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  • NETMEDIA International

[Study] The French remain attached to physical stores

SES-imagotag and the OpinionWay Institute have published a study on the relationship between the French and their physical stores. It aims to understand whether hypermarkets have been damaged by the health crisis and the web.

This study, conducted by SES-imagotag and the OpinionWay institute, shows that customers remain very strongly attached to their physical stores. Despite the increase in the share of the web in food shopping since the health crisis. Consumers believe that physical stores can provide a sustainable response to the challenges of a future in which it will be necessary to produce better, consume better, reduce waste and packaging, preserve jobs and, of course, respect the environment and its biodiversity on a planet whose resources are limited. Moreover, if they had to keep only one, 68% of them would prefer their hyper/supermarket. According to the respondents, the point of sale remains a constant and central element for purchases.

How attached are you to physical stores?

62% of consumers say they are attached to their hypermarkets, 59% to their supermarkets and 65% regularly shop only in physical stores. 26% alternate between the physical and digital formats. Among the youngest (under 25), the proportion of web and omnichannel shopping reaches 50%. Less than one in three French people (31%) cite web ordering with drive-through or in-store pick-up and 24% internet with home delivery.

How often should I shop for food?

Supermarkets are the most frequented with 42% of respondents saying they go there at least once a week (one in ten French people even admit to going there several times a week). Next come hypermarkets with 39%, then local shops with 23%. Only 11% order every week on the web with collection in a drive-through or in a store (and 9% with home delivery). Looking at the age of the consumers, we can see that the results remain fairly homogeneous regardless of the age of the respondent when it comes to going to physical stores.

Customer satisfaction and sustainable food at the heart of the choice criteria of retailers

However, the respondents are far from satisfied with the advice dimension of their food stores. This criterion is the lowest rated (between 5.5 and 6) in each category except for hypermarkets. It is also the advantageous opening hours that are always cited and appreciated first and also the practicality. The French are concerned about the planet but also and above all about their direct environment. Thus, 36% take into account the sale of local products (this figure reaches one person out of two over 65), 30% the reduction of food waste, 26% the referencing of small producers and 24% the creation of local jobs. As for the types of product information they wanted to be able to consult quickly when shopping in store, whether via a digital device or on their phone 48% of French people mention information related to environmental and social criteria while 41% want to know more about the composition of the product. In the ranking, the use-by date comes first (43%), followed by the product's origin (38%) and the Nutriscore (26%).

The French will keep their food shopping habits

Overall, the French think that they will keep their habits, and that physical stores still have a good future ahead of them. Eight out of ten shoppers (79%) will continue to go to supermarkets, 76% to their local stores and 72% to hypermarkets. Moreover, physical outlets should continue to gain customers, as 10% of those questioned think they will go to their local stores more often.

65% of consumers will keep their habits, one in five French people think they will order less on the Internet with drive-through or store delivery. The figure reaches 22% for home delivery. It is worth noting that young people aged 18-24 think they will use all food retailers, both physical and online, more in the future. The results of the study therefore show that despite the increasing digitalization of society, the French remain attached to their supermarket.

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