Comfort eating? Online shoppers put their money where their mouth is
Today’s ONS (Office of National Statistics) retail figures for August highlighted the pre-Brexit wobble in consumer confidence, says the home delivery expert ParcelHero, with sales volumes down -.2% compared to July, and department store sales continuing to tumble -1.3% on the previous month and -2.5% on August 2018.
However, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, says that there is one area of retail that is continuing to tempt consumers out of their financial worries, and that is online food sales. ‘Internet shoppers look to have turned to comfort food to beat their Brexit blues’ says David. ‘Online food sales were up 5.8% on July, and a huge 8% on August 2018. Online shoppers are certainly showing a voracious appetite for home food deliveries.’
Reveals David: ‘E-commerce sales were up 8% year on year – and it was food retail that gobbled a large part of August’s online spend. This reflects the continuing improvements in e-commerce food sales. Ocado has just announced double digit growth thanks to its new venture with Marks & Spencer and the opening of a new automated fulfilment centre for Morrisons.’
David adds: ‘Amazon is also continuing its push into Fresh one-hour food deliveries; and it has now ditched its subscription requirement, to give customers the option to pay per delivery – a move likely to increase customers hunger for the service. Add to this the continuing success of food deliveries straight from the kitchens from the likes of Deliveroo, and there is no wonder Brits are ordering ever-more food online.’
Concludes David: ‘There’s little doubt we’re all treating ourselves to a few more online luxury meals for two to escape the world of Brexit. The big Saturday food shop is already history for many of us, and with M&S finally getting onboard, it’s not just a food retail revolution; it’s a Marks & Spencer’s food retail revolution…’
To discover more about how the High Street and online retail are battling for consumer spend see ParcelHero’s influential report: 2030 – The Death of the High Street.’