Both Tesco and Morrison’s have reported a disappointing Christmas.
I’m not surprised.
My wife and I don’t do a ‘weekly shop’ and I can’t remember the last time we actually did go to a large supermarket.
Perhaps I’m not typical because I don’t currently own a car, but apparently I AM typical in that I am buying more and more on-line, and tend to use convenience stores rather than out of town hypermarkets.
I think that’s one reason that sales are falling overall for many of these retailers.
In the days of the traditional grocer, when a shopper would make a list that they would then give to, or read off to, the grocer, it was easier to stick to that list.
However, supermarkets have known, since their inception, that when a shopper is presented with a array of goods to choose from the shelves, few can resist putting a few extras in the cart. Bigger store mean more products on display. That’s more temptation to add more ‘goodies’, spending more money. Supermarkets too, in general, have long moved away from the ‘pile it high, sell it cheap’ mantra. Most sell premium ranges of products; at premium prices, of course.
Now, in my experience, when I shop on-line, I can take my time to choose what I want, I can compare prices from the comfort of my chair. I can stop and go get something to eat or drink. I don’t have to go out in all weathers, and I don’t have to carry stuff home. That goes for food and non-food items.
If I need something right now, I can walk to the local convenience store, but most things can wait until I place an order.
I use that online monster, Amazon, a great deal. Subscribe and save is a cool concept. I set up a subscription for regular non-perishable items, and as long as I have 5 or more items each month, I get 15% off. Free delivery too. Laundry detergent, fabric conditioner, toilet paper, kitchen towels, shampoo, razor blades, multi-vitamins. dish-washing liquid, shower gel, and toothbrush heads are all purchased this way. One delivery a month. If I need extra, I can always place a separate order (without the 15% off). Conversely, if something isn’t required, then I can cancel that item for that month. It’s worth it, just so as I don’t have to take those first four items home on the bus!
My wife likes it, that neither of us forgets these items and runs out anymore. I see adding to that list over time.
If more people are doing what we’re doing, I don’t hold out much hope, in the long term, for some of these retailers.