UK: Shopper expectations rising with recession
The onset of a recession in the UK has prompted a tidal shift in shopping habits, with the emergence of the "hyper-sensitive consumer", a study out today (23 July) has found.
According to business advisors BDO Stoy Hayward, over the last 12-18 months, consumers have raised their expectations of the service retailers should provide.
According to the researchers, the "hyper-sensitive consumer" is both time- and money-poor, feels guilt for spending, is less loyal and has an attitude that retailers are "privileged" to receive their custom.
This "new consumer" is challenging the country's retailers "like never before", the report suggested.
The "hyper-sensitive consumer" refuses to tolerate bad service, with an overwhelming 74% of consumers saying they would not buy and would leave the store if they encountered poor service and a further 71% are happy to look elsewhere for the right bargain, the report said.
"The new hyper-sensitive consumer is more switched on, better informed and surrounded by choice. They'll mix Prada with Primark and Waitrose with Lidl - a phenomenon we've not seen before," Don Williams, retail partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, said.
"Retailers should be frightened by the fact 74% of their customers would leave the store if they encountered bad service. In the current environment, this is something that they just cannot afford to ignore," warned Williams.
Putting further pressure on retailers, hyper-sensitive consumers want their shopping experience to continue improving.
The economic downturn has meant that the hyper-sensitive consumer is also more value-oriented, with 49% of consumers stating that they had less to spend.
However, Williams added that value is distinct from price, 71% of consumers agreeing that they are happy to pay full price to treat themselves.
"Our research identified that perceptions of value don't just influence where the hyper-sensitive consumer makes a purchase, but that it could determine whether the purchase happens at all. The hyper-sensitive consumer is more reluctant to buy, and needs a strong reason to do so," Williams concluded.
Having delivered apparel and footwear industry news for the past decade, just-style takes a reflective look through its archives to highlight ten key themes that have helped shape the apparel industry...
Like just about every other business sector on the planet, retailers continued to be affected by global economic turmoil during 2009. Companies previously intent on expansion and growth turned to cost...
Here is a roundup of the top five most-read stories on just-style this week. Click on each headline for the full story....
Value clothing retailer Primark has agreed a "wide-ranging" ethical trade action plan following an inquiry commissioned by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)....
UK retailer Arcadia Group has decided to close ten of its BHS department stores, with value chain Primark taking over the leases....
Associated British Foods has hailed the "strong" sales performance of value clothing retailer Primark at Christmas, but warned of uncertainty in the year ahead....
UK value fashion chain Primark faces more protests from a UK campaign group, and the retailer says it is "greatly concerned" about allegations of low pay at a third-party supplier in Bangladesh....
- Steps to piloting living wage in garment factories
- How to ensure sustainability is more than a slogan
- US apparel retailers' November 2016 sales roundup
- Trump blows the case for Brexit out of the water
- Why do modern robotics elude sportswear makers?
- US Q3 in brief – Sears, Vince Holding, Genesco
- Esquel efficiency drive continues to boost brands
- Taiwan textile maker investing in first US plant
- Outdoor apparel sector set for double-digit growth
- Myanmar garment industry "lacking labour rights"