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Job security, retail footfall, promotional spending: 5 interesting stats to start your week

Almost nine in 10 marketers worried about tech replacing jobs

The vast majority of marketers (87%) are concerned that technology, including generative AI, could replace jobs in their industries.

In general, there is high anxiety about the possibility of redundancies. Around nine in 10 (89%) say they are concerned about lay-offs at their company.

Rapid changes and not enough space to adapt are other reasons for anxiety among marketers. Nearly two-thirds (61%) say they have recently experienced a change in process or technology at their organisation.

Half (50%) agree martech is complicated and difficult to use, and around two in three say learning takes away from their everyday responsibilities.

A stable leadership team can build confidence among the rest of the business, however (20%) of marketers report having recently experienced a change in senior leadership.

Furthermore, over half (55%) of marketers report mismatched job expectations in their current roles.

Source: Gartner

Retail footfall sees steepest drop since pandemic

Retail footfall saw its steepest fall since the pandemic, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Sensormatic.

Total UK retail footfall fell by 6.2% year over year in February. This is an even steeper decline than the 2.8% recorded in January.

High street footfall saw the steepest decline during the month, which was marred by wet weather. Footfall for UK high streets decreased by 9.3% in February versus the same month in 2024. Shopping centres also saw a significant decline of 7%. Retail park footfall also decreased, dropping by 5.8% year over year.

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“February saw a collision course of disruptive forces negatively impacting store traffic, meaning store visits dipped to their lowest ebb since the pandemic,” says Sensormatic Solutions retail consultant EMEA Andy Sumpter.

“Prior to any energy price cap reduction, and with squeezed spending budgets, the confirmation of the UK’s ‘technical recession’ in 2023 appears to have weakened consumer confidence.”

Source: BRC-Sensormatic

Grocery shoppers spend extra £500m on promotions

Consumer spending on promotions and deals increased by 4% compared to last year in the four weeks to 18 February 2024, according to figures from Kantar.

This amounted to an extra £586m spent over the period versus the same month in 2023.

Overall, the rate of grocery price inflation declined to 5.3% in the four-week period. This represents a 1.5 percentage point decrease versus January levels and is the lowest inflation rate since March 2022.

While the traditional big four have all tried to match the discounters’ prices on particular lines through price match initiatives, it has not stemmed the growth of Lidl and Aldi.

Lidl was the UK’s fastest-growing grocery retailer for the sixth month in a row. It grew sales by 10.9% over the 12 weeks to 18 February taking its share of the market to 7.5%. Aldi also grew sales ahead of the market meaning it maintains its 9.4% share.

Another behaviour that cemented itself during the cost of living crisis was consumers opting to buy own-label instead of brands. Even as inflation begins to ease this behaviour appears to be sticking, with private label growth of 5.5% beating the growth of 5.3% seen in branded products.

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Source: Kantar

Entertaining brand content over-delivers on social media

Entertaining content is more likely to deliver for brands on social media, research suggests.

Social media management platform Dash Hudson scored brand content out of 10 for entertainment value and then carried out research to see whether a high score on this metric correlated with a strong performance.

The research finds brands that choose to boost content with an entertainment score greater than five out of 10 see more than double (279%) the number of video views on average.

However, just 16% of content boosted had a score of more than five on entertainment, suggesting brands need to be more strategic about what they pay to boost on social media.

The report also sees Dash Hudson partner with NielsenIQ to analyse how beauty brands perform on TikTok Shop. It finds that the top five beauty brands on TikTok collectively account for one third of TikTok Shop sales out of 500 brands within the beauty industry.

These brands (BPerfect, Made by Mitchell, Nature Spell, Plouise and the Beauty Corp) are not necessarily the most well-known beauty brands overall in the UK, but dominate the TikTok Shop sector.

Source: Dash Hudson and NielsenIQ

Return to office is boosting in-person shopping

Workers returning to the office is boosting the fortunes of bricks-and-mortar shops, according to research from Bazaarvoice.

Professionals in the UK are among the most likely to go back to the office, the research finds, with over two-thirds (68%) of workers returning to their desk for at least some of the week.

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Returning to the office is also driving people into physical shops, over half (55%) of these consumers back in the office associate their return to the workplace with increased spending in bricks-and-mortar stores.

British consumers are fairly evenly divided on where they do most of their shopping. Just over a third (35%) report spending the most in physical shops, with a very similar proportion (34%) saying they spend the most online. The remainder (31%) report that their spending is fairly evenly split between online and bricks-and-mortar retail.

Source: Bazaaarvoice.

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