As consumers are fast changing their shopping habits, supermarkets are realising that bigger and better superstores are no longer the key to long term success. Consumers are now opting to shop in smaller outlets, more often, and increasing numbers of us are shopping online at a dramatic rate.
Last week it was reported that Morrisons, the last of the leading supermarkets to have an e-commerce presence, is now considering moving online. In other supermarket news, the UK’s biggest grocer Tesco announced it was buying the child-friendly restaurant chain Giraffe.
As a recent article in The Observer noted, both of these announcements are proof that supermarkets are having to adapt their strategies to meet consumers’ ever changing shopping preferences – in an attempt to win back consumers who are buying online or who are choosing to shop in smaller outlets.
Online sales reached £50bn in 2012, 14% of total retail spending, and online grocery shopping is set to double to £11.7bn in the next 5 years. Morrisons is now hoping to have ‘last mover advantage’ when it launches its online grocery store in 2014, as it concedes the importance of operating an online channel to keep up with consumer demand.
On the high street, consumers are choosing to do more of their grocery shopping at smaller outlets – more often. As a result, Tesco is now evaluating its many superstores and looking to create a compelling retail destination to attract its customers. The acquisition of Giraffe, it hopes, will pull in families to do their grocery shopping and comes just two months after it bought a 49% stake in artisan coffee chain Harris + Hoole.
As Philip Dorgan, retail analyst at Panmure, explained: “Tesco needs to invest in areas that its shoppers will want to spend time doing when they spend a lot less time shopping. Eating out is clearly one.”
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