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The Retail Landscape

18-Dec-2014

Nick Bailey explores the impact of changing shopping habits

Next year is likely to see changing consumer shopping habits and the dramatic changes these are imposing on the retail landscape have a significant impact on the layer sector. These factors, which are largely external to the sector and worryingly beyond our control, may well turn out to be the ones to watch in 2015.

Consumers are changing their behaviour, replacing big weekly shops at out of town stores with a move towards more frequent convenience and online shops. When combined with the much publicised rise of the discounter and the success of top-end stores such as Waitrose, a new polarisation of diverging retail propositions is emerging. Whilst the ‘big four’ adapt to this, commodity and food markets will be under pressure just at the time when gains offered by falling feed and fuel prices were on the cards. However, these changes also present opportunities; a chance for differentiation and regional products, especially in the wake of ‘Horsegate’. As ever, we need a combination of savvy marketing and efficient production.

Despite these new challenges, free range expansion is likely to continue in 2015, driven by an apparent shortage of eggs and high wholesale prices. As a long term supplier, we hope this is sustainable and driven by real growth in demand rather than a short term market situation.