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Tesco downturn linked to changing shopping habits

17 January 2012 - 09:27 by Simon Crisp

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The recent announcement of dismal performance figures at supermarket giant Tesco, which saw £5 billion wiped off its value in one fell swoop, is being heralded as a symptom of a wider trend, which is seeing UK consumers alter the ways in which they shop.

The prevalence of e-commerce and m-commerce are having a major impact on Tesco and other high street retailers in general, particularly the supermarkets, which traditionally rely on people regularly shopping in-store to pick up the groceries they need.

In the past people would generally do one major grocery shop every two weeks, topping up on the items they needed in between, as and when appropriate.

However, it is now incredibly easy for people to use safe shopping online for all of their retail purchases and so the bricks and mortar shops are becoming gradually bereft of people buying large amounts.

In a report published by the Guardian, it was discovered that many young adults are buying food daily or using e-commerce sites to save money on almost every item they could need for their everyday lives.

People whose busy lives and limited budgets mean that they cannot splash out on large shopping trips will instead be using safe shopping online, according to industry analysts.

Ten years ago when e-commerce was in its infancy, most people would head to out of town megastores to pick up big, expensive items, but now the web has taken its toll in this area too.

It is clearly a process which is being fuelled by the younger generations who have been brought up with easily accessible e-commerce as a reality and are thus sticking with the channels that they know, rather than visiting the major high street chains that were founded on the cash of their parents and grandparents.

Quite how this will play out in the years to come remains to be seen, given that the focus on multichannel retail is strong.