Prevailing trends in grocery retail and shopper behaviour will not hinge on the result of Scottish referendum, says IRI


Prevailing trends facing the grocery retail and shopper behaviour will not hinge on the result of the Scottish referendum, according to IRI.

If Scotland votes ‘yes’ in today’s referendum it is inevitable that supermarkets will be faced with choices about how they cover potential cost increases to business operations, said researchers. However, IRI believes it is unlikely that retailers will want to impose price increases initially, particularly when shoppers are already cutting back on how much they buy from the major supermarkets

Paul Hinds, senior vice president for retail at IRI, said: “The prevailing trends that face grocery retail and shopper behaviours will not hinge on the result of the referendum. The budget conscious shopper will continue to move to the discount shops, buying lower priced alternatives or simply making do with less. The reality is that the supermarket price war is saving families close to nothing (54p per week for the average household). Retailers need to think differently about how to optimise price levels as well as range assortment, which will remain a complex challenge. Keeping shoppers loyal to the store and preventing them taking their entire basket to another retailer will still be front of mind.”

IRI has already measured some interesting cross regional supermarket sales trends. As well as being regular buyers of whisky and Irn Bru, Scottish shoppers purchase more candles; matches; firelighters; sausages and painkillers than their English and Welsh neighbours.  Comparing the population figures in relative terms, Scottish supermarket shoppers spend more than English & Welsh shoppers for:

  • Sausages 123% +
  • Matches & Firelighters 93% +
  • Candles 75%
  • Fizzy drinks 73%
  • Torches 73% +
  • Light bulbs 62% +
  • Razors & Blades 40% +
  • Painkillers 39%+

(Based on IRI value sales week measured in UK supermarkets and drugstores)