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Discounter stores refocusing attention on quality and range to challenge traditional retailers

20 February 2013

  • Over half of consumers had purchased groceries from a discounter store in the last year
  • Consumers agree discounters offer better value for money
  • And just under half believe that the quality of products is also better at discounters

London, [20thFebruary 2013] – While traditional retailers continue to dominate in terms of market share, research conducted by Canadean Custom Solutions shows that consumers are positioning discounters above traditional retailers on a number of factors, not just value for money.  Whilst historically the success of these stores could be attributed to the impact of the economic downturn on consumer spending, Canadean Custom Solutions can reveal that 48% of consumers also find the quality of discounter products to be just as good or better than those of traditional retailers.

Of 2,000 consumers polled by Canadean Custom Solutions, 1,018 (51%) had purchased groceries from a discounter store in the last year.  Of these, just under half agreed that the quality of products in discounter stores is better or superior to those offered in traditional retailers.  In addition, when respondents were asked if they would only shop at discounters if money was tight, only a third agreed, indicating that discounter stores have grown in popularity for reasons other than cheap prices.

Q4 2012 figures released by Aldi and Lidl revealed stronger growth in comparison to all traditional retailers apart from Waitrose who operate at the premium end of the market.  Historically, discounters tended to see a decline in sales over the Christmas period due to consumers trading up, but by introducing premium festive ranges at discount prices, both Aldi and Lidl were able to capitalise on consumers’ willingness to spend over the festive period and who are expecting high quality and low prices.

Emma Herbert, Research Manager at Canadean Custom Solutions believes the discounter value for money message is well and truly established in the minds of consumers. “What we are now seeing is discounters targeting areas where they have been historically weaker, notably quality and range”.

As part of this perception change, a key part of Aldi’s Christmas advertising campaign focused on how its products were on a par with upmarket food stores which served to highlight quality and reinforce the message of price.  Additional emphasis has been placed on the provenance of its products which while inherently linked to quality, is now more prominent in consumers’ minds in the wake of the horse meat revelations. Furthermore, discounters are now increasing their product ranges which will seek to address past criticisms of limited choice compared to traditional retailers.

According to Ms Herbert, “Whilst discounters initially thrived from low price and value offerings, the opportunity for continued growth will come from focusing on an expanded range of quality products which will enable them to challenge the traditional retailers”.

Discounter stores refocusing attention on qualty and range

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