Some 57 per cent of shoppers just want to get in and out of the stores as quickly as possible, according to Mintel's data, while just 16 per cent of shoppers actually find the weekly grocery shopping trip a pleasurable pastime.
"The majority of us do not actually find shopping an enjoyable experience," said Richard Caines, Mintel's senior retail consultant. "But clearly shoppers are looking for efficient stores, where they can find what they want, pay quickly and get away promptly."
Change, above all else, is what drives British shoppers mad, with almost half of shoppers demanding less frequent changes in grocery store layout, according to Mintel's survey. This is particularly true of older shoppers, with 65 per cent of those aged 45 to 54 age preferring the status quo.
Space is another major concern for grocery shoppers, with a quarter willing to give up some choice in return for wider aisles. "Store designers should concentrate on easy access, efficient checkouts, simple merchandise schemes and good point-of-sale information to please customers. This especially applies to men, who are much more inclined to be 'quick' shoppers" said Caines.
Yet it seems that many store operators are ignoring the demands of their customers and investing in change in a big way. According to Mintel's data, last year, UK retailers spent an estimated £1.7 billion on shopfittings and interiors, out of an estimated total of £3.2 billion spent on store designs and refits. This total spend represents around 1.3 per cent of retail sales in the year.
Supermarket shoppers are particularly keen to avoid change, as being able to navigate through the store aisles without thinking obviously helps them speed up the whole shopping experience.
"Just 5 per cent of grocery shoppers are looking for a more frequent update of store interior," said Caines. "What is more, almost a quarter of shoppers (23 per cent) are prepared to settle for a lesser store environment if the price is right. Indeed, consumer research shows other retail offerings such as live food demonstrations in store (9 per cent) and advice for putting wines with food (6 per cent) are of little interest to today's price conscious consumers."