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Middle-class Brits are now turning to budget supermarkets, which have seen a 25 per cent sales boost. Tightening household expenditure has meant smart shoppers are searching for ways to make their money go further at the checkout.
 
In a recent article in the Telegraph, a spokesperson for budget supermarkets commented that these days Mercedes, BMWs and Audis can all be seen in the cheaper store’s car parks, ten years ago this was certainly not the case.
 
The cut price stores have succeeded in out-smarting the more upmarket stores, whose hold on the market has been weakened. According to the newspaper report, one of the better class food chain stores claims that the supermarket gained 150,000 new customers last December. Yet customers are spending less because they are filling their trolleys with goods that are on special offer. “They are being a little bit more savvy about how they shop,” she tells the resource.
 
As a result of environmentally-friendly and energy-saving practices, one store recently confirmed that millions of pounds of savings will be passed on to its consumers. Online shopping has also become a popular choice for this year.
 
It seems that during the on-going financial downturn, Brits are switching to online shopping in an effort to bag themselves some bargains. The telegraph notes that almost one third of consumers claim they will increase their internet spending over the next year.
 
The study – conducted by Lightspeed Research and New Media Age – shows that 89 per cent of savvy shoppers believe they can secure the best deals online. Nevertheless, some 70 per cent of consumers prefer the human touch; something that is gained from browsing the high street.
 
The editor of New Media Age, tells the newspaper that a number of stores may look at trading solely online in a bid to avoid the same fate as companies such as Woolworths and Zavvi.
 
“Now that retail spend is being squeezed on every side this shift in consumer behaviour is going to become more pronounced and is going to have a bigger impact on the bottom line of the major retailers,” he says.
 
The telegraph recently revealed that a number of websites have been established to allow Britons to exchange their unwanted Christmas gifts for presents they would actually like!
 
And in another newspaper report, this time from the Burton Mail, it was claimed that bargain-hunting Brits are caught in the middle of a price war between holiday companies aiming to out-do one another. Everyone in the industry, from travel agents to cruise companies, is taking up to 50 per cent off their getaway deals, according to the newspaper; the evidence can be clearly seen in the local high street.
 
Some airline companies have slashed around 40 per cent off long-haul holiday destinations such as South Africa and New York. Leading travel agents, on the other hand, are challenging other companies to a price match competition.
 
Assistant manager, of a travel agents in Burton told the newspaper that her store had seen an upturn in holiday sales since Christmas because of the current discount campaign which offers customers up to 300 pounds off. Furthermore, the company is willing to match prices of competitors.
 
Some other travel companies also report that they are giving away vouchers, to fund the cost of travel goods such as luggage and electrical items and even travel insurance, to hard-up Brits. It would seem that shopping around for bargains could be extremely beneficial.

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