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It’s Not All About Price — Even in the Current Climate

It’s not all about price in the current climate.

Retailers may believe that ‘flash’ and ‘unseasonal’ sales are strategies best suited to increase footfall in this recession. However when Great Britain consumers were asked why they would be upset if a retailer went out of business, only 25% stated ‘low prices’. This is compared to 48% who identified ‘good value for money’ was a more significant factor in them being upset for losing their favorite retailer.

Marks & Spencer’s presence on Britain’s high streets is the most valued by shoppers, with one out of five (22%) citing the iconic retailer as the business they would least like to see disappear and a further 22% claiming that it is the most trusted high street retailer, according to a survey commissioned by marketing agency Baber Smith.

The survey, conducted by YouGov, aimed at uncovering consumer shopping habits during the economic downturn, reveals that the majority (22%) of Brits would be upset if Marks & Spencer, which this week celebrates 125 years in business, became a victim of the credit crunch and was forced to close its doors. Marks & Spencer is joined by Boots (13%) and Tesco (13%) as the top three retailers Brits would hate to see leaving the high street.

Baber Smith’s study quizzed Brits on their shopping habits during a particularly gloomy period for the retail industry. The research reveals:

  • A good selection of products (54%), good value for money (48%) and a good reputation (31%) are the three main reasons shoppers would hate to lose their favorite High Street retailer
  • Online shopping may be popular with the younger generation, but the majority of Brits (32%) still prefer to do their fashion shopping in the town shopping centre, compared with the 15% who buy their goods online
  • Ethical business practices have dominated retailers’ agendas in recent times but only 17% of consumers identify this as an important factor in establishing trust.

Reputation is Key
When asked why they trusted their favorite retailer, over half (55%) of British shoppers claimed a good reputation was the reason behind their trust in the retailer. Two fifths (40%) cited quality products as the main reason for placing their trust in a retailer, while a good refund and exchange policy was imperative for a third (33%) of shoppers.