Shoppers plan to reduce the number of shopping trips they make if petrol prices continue to increase, especially if they live in the north of England.
Interviewing 1,000 shoppers during January, IGD ShopperVista found that 53% intend to shop less frequently to save on the number of journeys they make if the cost of filling up at the pumps keeps rising.
But there is a marked difference in attitudes between northerners and people in the capital. The research found that 61% of people in the north would shop less often if petrol prices continue to rise, but only 39% of Londoners would curb their trips.
Londoners are also less inclined to use shops nearer to them if fuel costs increase: just 38% of Londoners would shop more locally compared to 53% of people in the Midlands.
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD, said: “Most of us are feeling the squeeze from several directions: wages are barely increasing, if at all, while our bills continue to rise.
“A major and regular cost for motorists is refuelling their cars and they’re clearly concerned about how this will impact on their finances. If petrol prices continue to rise, more people might think twice before making a journey by car.
“But shoppers are not taking things lying down and instead are planning several ways to minimise the impact. Nearly half of them, especially younger ones and those in the Midlands, said they will use shops nearer to them to save on petrol costs.
“Despite the worries about the cost of fuel,” she added, “people tell us they will prioritise petrol and groceries, cutting back what they spend in other areas.”