Customer behaviour

Retail sales boosted by mild March weather

Retail sales unexpectedly jumped in March as mild weather enticed shoppers to UK stores. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the year-on-year growth in March was 6.7% – the highest since October 2016. The ONS said milder weather had helped to boost sales in comparison with the “Beast from the East” last year. Monthly sales rose […]

Under 18’s faces likes and streaks ban on social media

Facebook and Instagram face a ban on letting under-18s “like” posts on their platforms while Snapchat could be prevented from allowing the age group to build up “streaks”, under new rules proposed by the UK’s data watchdog. It believes the tools encourage users to share more personal data and spend more time on apps than […]

Online grocery shopping growth slowing says Mintel

Online grocery shopping in the UK is set to grow more slowly, with customers worried about order problems and delivery charges, research indicates. Last year, 45% of consumers said they shopped for groceries online, down from 49% in 2016, said analysts Mintel. Mintel also found 42% of older people said they had never bought groceries […]

‘No splurge’ shopper attitude continues in uncertain times

The “no-splurge” attitude of consumers has continued despite a rise in UK shopper numbers last month, a survey has suggested. The number of shoppers visiting stores in March was up 1.4% year-on-year, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard survey. But Springboard said the improvement reflected a favourable comparison to March 2018 when footfall […]

online review

Which? tells consumers not to trust rave reviews

Poor quality products are being boosted by inflated reviews on the websites of Britain’s biggest retailers – potentially misleading consumers, an investigation by Which? has found. The consumer champion looked at 15 products that it had rated as Don’t Buys, a status given to products that fail to meet the standards of its rigorous, independent […]

Smart meter fitting slows despite deadline

The rate at which smart meters are being fitted has slowed, adding more pressure on a 2020 deadline already branded as unrealistic. Every home in Britain is supposed to have a smart meter, which avoids the need for customer readings, by the end of 2020. However, installation dropped by 16% in the final three months […]

Next store sales and profits continue to fall as online sales take over

Next’s annual sales and profits at its High Street stores have continued their fall of recent years, while its online business continues to grow. Sales in Next’s stores fell nearly 8% last year to £1.95bn, while online sales rose by 14.7% to £1.92bn. It said online was a “long-term threat” to its High Street business, […]

M&S plans big store shift towards weekly food shop

Marks and Spencer is planning a big shift towards food at its stores, the retailer has said. It said it wanted to target the weekly family shop by having more stores that offer its full range of food. At the moment, only around 12 of its stores offer all 6,500 of its food products. The […]

Contactless card use surges as consumer doubts ease

Two in five card payments are made using contactless technology as consumers appear to have cast aside any doubts of paying without a Pin. The number of transactions using contactless rose 31% in 2018 compared with the previous year, banking trade body UK Finance data shows. Adoption of this technology on public transport and by […]

Warm winter weather unable to stem shopper decline

Last month saw the biggest fall in five years in people visiting stores during February, according to the British Retail Consortium and Springboard. Footfall among shoppers fell by 2% year-on-year across High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres. It marked the fifteenth month in a row of falls, with Northern Ireland the only part of […]