Has Shopper Motivation Changed?

dixons store

Last week I posted the photo of a Dixons store on Linkedin. There was clearly a bit of a buzz as around the store. People were flocking to the store front. I asked my network the question – what is driving that footfall? The twist was that this picture was decades old and what I wanted to question – has shopper motivation changed?

A few people had the right answer.


The photo has been taken in the late 80’s early 90’s. This was before the era of phones. It was at a time when towns had thriving shopping areas and men would go into town with their wives (possibly dragged along) and they would gravitate to a Dixons store (an electrical retailer) to check out the football results.

As a sales person in a Dixons store in the 90’s, it was often a struggle to sell differentiate those who pretended to be interested in buying a TV and those who were genuinely in the market for a TV. It made hitting targets challenging!

The point of this post is not about the store, but the motivation of those there.

Here we are in the 2020’s and the underlying motivation remains the same. People still want to see football results on a Saturday afternoon.

The difference? They can access it on their phone.

The motivation is the same. The act is the same. It has just been done differently.

How is this relevant to Travel Retail?

There is a lot of talk about the post covid shopper and researchers talk about how they have changed. When we work with retailers and we work with millions or rows of transaction data, we are not seeing these ‘big shifts’ in behaviour. Shoppers still seek out big brands. They still want value. They still want to gift. They still want to treat themselves. They still want ‘new’. They still want to be informed. They would like be surprised. There is nothing new. These are still the things that were important when I started in retail all those years ago.

The times we DO see behaviour change is when brands move away from what the shopper needs. Those brands discontinue the lines that shoppers want, the lines that motivate the purchase.

In terms of prices, we see that on average, the price paid within a category has risen, but what is driving that? Is it simply a fact that prices have increased? Or are people buying different brands that may be at a higher price point but offer better value relatively. Why are people shifting from Brand X to Brand Y? Well, an example might be that Brand Y has the product format that Brand X had decided to delist.

Does this mean the post-covid shopper is different? No. It means the post-covid shopper still wants the same things but are willing to change their behaviours (i.e. brand switch) to get to get what they need.

One thing is clear, a deeper understanding of the shopper is required and we are helping our customers uncover fresh new insights. To find out more, check out this page…. Click Here

Have a great week.


Founder & Managing Director
One Red Kite Limited

Author of “Travel Retail : The Insider’s Guide”
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