Shopping and the Brexit effect: a new study from Trinity McQueen

Brexit has scarcely been off the front pages since the vote in 2016. As a nation we’re pretty much obsessed.

At Trinity McQueen we’re researchers. We’re interested in what makes people tick – and more importantly, what impacts on their behaviour. So we decided to carry out our own research into the UK’s attitudes to the economy right now, how people feel about the future, and importantly, their attitudes to shopping. We wanted to look at how attitudes varied: by age, gender, lifestage and of course how we voted in the Brexit referendum. We also wanted to get to a bit of granular detail about the impact of all this uncertainty on shopping habits, by category.

What we’ve found is fascinating. There’s been lots of talk of ‘the divided nation’, but its writ large in our data. Young vs. old, families vs. non-families, remain vs. leave – whilst most of us are pretty uncertain about what the future holds for our finances, the differences in attitudes are huge.

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One of the most interesting things for me is the impact our attitude to Brexit has on our perception of prices. Price inflation right now is a fact – we’ll all experiencing it in reality. But our data shows that our perception of those price rises really differs – if we voted Remain, then we’re significantly more likely to feel that prices are going up. Leavers, on the other hand, are more positive about their experience of price rises. Regardless of how we all voted, that’s a fascinating dichotomy.

Beyond this, it’s clear that the changes in the economy are affecting some groups more than others. Price inflation is falling hardest on families, and older people seem less impacted. For retailers and manufacturers rolling into the Christmas season, finding ways to support families to find the best value will be vital.

We’ve got lots more to share on this. And it seems the press are pretty interested – we’ve been featured in the Independent, the Express and the Grocer, amongst others. We’re happy to share our findings too – just get in touch if you’d like to hear more.