Shopper confidence has hit 'record lows' in the UK, the latest Shopper Confidence Index from IGD ShopperVista has found, following a further decline in the past month.
The Index score for March fell from -18 in February to -23 in March, despite a slight peak halfway through the month, when it looked like oil prices may come down.
Financial confidence is also now at a lower level than during the initial pandemic phase in April 2020.
According to the Shopper Confidence Index, half of shoppers now expect food prices to be 'much more expensive' over the coning year, a rise from 12% a year ago.
Shift In Focus
“Shoppers are rightly concerned about prices increasing and beginning to shift their focus to saving money," said Rhian Thomas, head of shopper insight at IGD ShopperVista.
"This will obviously have an effect on the way they shop, so it goes without saying that businesses should be focusing on their value proposition and how they can support shoppers during this period."
In London, shopper confidence is now at the lowest of all UK regions (-25), despite being at the highest last month (-15).
In addition, confidence among 18-34 year olds dropped fastest over the course of the month, with older age groups 'bottoming out', according to IGD.
More and more shoppers are focusing on saving money, with a net difference of 27% more shoppers now focused on saving compared to buying quality.
“One positive from this is that trust in the industry remains strong – shoppers are aware that these challenges are external pressures, rather than industry-driven, so there is an opportunity to engage with shoppers during these turbulent times," Thomas added.