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Consumer spending slowdown tests resilience of the high-street

Online shopping remains buoyant

June 04, 2008

The economic slowdown is having an adverse impact on high-street shopping, according to research conducted by Fujitsu Services, one of Europe’s leading IT services companies. Results reveal that consumers are reducing spending on the high-street but continuing to shop online.

Over half (53%) of those surveyed said they felt worse off (versus 19% better off) compared to this time last year. This means fewer monthly visits to the high-street and significant cutbacks, with over 51% spending less than last year. A decline in disposable income is impacting on consumer spending, with customers citing non-essential items such as clothes (49%), CDs and DVDs (37%) and books (29%) as areas for cutbacks. Spend on essential items such as groceries, fuel and toiletries remains stable.

In contrast, the popularity of online shopping continues to grow, with over 32% shopping more online this year compared to last. Key reasons cited include the 24x7 availability for online shopping (33%), ease of price comparison (31%) and online navigation (30%).

Commenting on the results, Sarah Kellett, retail industry consultant at Fujitsu Services said: “The results of the research should send out a warning shot to high-street retailers. The credit crunch will undoubtedly lead to a decline in consumers’ disposable income; this means retailers will have to compete harder for shopper pounds. Online shopping appears to be escaping relatively unscathed from the slowdown despite the fact that the goods people tend to buy more online are the ones shoppers are cutting back on, for example CDs, DVDs and books. High-street retailers need to address customer demandsfor convenience, range and overall shopping experience if they are to fit this new world of retailing.”

Sarah continues: “Retailers should be investing in in-store technologies that improve the customer shopping experience. Self-service checkouts, hand-held payment devices and queue management systems will address consumer demands for convenience, whilst kiosks and PDAs provide a solution to offer greater product and service information. A truly multi-channel approach that offers service choice and personalisation must surely be the way forward for the successful retailers of tomorrow.”

A tougher economic climate is benefiting the value retail stores, with over half (57%) of those polled stating they would buy clothes from a value store; 56% would buy groceries and 34% toiletries.


Notes to Editors:
1. Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Fujitsu Services
2. 3,000 consumers surveyed in May 2008

About Fujitsu Services

Fujitsu Services is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa . It has an annual turnover of £1.74 billion, (€2.58 billion) employs 14,500 people and operates in over 20 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and services for customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. Its core strength is the delivery of IT infrastructure management and outsourcing across desktop, networking and data centre environments, together with a full range of related services, from consulting through integration and deployment. Headquartered in London , Fujitsu Services is the European-centred IT services arm of the Fujitsu Group. The Fujitsu Group is a US$45 billion (€37 billion) leader in customer-focused IT systems and services for the global marketplace.

Retail Customers

In the retail sector, Fujitsu Services’ customers in the UK include The Co-operative Group, Vodafone, Mid-Counties Co-operatives, Royal Mail, Whitbread and Carpetright. In Europe its retail customers include La Rinascente (Italy), Auchan (France), The EDEKA Group (Germany) and Kesko (Finland).

Graham Goulden

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0) 1753 604736
Fax: + 44 (0) 1753 604669
E-mail: E-mail: graham.goulden@uk.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Services

Nikki Haine / Sally Lloyd

Phone: Phone: : + 44 (0) 1425 472330
E-mail: E-mail: sally@mckennatownsendpr.com
Company:McKenna Townsend PR

Date: 04 June, 2008

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