British shoppers are less loyal than ever to the supermarkets, with 32.4% or 15.8 million claiming they would prefer to shop somewhere else if the store were within easy reach. 

This figure is three percentage points higher than it was 10 years ago, and is far higher than for retail as a whole, where only 22.1% of shoppers say they would rather shop elsewhere.

“As competition has intensified, it has become difficult to hold on to customers and retailers now need to work harder than ever to retain shoppers,” said Neil Saunders, consulting director at Verdict Research, which compiled the data. “Such a low rate of loyalty demonstrates the extent to which people are shopping around and are willing to punish retailers that don’t meet their expectations. It should act as a wake-up call that retailers need to become better at meeting customer needs.” 

The economic downturn had made shoppers more inclined to shop around for bargains, but an increase in the choice of where consumers could shop had also driven the trend, said Saunders. “The proliferation of new, often international, entrants combined with an extensive selection of internet retailers has made it easier than ever before for shoppers to switch custom,” he said.