A quarter of Yorkshire shoppers are concerned about Brexit, says PwC survey

Madeleine Thomson, retail and consumer leader at PwCMadeleine Thomson, retail and consumer leader at PwC
Madeleine Thomson, retail and consumer leader at PwC
More than 25 per cent of Yorkshire's consumers are concerned about the impact of Brexit on their spending plans over the next 12 months, according to a new report from PwC.

PwC’s new Total Retail report also concluded that around 62 per cent of Yorkshire shoppers were worried about their lack of disposable income.

The survey of more than 1,000 UK shoppers found that brand loyalty is still important in Yorkshire. Around two thirds (67 per cent) of Yorkshire respondents described themselves as “loyal shoppers” who know which brands and products they buy most often. Price is still the most important factor for determining customer loyalty, with 63 per cent of respondents in Yorkshire stating that they return to a retailer because they are happy with the prices. Other important reasons are trust in the brand (48 per cent), and items being in stock (31 per cent). Almost six in 10 Yorkshire consumers only shop with companies they trust to minimise online security risks.

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Madeleine Thomson, retail and consumer leader at PwC, said “2017 will be a crucial year for retailers; a combination of price inflation on goods and groceries will mean that brand loyalty will play a more significant role than ever.

“However, with prices on the up and less disposable income available to the average UK consumer as a result, retailers will need to be versatile in order to keep their customers from looking for cheaper options elsewhere. The customer experience is key.”

Other consumer habits highlighted by the report show that more than half (52 per cent) of Yorkshire shoppers buy online because they find it more convenient than visiting a shop, although they do worry about fake goods when doing so.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) said they were concerned that luxury cosmetics and fragrances purchases may not be genuine, while only 11 per cent worry about clothing, shoes or leather goods being fake.

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Ms Thomson added: “The way retailers are evolving is fascinating, with a bigger focus on online platforms and making products more accessible to customers.

People have more choice than ever now in terms of ordering goods and the products available to them. Making the process as easy as possible, and via as many channels as possible is one way to stay ahead of the curve.”

The report also found that 23 per cent of consumers in Yorkshire would buy British if the product is equal in price, product specification and quality to an imported good. Twenty four per cent claimed that retailers’ mobile websites are an obstacle to making purchases. But almost a fifth (17 per cent) now use their smartphones to buy online weekly in Yorkshire.

Ms Thomson said: “The rise of digital, our reliance on Amazon – 96 per cent of Yorkshire shoppers use the site - and increases in wearable and mobile shopping are also highlighted in this year’s survey. However, something else that is equally important, is the value that UK shoppers continue to place on in-store experience, with the number one in-store attribute being shop staff with a deep knowledge of their product range.”