· 57% of Dutch shoppers said seeking different promotions is the main reason for multi-channel shopping, compared to 51% of Germans,  49% of Spanish, 48% of British and 42% of French

· 42% of German shoppers shop in different channels to save money, compared to 37% in France and Spain, 36% in the Netherlands and 33% of British shoppers

IGD forecasts multi-channel food retailing will increase in the year ahead:

· Around a fifth (19%) of French shoppers expect to use discount stores, such as Aldi and Lidl, more in the next 12 months – the same proportion as the British and Germans, compared to 16% of Spanish and 14% of Dutch shoppers

· 15% of Spanish shoppers plan to shop more at supermarkets, compared to 12% of Germans, 10% of British, 8% of French and 8% of Dutch

· 11% of British shoppers say they will do more online shopping, compared to 8% of German, 7% of French, 7% of Spanish and 2% of Dutch

Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, IGD, said: “Competition is intense between the different retailing formats across Europe to entice hard-pressed shoppers to use their particular outlet. And despite traditional shopper preferences and market structures, multi-channel retailing is becoming increasingly popular:  over a third of shoppers in Germany and Spain used five or more food channels in the last month.

“Different formats have characteristics that particularly appeal to shoppers depending on the country in question.  In France hypermarkets are seen as the best outlet to provide value for money while in the UK, supermarkets are regarded as the top choice.

“Shoppers across Europe are hunting for value for money and finding it in a range of outlets. In order to win this year, consumer goods companies need an effective channel management strategy that incorporates shopper perceptions in each market while delivering value, promotions and a sufficient variety of products.”