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Cypriots choosing to ‘shop smart’ as habits change since crisis

The economic crisis has changed the behaviour of Cypriot consumers who are have moved from ‘shopping big’ to ‘shopping smart’, according to the head of the pancyprian supermarkets association Andreas Hadjiadamou.

Hadjiadamou was quoted in Phileleftheros in an article on Sunday saying that since the crisis, price has become the driving factor. This was observable, he said. People now choose more offers, compare prices, buy only the basic necessities, shop on a smaller scale with more visits to the supermarket, scrutinise flyers and buy cheaper products and value packs.

“Conditions have changed in recent years and consumers have become more discerning,” he was quoted as saying. “People make more cautious and practical decisions”.

He said price was also the driving factor in why consumers chose to shop at different supermarkets, which has left them to compete more among themselves on cleanliness, quality, price, environment and customer service in order to gain competitive advantage.

“There is a lot of competition in the retail sector and there is no complacency in the market,” he said. “Each supermarket trying to look ahead.”

According to Phileleftheros, the issue was the subject of a Masters thesis by a student, a graduate of the Open University.

He wrote that before 2008 only 45% of consumers used a shopping list. By 2013 this percentage had risen to 75%. He also noted that 80% of consumers now scrutinised flyers and 40% make purchases based on offers they read about in the leaflets.

This suggested that shoppers were taken up less by buying brands and no longer considered cheaper products to be inferior such as supermarkets’ ‘own brands’. The top ‘cheaper’ products Cypriots buy are cleaning items, oil, sugar, pastas and flour.

The main conclusion of the study was that most supermarkets in Cyprus do not have own brands to the same extent as the UK and could be losing out. Instead, they rely on intensive advertising and discount offers in their quest to gain competitive advantage.

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