Monday 19 March 2018
The Committee for Economic Development is providing retailers in Guernsey with a wealth of information on local consumer habits and preferences, with the publication today of the results of its Retail Survey.
The survey, carried out for the Committee by Island Global Research, collected the views of more than 900 Guernsey residents on the retail experience offered both on-island and online, how they make purchase decisions, and how the sector may best meet their shopping needs. The Committee is using the findings to inform its approach to the retail sector, and is circulating the results to businesses on its retailer database, and publishing them more widely online, so that businesses can also benefit from the data gathered.
The Committee's Vice-President, Deputy Dudley-Owen, earlier today attended a Chamber of Commerce workshop and lunch seminar focused on the retail sector at which she shared the headline findings with businesses. Deputy Dudley-Owen said:
"The findings of the Retail Survey are valuable to both government and, importantly, for retail sector businesses. The findings represent the collective voice of the Guernsey shopper, giving valuable insight into what consumers want to get out of the retail experience in Guernsey. The survey also highlights a number of areas where government and the sector itself can make improvements to the shopping and leisure experience in Guernsey. The results confirm what we already know, that there are a number of challenges facing our local retailers, but I am confident that with a concerted, collaborative approach from the sector and government these challenges can be made into new opportunities."
The Committee commissioned the research as part of work to understand the strengths, challenges and opportunities for the retail sector. The Committee hosted a series of workshops last year with industry representatives to hear retailers' perspectives on these aspects. The survey, which was undertaken in the last quarter of 2017, provides an understanding of the consumer view, recognising that the customer clearly needs to be at the core of a successful retail offering.
Key findings include:
- In the past 12 months, 96% of respondents had shopped online. However, 46% of respondents prefer to shop locally, compared to 25% who prefer to shop online (and 29% who were indifferent).
- There is a willingness amongst local consumers to support on-island retailers, which presents opportunities to local businesses who may not be able to compete on price and product range.
- There is an opportunity to improve the local shopping environment to improve the overall shopping experience.
The findings will be used to inform the Committee's ongoing work in a number of areas, including as a key driver in the work to unlock the potential of the St Peter Port seafront, as prioritised by the States in the Policy & Resource Plan, which has the potential to deliver a number of the improvements suggested by respondents concerning the appearance of, and access to, the St Peter Port retail environment.
Ian Burdekin, Head of the Chamber of Commerce Retail Sub-group said that the survey findings would be very useful to retailers:
"We are pleased to say that the overall picture appears very positive. Guernsey shoppers want to support local retail and there is a demand for the type of shopping experiences which physical retail is best placed to provide. However there are certainly areas where the views gathered here provide an opportunity for retailers to improve and maximise the customer experience, whether that be through incorporating e-commerce into their current offering, tailoring shop opening times to the customer base, or other aspects which consumers have said are important to them."
The full report of the findings is available in the downloads section on this page.
Businesses which wish to be on the Committee's database of retailers can email: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive future updates from the Committee.