Opportunity for independents as supermarket loyalty falters

28 July 2020, 08:16 AM
  • A majority of consumers say they’ll switch from their regular supermarket if safety measures aren’t up to scratch, according to a new poll
Opportunity for independents as supermarket loyalty falters

Safety has become a top priority for shoppers, with more than two-thirds saying they would consider switching from their regular supermarket if in-store safety expectations weren’t met, a new poll reveals.

In the months since the coronavirus crisis hit, Brits have shown rising support for their local independent retailers, including farm shops, breweries, fishmongers and bakeries. Now, shoppers appear to be more willing than ever to change up their shopping habits, presenting an opportunity for fine food shops to attract new customers.

According to the survey by banking tech firm Cennox, providing a safe environment is the key to building loyalty in the current climate, with 66% of respondents saying the safety measures a retailer puts in place to protect them from Covid-19 would determine where they spend their money.

Meanwhile, 69% of shoppers said they would consider switching from their regular supermarket if their in-store safety expectations were not met.

“The results are clear; if shoppers don’t feel protected, they will vote with their feet,” says Cennox’s Chief Operating Officer Nick Cockett. “We know how hard retailers have been working to overhaul their stores in recent weeks and months, but they simply cannot afford to adopt partial measures to keep customers safe.”

Although footfall has risen since the reopening of many businesses in July, consumer confidence in the UK is sitting at an all-time low due to the pandemic, with many shoppers wary of browsing in-store. Cennox found that almost half (46%) of shoppers believe the safety measures put in place by supermarkets and retailers have been inadequate or poorly managed, with just 7% having “complete trust” that retailers will keep them safe.

“These results show us that robust in-store safety is the new gold standard to win the hearts and minds of consumers – at least for the foreseeable future,” says Nick. By keeping up-to-date with public health guidelines and creating an environment where customers feel safe and welcome, independents can seek to boost consumer confidence and attract more shoppers in the coming months.

more like this
close stay up-to-date with our free newsletter | expert intel | tailored industry news | new-to-know trend analysis | sign up | speciality food daily briefing