E-commerce, short circuit, city center: the consumption of Breton households is changing

9:00 am by Dolores CHARLES

The Chamber of Commerce of Brittany presented yesterday (Tuesday 8 November) the results of its survey on “main changes in household consumption”: more than 35,000 Breton households were questioned between March and May 2022. This study is showing new buying habits. The Covid crisis has strengthened the e-commerce sector and small and large specialized surfaces seem to have been strengthened, at the expense of hypermarkets.

The consumption of Bretons under the magnifying glass: like every 4 years, the Brittany Chamber of Commerce and Industry has carried out a detailed survey to determine household consumption. Conducted in the spring of 2022, this study highlights clear changes in the behavior of Breton consumers. In, for example, in the field of food purchases, a return to smaller businesses, to local shops and points of sale, which has been confirmed.

The trend of local consumption is confirmed

The phenomenon did not disappear after the imprisonments, as pointed out by Nathalie Boursier, head of the economic information department at CCI Bretagne, interviewed by Yann Launay: “in terms of market share, large stores have fallen by a few points, while small stores, on the contrary, have increased by a few points. We are really here with local consumption, which is also part of the desire of consumers who consume locally.. . Short circuits, direct selling, all these are also positively evolving. We are rather in the tendencies to go to the development of this type of distribution, even if it remains “minor” in the distribution of market shares. Large surfaces remain for 80% the preferred places of consumption of Breton households.

Nathalie Boursier

Credits: Yann Launay

The rise of e-commerce

Between 2018 and 2022, the purchases of Breton households on the internet have doubled: this is one of the lessons of the survey. The share of non-food purchases made on the net increased from 9 to 18% in 4 years, while it decreased by 5 and a half points in supermarkets and by 3 and a half points in small shops. But for Fanny Bessec, who manages the Breton company of the same name and its 30 shoe stores, there is no reason to panic in the face of this rise in e-commerce:

“In Brittany, e-commerce in shoes is 22% of sales but it is 78% in stores. We see it like that too! Most are physically well in our stores. We also have merchant websites, which are very complementary to our stores and our customers are omni-channel. One day they shop online, then the next day they go for a walk in the city center and go to galleries near their workplace. I see this omnichannel customer and it’s up to us where he’s going to be as simple as possible in his service.”

Fanny Bessec, Managing Director of Chaussures Bessec (130 employees and 28 stores in Brittany and two online sales sites).

Fanny Bessec Credits:

Yann Launay

The city center has retained its dynamism Behind the numbers, CCI Bretagne president Jean-Pierre Rivery, maintains that the underlying trends have been accelerated by covid, with effects for example on downtown businesses: “We are seeing that there has been a resurgence of commerce in the town or town center with relocation, including supermarkets with convenience stores in the town center. We can clearly see that there is a resurgence of consumers for a life in the city center ecosystem.

We said this: the work done with the CCIs, particularly in the lower part of the commercial to support the baker, the restaurateur to set up shop, to innovate. We also saw this with covid, the acceleration of the accompaniments we have made digitally means we are ready for the future. Again, there was an accelerating effect that was very positive.”

Jean Pierre Rivery Credits:

Yann Launay

The uncertainty about the future This study illuminates and measures the evolution of consumer habits over the past four years, but it can hardly serve as a forecasting tool in the current period of uncertainty. It is impossible to predict the near future, which is not very reassuring, as Fanny Bessec acknowledges: “There is concern at inflation, of course. So as we assemble collections (we have 150 brands in our stores), we already tried upstream, six or eight months ago, to make a selection that seems commercially viable to us. Two-thirds of our suppliers produce in Europe, so we are not too far in terms of logistics, but the leather is higher, the soles are more expensive… The entire chain is necessarily affected. In our selection we tried to pay attention to the best value for money.

This has always been our leitmotif. But there, sometimes we stopped with some brands or were careful in choosing products, which we think are really honest about our customers, considering this crisis that we are all experiencing.

Fanny Bessec Credits:

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