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Sat 18 Apr 2020 12:18 PM

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UAE shoppers spending more on non-essential items during Covid-19 lockdown

Survey results show spending on non-essential items has increased by 64 percent

UAE shoppers spending more on non-essential items during Covid-19 lockdown

Out of the 500 UAE respondents, 60 percent claimed they spend more on essential products including groceries, food, healthcare and wellness items than they did before the pandemic.

Almost half of UAE shoppers will continue to use online platforms, even after coronavirus, according to the latest survey from Kearney Middle East.

The report revealed 79 percent of consumers in the country have changed their shopping habits during Covid-19, due in part, by the enforced government lockdown restrictions.

Out of the 500 UAE respondents, 60 percent claimed they spend more on essential products including groceries, food, healthcare and wellness items than they did before the pandemic.

Despite the 24-hour lockdown, visiting a supermarket was revealed as the preferred method of shopping (34 percent), followed by online (27 percent), neighbourhood grocery/ convenience stores (22 percent) and hypermarkets (17 percent). However, consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping with over half (57 percent) of respondents spending more online than they did before.

Unlike the UAE, the most popular purchase channel among respondents in Saudi Arabia was online (37 percent), followed by supermarkets (24 percent), hypermarkets (23 percent) and neighbourhood grocery/convenience stores (16 percent). 

Expenditure on non-essential items has also increased since the lockdown, with education and books being the most popular (23 percent). This was followed by the entertainment category – music and movies (21 percent), electronics (17 percent), home improvement and decoration (15 percent), fashion and beauty (12 percent) and toys and games (12 percent).

Online shopping was the most preferred method for purchasing (45 percent), with almost two thirds (64 percent) of respondents spending more on non-essentials than they did previously. 

Debashish Mukherjee, partner and head, consumer industries and retail practice at Kearney Middle East, said: “Though UAE consumers mainly opt for traditional supermarket shopping for the essentials, the survey highlights a growing demand for online shopping. This will undoubtedly shape the future of the industry by both accelerating the growth of online retail/e-commerce and driving a resurgence in local neighbourhood supermarkets and stores.”

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