Shoppers claim to have started stockpiling food to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, data from surveys suggest.
Kantar Worldpanel found that one in ten shoppers reportedly are starting to stockpile groceries – with a further 26% reporting that they are considering doing so.
But they noted that the claims had not been reflected in sales ‘just yet’ – with overall grocery volumes were rising at a stable 1.2% in the four weeks to February 24.
Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar Worldpanel, said: ‘Despite one in 10 shoppers saying they have started stockpiling groceries and a further 26% reporting that they are considering doing so, this has not been borne out in sales just yet.’
The suggestions of a ‘stockpiling’ effect were reflected by data from the British Retail Consortium, which found consumer confidence levels are now close to five-year lows as the scheduled Brexit departure date of March 29th approaches.
It found that shoppers were focused on buying food for stockpiling rather than non-essential items.
This was supported by analysis from Barclaycard with the company’s director Esme Harwood commenting: ‘Uncertainty over Brexit appears to be driving a shift in behaviour, with many Brits worrying about price rises and cutting back on non-essential spend, and some even stockpiling everyday items.’
Analysts Nielsen, however, noted that their latest statistics showed average groecery spend had fallen from £16.70 each week to £16.30 – with the belief that Brexit fears had led to a more ‘cautious’ approach to shopping.
Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer insight, said: ‘Over the last four weeks, the average spend per visit has fallen to £16.30 from £16.70 this time last year, down 2%, as a result of the resurgence of ‘little and often’ shopping behaviour but also due to price cutting by supermarkets.’