One in six of UK shoppers have switched their main grocery store in the last 12 months, TCC Global reveals


A study of over 1,500 shoppers by TCC Global, a leading global retail marketing company has found that one in six (16%) of all shoppers have switched their main store over the last 12 months. 39% of shoppers said that it wouldn’t matter to them if their usual grocery store closed, they would just switch to an alternative nearby store. The research also found that on average, shoppers have 11 ‘reachable’ stores, 10 ‘easily reachable’ and five that are ‘very easily’ reachable, meaning that it is easier than ever to switch between retailers.

The top reasons for shoppers switching retailer are ‘low everyday prices’ and ‘better value for money’. Shoppers’ focus on price is largely irrespective of household income, with 51% of high income households, 60% of medium income households and 64% of low income households shopping where they can find the cheapest prices.

The third reason people switch is the offer of ‘better rewards for my loyalty’. However, just 22% of respondents said they would spend less at a shop if it no longer offered loyalty cards, and the research found that shoppers have an average of 3.3 cards, but use only 2.5.

Bryan Roberts, global insight director at TCC Global, commented: “With so much choice and price competition, customers are more inclined to switch retailers more frequently. To help combat price-based defection, big supermarkets need to provide rewards to loyal customers that go beyond loyalty cards.”

The study shows retailers can influence shopper choice by linking loyalty to cooking and eating deals with 43% of shoppers admitting to being more encouraged to buy from a shop which inspired everyday simple healthy meals and cooking from scratch.

Setting out to highlight where and how retailers need to improve to remain competitive, the report also ranks the Big Four retailers on perception of their loyalty offering.  Sainsbury’s (46%) recognised as the best for rewarding loyalty, with Asda (7%), Lidl (4%) and Aldi (3%) the worst.

Roberts added: “A quest for better value-for-money involves much more than just price. Value in a broader sense also involves issues like quality and service (or perceptions thereof), an observation that is illustrated by the fact that Asda, which has been the cheapest supermarket for a great many years, has been steadily losing market share as perceptions of quality, in-store experience and range have – rightly or wrongly – lagged behind those of competitors.”

The research also found that discounters outperform Asda on price, selection and convenience ratings.