Happy campers favour supermarkets

As the summer comes to a close, a study has shown that consumers were more likely to purchase their summer essentials, such as camping equipment and walking boots, as part of their weekly supermarket shop, rather than visiting a specialist outdoor retailer

The research, commissioned by retail specialist agency, Gratterpalm, found that for lower priced items such as torches, folding tables and pop-up tents, supermarket sales account for almost three in every five purchases.

However, offering greater product knowledge, broader ranges and prestige brands, specialist retailers are a popular choice with middle class climbers and campers, attracting more than 60 per cent of the market amongst those spending over £100.

The study also reveals that 56 per cent of over 45s favour specialist retailers, while almost 68 per cent of those aged 18 to 44 are more likely to buy from the supermarkets.

Chris McCash, head of ShopFront, Gratterpalm’s sister agency which focuses on retail brands, said: “The research shows that the majority of younger shoppers are more likely to buy outdoor products in their local supermarket than from a specialist outlet. However, perhaps more surprisingly, almost half of the older generation also favour the supermarkets for such purchases, which is a worrying statistic for specialist retailers trying to retain their market share.

“It’s hard not to be impressed by how many product categories the supermarkets now offer, even if the choice within those ranges may be limited compared to a specialist retailer. Having had the wettest summer for 100 years, perhaps now is the time for those retailers with superior products to focus on quality and shopper contact rather than join in the battle for a £20 tent that struggles to perform.”