One in 10 shoppers claim to have started stockpiling for a no-deal Brexit

PUBLISHED: 11:27 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 05 March 2019

Shoppers say they have started stockpiling. Photograph: Oliver Berg/PA.

Shoppers say they have started stockpiling. Photograph: Oliver Berg/PA.

DPA/Press Association Images

Shoppers claim to have started stockpiling food to prepare for a no-deal Brexit, data from surveys suggest.

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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.”

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