24
June
2013
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

LOCAL SHOPS AND TOWN CENTRES STILL TOP CHOICE

LOCAL SHOPS AND TOWN CENTRES STILL TOP CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS DESPITE ONLINE AND OUT-OF-TOWN COMPETITION

- CBRE Asks 10,000 Consumers across Europe How and Where They Prefer To Shop -
- Price, Security, Cleanliness and Ease of Access Most Important Factors -

Warsaw, 24 June 2013 – CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, in its How We Shop – Inside the Minds of Europe’s Consumers report, has canvassed the opinions of more than 10,000 shoppers across Europe to discover how and where they shop and to what degree unprecedented consumer access to the internet is changing the way we buy goods. Results show that most Europeans still prefer to visit their local shops and town centres rather than buy products online or shop at out-of-town retail schemes.

Interestingly, Polish consumers and residents of other CEE countries make their grocery shopping trips twice a week on average, compared to once a week on average in Western Europe, for example in Germany.

The report reveals that while online retailing continues to grow in appeal, consumers do not intend to radically change their shopping habits in the coming years. Results show that an overwhelming majority are yet to fully embrace new technology and digital tools such as QR codes.

Agata Czarnecka, Senior Consultant, Research & Consultancy, CBRE in Poland:
“The report indicates that generally speaking in Europe online shops complement in-store retailing, with Poland still a long way down the list of the most avid online shoppers – 16% of us buy our clothes and shoes via the internet, while for example in the UK, Germany or Sweden 70 or more percent do so. However, a full 25% of those surveyed in Poland say that in the future they want to shop online “more” or “much more”. When buying online, 64% of European consumers prefer home delivery (in Poland that’s over 80%), but to 85% of Europeans it is important to have access to a physical store to view, touch and try on the garments before finally buying online.”

Two thirds of consumers said that the most important factors when choosing where to go shopping in the “bricks and mortar” world were the price of goods, cleanliness, security and convenient access, including parking space. Availability of entertainment and leisure facilities was important to a third of those surveyed, while in the younger age group more than half of those surveyed said it was an important factor. The range of retailers and, in particular, the size of their stores (and consequent ability to carry a full range of goods) were high up the list of consumers’ priorities.

Despite competition from online and out-of-town shopping, town centres and the high street continue to be the preferred option for European consumers. The physical store is still playing a key role in the new world of multichannel retailing. When clothes shopping, 78% of Europeans most often visit local shops and town centres – at least once a month on average. In Western Europe the proportion of people buying fashions goods in town centres rises to 90%. For out-of-town shopping centres the average visit frequency is every six weeks. In Poland consumers also do most of their fashion shopping in local stores, which they visit at least once a month. The average visit frequency for shopping centres, both on the outskirts and in city centres is every five weeks.

Peter Gold, Head of Cross Border EMEA Retail, CBRE commented:
“The ‘essentials’ of a successful retail destination – value, convenience, cleanliness and security –remain uppermost in shoppers’ minds. While many retailers are adapting to technological advances, consumers are telling us that they do not intend to radically change their shopping habits in the immediate future. Consumers are far less interested in mobile technology and QR codes than the retail industry itself, so perhaps investment is better spent elsewhere.

Convenience is still the consumer’s watchword; people like to shop locally and they want their shopping destinations to be easily accessible by car and free to park in. Out-of-town centres usually offer free parking, but town centre shopping facilities normally charge putting themselves at a distinct disadvantage. Our advice to town centre managers, shopping centres and retail investors is listen to what consumers want, concentrate on getting the basics right, and this will ultimately give you the best chance of success.”