Shoppers are increasingly looking beyond the hypermarkets and supermarkets for their grocery shop, new data has suggested.

Some 38% of more than 1,000 shoppers polled by research agency Shoppercentric said they were shopping a wider variety of stores and 70% said they had changed their shopping habits by using different stores, or altering the frequency of when they go shopping.

Although 89% said they had shopped in a supermarket for their grocery shopping in the past month, 67% said they had been to a discounter, 52% a convenience store and 29% online.

Some 21% had visited a high street store, 17% an independent store, 6% a pet shop and 4% a wholesaler. Just 1% had visited an off-licence.

Waitrose shoppers were found to be the least loyal – visiting an average 6.2 stores in the past month – followed by Asda (5.8) and Tesco (5.5). Co-op shoppers were the most loyal, visiting 4.4 stores in the past month.

“The debate over whether shoppers are really switching from big main grocery shops to smaller, more frequent shops is a hot topic in the retail sector right now,” said Shoppercentric MD Danielle Pinnington.

“Ultimately, retailers can no longer afford to assume that theirs is the stores shoppers will visit most often or spend most of their household grocery budget in. Shoppers have had their eyes opened by the much wider range of stores open to them and varying economic pressures which have impacted budgets and choices.”