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Poor stock availability in store risks customer loyalty

Recent research reveals shoppers are frustrated with stock levels, with almost half (46%) expecting their favourite store to be out of stock of at least one item, forcing them to shop-hop to complete their purchases

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Poor stock availability in store risks customer loyalty

Recent research reveals shoppers are frustrated with stock levels, with almost half (46%) expecting their favourite store to be out of stock of at least one item, forcing them to shop-hop to complete their purchases

In addition, only 15% of respondents stated they were certain their preferred store would have what they want, indicating a worrying trend for retailers as consumers vote with their feet and discard store loyalty.

The research, carried out by Aldata Solution of over 1,000 UK consumers was undertaken in November 2010 and revealed attitudes to Christmas shopping and key frustrations with retailers over promotions and stock levels.

Another key finding was that poor store layout is driving shoppers to boiling point this Christmas, with aisle obstruction (46%), limited product availability (34%), difficult checkout processes (33%) and messy shelves (33%) highlighted as the biggest shopping frustrations. With anger building, retailers risk the wrath of Christmas shoppers if they fail to review and clean up store processes.

Allan Davies, CMO, Aldata comments. "During the festive season, shops are busier than ever, and having to shop-hop can be very stressful and tantamount to torture for the last minute Christmas shopper! With the 18th of December set to be the busiest day of Christmas shopping, offers can draw in new customers, but a badly thought-out promotion could easily deplete stock levels and impact consumer confidence and loyalty."

Almost a third of shoppers regard Christmas promotions as a cynical ploy to buy more, with 31% stating they distrust, dislike or just throw out multi-buy / BOGOF products, creating a wastage problem and product shortage for other buyers.

Davies concludes: "Christmas can be a difficult time for both consumers and retailers, but it is clear that retailers need to go back to basics and ensure that stock is available so that shoppers can complete their Christmas lists and as the busiest day on the high street is fast approaching, it is clear retailers need to act now before it's too late."

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