Retail Market Research Survey Uncovers Slipping Consumer Loyalty

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27th June 2013 10:59 - Retail

Squire Sanders, Kantar Retail and the Retail Trust have recently undertaken a market research survey interviewing consumers, retailers and suppliers about the state of the retail industry – discovering issues that have killed off high street loyalty and how retailers should be fighting back.

The survey reports that nine out of ten (90%) of shoppers confess to participating in “showrooming” – looking at product in store, being able to have a closer look before ordering from an online retailer who can offer lower prices.

Retailers have been criticised for letting the basics slip such as poor service and high prices, however, local authorities were also criticised for parking charges in town centres.  Findings show that four fifths (80%) of retailers and three fifths (60%) of shoppers place parking charges as a key factor behind the decline of the high street.

Research recommends retailers make the most of the store experience with selective price matching and knowledgeable employees.  Seven in ten (70%) consumers still appreciate being able to shop in-store because they are able to touch and feel what they are buying and three in five (60%) prefer multichannel retailers for added convenience.

Bryan Roberts, Retail Insights Director at Kantar Retail, said:

"Shoppers are relentless in their search for value - both in terms of money and time. The proliferation of choice generated through multi-channel, supermarkets and shopping centres, combined with the rampant promiscuity of shoppers in terms of retail repertoire, means that the high street is under unparalleled pressure. If changes - from both local and central government - are not forthcoming, then high street retail as we know it is facing a steady slide into oblivion."

Matthew Lewis, Head of Retail at Squire Sanders, added:

 "Despite hard times, we won't stop shopping but it is too easy for consumers to benchmark prices in-store on their mobile. Retailers need to compete by improving the retail experience, entertain consumers, know the customer and ensure they have the best retail employees."

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