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E-commerce to outstrip supermarket sales within 5 years

02 July 2014 - 11:34 by Graham Miller

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British consumers are changing their shopping habits to the extent that supermarkets will no longer be responsible for the biggest chunk of retail sales by 2019, according to a new report published by IDG.

Four supermarkets currently dominate the market, accounting for an anticipated ?73.7 billion in sales over the course of 2014. But Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons will all be laid low by a combination of the rise of safe shopping online and the growth of both bargain outlets, like Aldi, and convenience stores.

Over the course of the next five years, the amount of sales being made via the web will increase by a whopping 119 per cent. And because people are shopping online more than ever, there is less need to shop for a significant amount of items at supermarkets, which will help convenience store sales to rise by 33 per cent over the same period.

Of course, all of the four major supermarkets now offer customers the opportunity to carry out safe shopping online, with only Morrisons coming late to the party in this respect. So they will, in effect, be cannibalising their own bricks and mortar market, especially since big name convenience stores are increasingly prevalent.

IDG spokesperson, Joanne Denney-Finch, said that consumers in the UK are now accustomed to a multiplatform approach to shopping, which means we are just as happy buying online as we are in-store, as well as having seen the stigma of using discount supermarkets fall away in recent years.

As a result of this change, it will be important for supermarkets to alter the way that their real world stores are used, because of course, the need for vast warehouse-like outlets will be reduced, as revenues shift to other retail platforms.