Local stores could be winners as retailers battle it out for a share of the consumer purse, with more than 25% of shoppers quizzed in a poll on shopping preferences revealing they are going to buy more from convenience stores with some 30% also gearing up to shop more frequently for fashion and groceries via their ipads and mobile phones and a similar percentage looking to increase their use of click and collect options.
“For many retailers their online business is their biggest store, but in the next couple of years it could be their mobile application,” says Helen Mountney of global retail consultancy Kurt Salmon, which commissioned the survey.
“As delivery is such an issue when shopping online, local stores are increasingly becoming collection points for not just their own, but other retailers’ products. This means that local retailers have a great opportunity to make a sale to shoppers who have ‘clicked’ and come to their shop to ‘collect’.”
With 60% of shoppers revealing that price and value are still the most important factors when deciding where to spend their money, discount retailers are set to continue to thrive – along with retailers in the luxury space which seem to be immune to the economic headwinds.
“While those retailers in the middle ground look like they are being squeezed harder, they account for a large share of the £300bn contribution that retail makes towards the UK economy and include some significantly profitable players. However, they in particular need to listen to their customers and continue to innovate in how they present - and deliver - their products whether via their stores or online or they will definitely find themselves in the middle ground graveyard,” adds Mountney.
“While leading retailers have predicted that retail sales will see a marginal increase, 2014 is still going to be tough and retailers are going to have to invest more in people and technology.”