Environmental concerns ‘increasingly dictate shop choice’

A major shift is underway in terms of what influences where people choose to shop, with two seemingly conflicting trends of value shopping and ethical consumerism both gaining popularity.

This is according to the latest OC&C UK Retail Proposition Index, where 50,000 consumers globally are asked to rate the retailers they have shopped with.

Almost half (45 per cent) of consumers said that a retailer’s impact on the environment is important to them when shopping, rising to 55 per cent among the Millennials and Generation Z, who will drive over 90 per cent of spending growth in the UK over the coming five years.

For the first time, three of the top 10 retailers in the Index were discounters with Wilkos and Home Bargains joining Aldi in the top 10. There were also marked improvements outside the top 10, with discount retailers bucking a general trend of growing consumer mistrust in retailers – B&M, Poundland and Card Factory all made material gains on their trust scores.

Overall, M&S Simply Food beat John Lewis, Amazon and Aldi to become the UK’s favourite retailer this year.

Matt Coode, partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, said: “For retailers to prosper in a challenging retail climate, they need to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviours – our research shows that sustainability, trust and value are the most important trends for consumers this year.

“We also see a dramatic slowdown in the rate at which consumers are favouring purely digital players, with physical stores taking on greater importance as part of omnichannel journeys,” he added.

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