The economic downturn is seeing shopping being transformed from a pleasant experience into a frustrating one, as some people can no longer afford the things they want.
That’s the view of Synovate Retail Performance, formerly SPSL, whose latest Retail Traffic Index figures show that the number of non-food shopping trips in the UK fell by 3.1% in October compared to the same month in 2007, and by 1.3% against September 2008.
“The figures were slightly worse than our projected year-on-year drop of 2.9%,” said Synovate’s Dr Tim Denison, “and signal a wretched month for retailers all across the country. Allowing for Easter adjustments, this is the first month since November 2006 that all regions across the UK have registered a year-on-year decline.
“Shopper numbers in London and the south east fell by 3.0% against last October, the weakest performance of the year for the region.”
He said he believed that there were some fundamental changes afoot in shopping behaviour.
“It’s not just the case that we’re shopping less often, spending less on non-essentials, switching more to own-label basics and moving allegiances from middle market to value chains.
“For some people, shopping is not the enjoyable social pastime it was hitherto. It’s become more of a frustration, where their eyes and hearts alight upon goods that have now become unaffordable to them.”