Sunday shopping

Sunday shopping is not just a chance to catch up with regular household purchases, it is a social and leisure activity. But despite attempts by some multiples to enforce longer opening hours, Sunday shoppers seem content with the status quo.

<b>Stores visited on a sunday in past three months</b> – All adults % Any 88 A supermarket 75 A corner shop or newsagent 73 A DIY store 55 A garden centre or nursery 43 A department store 42 A computer/ electrical goods specialist 35 An off-licence 36 An out-of-town shopping centre 35 A market, fair or car-boot sale 29 A record shop 24 A book shop 21

Stores visited on a sunday in past three months

<b>shops visited on a sunday at least once a month</b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % A corner shop or newsagent 70 A supermarket 66 A DIY store 30 An off-licence 27 A garden centre or nursery 22 A department store 20 A market 17 An out-of-town shopping centre 15 A record shop 11 A computer/electrical goods specialist 11 A bookshop 7

shops visited on a sunday at least once a month

<b>Goods bought on a sunday in the past three months</b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % Food or household supplies 89 Newspapers or magazines 81 Alcoholic drink 48 Clothing or footwear 41 Furniture or electrical items 28

Goods bought on a sunday in the past three months

<b>Frequency of shopping for more than a newspaper</b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % Every week 50 Two or three times a month 20 Once a month 17 Once every two or three months 13

Frequency of shopping for more than a newspaper

<b>Attitudes toward sunday shopping</b> % Sunday shoppers Agreeing A lot A little Not at all I can go with my partner or friend 50 24 26 I like to get out of the house on Sunday 40 34 26 I have more time to look around 46 23 30 The shops are not as busy 38 25 37 I just pick up things I have run out of 36 35 29 I enjoy shopping on Sunday more than during the week 27 20 53

Attitudes toward sunday shopping

<b>Would like shops to be open longer on a sunday</b> All adults shopping on Sunday in last three months % Yes 25 No 75

Would like shops to be open longer on a sunday

Sunday shopping is now of major importance to consumers and retailers. NOP’s exclusive research for Marketing Week showed that 88 per cent of the adult population of Britain went shopping on a Sunday during autumn 2000; and two-thirds had visited four or more different types of outlet or out-of-town shopping centres.

Even more significantly for the retail trade, the vast majority of consumers are making regular trips to the shops on Sunday. Ninety-two per cent of Sunday shoppers visited at least one type of shop once or more every month, equating to eight out of ten British adults; and the vast majority are buying something other than “just a newspaper” on Sundays.

As Sunday shopping is so widespread, the demographic pattern tends to mirror the national average quite closely. However, it is far more popular amongst under-55-year-olds, perhaps because older people are more likely to be retired, and to be able to shop during the week.

Retailers visited on Sundays

Certainly, their relative unimportance in the market is dramatic: although the over-55s make up 31 per cent of the adult population, they are only a quarter of Sunday shoppers – and a fifth of those who used four or more types of shop on a Sunday. Older people are also far less likely to be regular Sunday shoppers; Some 84 per cent of people aged over 55, who had been shopping on Sunday in autumn 2000, went at least once a month, compared with 96 per cent of younger Sunday shoppers.

Supermarkets were the most popular destination for Sunday shoppers. Three-quarters of all adults used a supermarket in the three months examined by the research, two per cent more than a corner-shop or newsagent. DIY stores were the only other type of retailer to have been visited by more than half the population. Garden centres and department stores each attracted just over four out of ten people; and computer/electrical goods specialists, off-licences and out-of town shopping centres just over a third of adults. Twenty-nine per cent had been to a market, fair or car-boot sale, a quarter to a record shop and a fifth visit a bookshop on a Sunday.

NOP asked all Sunday shoppers which of these types of retailer they visited “at least once a month”. Corner shops and newsagents were narrowly the most popular, used by seven out of ten, compared with two-thirds regularly doing some supermarket shopping on Sundays. Other outlets have a smaller regular franchise, reflecting the occasional nature of their markets, but their shopper numbers are still impressive. Three out of ten Sunday shoppers (about a quarter of all adults) go to a DIY store on a Sunday at least once a month; 27 per cent use an off-licence, 22 per cent a garden centre or nursery, and a fifth a department store.

Car boot sales

Markets and car-boot sales were a regular treat for 17 per cent of Sunday shoppers, two per cent more than out-of-town shopping centres. Record shops and computer specialists attracted 11 per cent each, and bookshops had the lowest customer base, with seven per cent.

Regular Sunday shopping varies quite markedly across the three main regions of the country. Garden centres and nurseries are more popular venues in the South and Midlands. Three-quarters of shoppers in the North use a corner shop at least once a month on Sundays, compared with two-thirds in the rest of the UK; and they are almost twice as likely to make a regular visit to an out-of-town shopping centre. Nearly a quarter of people in the Midlands visit car-boot sales, fairs and markets, compared with 15 per cent elsewhere.

Household supplies

The majority of Sunday shopping – as on weekdays – is fairly utilitarian. The largest group of purchasers was for “food or household supplies”, at 89 per cent, eight per cent more than had bought newspapers or magazines; nearly half of those surveyed had bought alcohol.

But there is a significant amount of more major purchasing taking place as well. Four out of ten Sunday shoppers bought clothing or footwear on a Sunday in the three months before the research, and 28 per cent bought furniture or electrical goods.

Although only 38 per cent of customers thought that “the shops are less busy on Sundays” , Sunday shopping still seemed to be a fairly relaxed and social event for many participants, especially for full-time working women and young people.

Half of all Sunday shoppers agreed strongly that they could “go shopping with my partner or a friend”, rising to two-thirds of under 25-year-olds and 58 per cent of working women. Nearly as many shoppers – 46 per cent – felt that they had “more time to look around on Sundays”; but this was a strong motivation for nearly six out of ten working women – and nearly half this group agreed strongly that they “enjoy shopping more on Sunday than during the week”, compared with a quarter of all Sunday shoppers.

Opening hours

Young shoppers were particularly attracted to Sunday shopping as entertainment. Forty-seven per cent of 15- to 34-year-olds found it very enjoyable to “get out of the house on Sunday”, compared with less than four out of ten older shoppers, and this aspect is a major motivation for people who shop every Sunday.

By contrast, just over a third agreed that “I mainly just pick up things I have forgotten or run out of”, and this was the most common comment among the least frequent Sunday shoppers.

But despite of the popularity of Sunday shopping, the vast majority of shoppers were perfectly content with the current opening hours. Only a quarter said that they “would like shops to be allowed to open for longer hours on Sunday than they do at present”, and the proportion of dissenters among people who shopped every week was only marginally higher, at 27 per cent.

Main Findings

– 82% of adults go shopping on Sunday at least once a month

– 44% go every week

– 58% go to a supermarket on Sunday at least once a month

– 31% go to four or more types of retailer at least once a month

ANALYSIS: Elaine Hunt.

NOP Research Group interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 15+ using its Weekend Omnibus

Vital Statistics

<b>Stores visited on a sunday in past three months </b> – All adults % Any 88 A supermarket 75 A corner shop or newsagent 73 A DIY store 55 A garden centre or nursery 43 A department store 42 A computer/ electrical goods specialist 35 An off-licence 36 An out-of-town shopping centre 35 A market, fair or car-boot sale 29 A record shop 24 A book shop 21

Stores visited on a sunday in past three months

<b>shops visited on a sunday at least once a month </b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % A corner shop or newsagent 70 A supermarket 66 A DIY store 30 An off-licence 27 A garden centre or nursery 22 A department store 20 A market 17 An out-of-town shopping centre 15 A record shop 11 A computer/electrical goods specialist 11 A bookshop 7

shops visited on a sunday at least once a month

<b>Goods bought on a sunday in the past three months </b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % Food or household supplies 89 Newspapers or magazines 81 Alcoholic drink 48 Clothing or footwear 41 Furniture or electrical items 28

Goods bought on a sunday in the past three months

<b>Frequency of shopping for more than a newspaper </b> Adults shopping on Sunday in the past three months % Every week 50 Two or three times a month 20 Once a month 17 Once every two or three months 13

Frequency of shopping for more than a newspaper

<b>Attitudes toward sunday shopping </b> % Sunday shoppers Agreeing A lot A little Not at all I can go with my partner or friend 50 24 26 I like to get out of the house on Sunday 40 34 26 I have more time to look around 46 23 30 The shops are not as busy 38 25 37 I just pick up things I have run out of 36 35 29 I enjoy shopping on Sunday more than during the week 27 20 53

Attitudes toward sunday shopping

<b>Would like shops to be open longer on a sunday </b> All adults shopping on Sunday in last three months % Yes 25 No 75

Would like shops to be open longer on a sunday

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