Morrisons organic milk aisle

Source: The Grocer/Joel Chant

The key category for all channels was dairy

The latest data from Him & MCA Insight shows shoppers are still making frequent store visits, despite new social distancing measures in-store and pleas from government to shop only when necessary.

The latest Channel Pulse survey, which tracked shopper behaviour between 23 and 27 April, found the average convenience retail shoppers visited a c-store 2.1 times over the five-day period. Supermarket shoppers visited 1.8 times, which was the same for shoppers to the discounters.

Asked why they went to stores during this time, a third of supermarket shoppers said it was to carry out a main shop. This fell to a quarter of discounter shoppers and just 2.6% of those visiting c-stores.

Planned top-up remains a key driver for shoppers across all channels: it was cited by 32% of convenience shoppers, 29% of discounter shoppers and 25% of those visiting supermarkets. Him suggested this could be down to shoppers needing to shop around to try and get all they needed due to patchy availability.

Although the consensus across the industry suggested the stockpiling peak has subsided, 12% of all shoppers said their primary motive for visiting a shop was to ‘stock up for the longer term’.

The key category for all channels was dairy.

“Channel Pulse allows us to track shopper behaviour on a weekly basis,” said head of Insight at Him & MCA Insight Blonnie Walsh. “Although visit frequency has dropped since pre-coronavirus, shoppers continue to visit grocery retailers regularly, despite calls from the government to leave the house as little as possible. Shoppers are making frequent visits to stock up on categories with a shorter shelf life, including fresh fruit & veg and chilled dairy.”

“Recognising the importance of serving local communities and maintaining health and safety, many retailers have gone the extra mile to protect shoppers and staff to ensure a smooth and safe shopping experience.”