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U.K. Supermarket Chains Squeezed By Off-Brand Retailers, Upscale Grocers

December 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chains are suffering, squeezed by off-brand grocery retailers and local food shops. The country’s 4,000 small food retailers – including farm shops selling locally sourced meat, vegetables and more – are flourishing, despite predictions that they would die out during the recent recession. Instead, they are reporting five to 10 percent increases in turnover. Analysts say the key reason is that the recession changed the way people shop for groceries. They now buy the basics at cheaper supermarkets, such as Aldi and Lidl, and buy bulk online. But, unlike during previous economic slowdowns, consumers are spending the money saved (by buying cheaper staples) on some preferred premium foods, and on locally sourced meats and produce.
"Boutique food shops: Deli-licious", The Economist, December 13, 2014, © The Economist Newspaper Limited
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