The nation’s bad shopping habits highlighted in study

A new study has highilghted the most common bad shopping habits exhibited by customers across the UK, with putting items back in the wrong place topping the list.

The research questioned 2,000 UK consumers and was conducted by SME Insurance Services (SMEi), provider of business insurance for the shop and retail industry. Responding Brits identified these top five bad behaviours as they've witnessed or been guilty of:

  1. Putting things back in the wrong place (40%)
  2. Nipping back for other items when already at the till (32%)
  3. Talking on a mobile phone at the till (25%)
  4. Cutting queues (24%)
  5. Parking in a disabled space without the relevant badge (23%)

The study also revealed the top reasons why people are opting not to visit their local high street. Two-in-five respondents (44%) said they would be more likely to visit if parking was free, with around a third stating they'd visit more often if they were confident they could get everything they need (37%) and if prices were lower (29%).

Women are most likely to be guilty of nipping back to retrieve a forgotten item when already at the till (34%), while more men admit to parking in a disabled space when they shouldn't (29%).

The research suggests that younger people exhibit worse shopping behaviours than older shoppers, with 45 per cent of responding 18-to-24-year-olds admitting to cutting queues, and 29 per cent of 25-to-34-year olds returning items which they have already used or worn.

Jonathan Webber, Commercial Director of SME Insurance Services said: "As well as identifying some of the nation's shopping bad habits, the research also reveals the elements which would make shoppers more likely to visit their local high street, from free parking to lower prices. This is particularly interesting and insightful for retailers as it highlights exactly what shoppers are looking for and could be used as a basis for boosting competitiveness."

*Findings from a study of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by The Leadership Factor. This was part of a wider study into consumer high street perceptions and behaviours.

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