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UK discount grocery market continues to develop..

UK discount grocery market continues to develop..

The latest player within the UK discount grocery market opened this month, only to close temporarily due to overwhelming demand.

easyFoodstore.com celebrated the long awaited opening of its first shop in West London with a 25p promotion across all products. However, demand was so great that the shop was forced to close temporarily while the shelves were re-stocked.

As the UK’s leading provider of In Store data collection, ESA Retail sent one of our experienced auditors to conduct footfall counts, interviews with customers and a range of in store observations via the ESA Mobile specialist audit app. Here’s what we found:

  1. Demand remains very high, as our auditor queued for 2 ½ hours to get a look inside the store!
  2. Customers told us that they were surprised by the limited range and lack of choice available.
  3. Footfall outside of the store was limited, with only 46 pedestrians passing in the 2 hours after opening. In fact, most of the customers we spoke to did not live within walking distance of the store.
  4. Three members of staff were visible in store during our visit – 1 serving customers and 2 replenishing stock. In addition to this, 2 further people were helping to manage access to the store outside.
  5. Members of staff were handing out free gifts of stationary to those patiently queuing outside.
  6. At the time of our visit, the store offered a range of 42 products. The majority of products sold were packaged goods such as rice & tinned tomatoes, though a limited range of snacks, confectionery and soft drinks were also available.
  7. The products sold in store were from the Happy Shopper (Booker) and Best In (Bestway) ranges, with no branded products on display.
  8. The majority of customers we spoke to usually buy their groceries at the nearby Asda and heard about easyFoodstore through coverage in the press.
  9. When asked, more than three quarters of the customers we spoke to indicated that they would not shop at easyFoodstore again – citing limited choice as the most important reason.
  10. Despite this, the average spend of those interviewed was £7.25 (29 items per customer!).

Using the ESA Mobile smartphone app we were able to capture images of the fixture, revealing a no-frills approach which maximises the stores relatively small footprint.

It remains to be seen whether easyGroup’s offer of an unbranded and ultra-low-cost core range of products proves scalable, though it is clear that consumer interest is high and retailers continue to see potential in the discount sector, where existing players such as Aldi & Lidl have made significant gains.

For more information about ESA Retail’s In Store Observation services, please contact Chris Kennedy at Chris.Kennedy@esa-retail.co.uk, or Antony Francis at Antony.Francis@esa-retail.co.uk.

Sample size: 12 randomly selected customers leaving the easyFoodstore in Park Royal West, NW10

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