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Research: growth in the average visit frequency and the average time spent per shopper in Poland

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Poles shop on average by more than 10% more often than last year, therefore the traffic in stores increased by over 9% y/y. for the entire market.

The analysis also confirmed that discount stores are still the first choice for most buyers. According to experts, the high market position of this format in Poland is determined by its availability, including, a dense network of stores located close to places of residence and a competitively priced offer. And this in the market will not change quickly.

We go to the shops more often

Consumers are increasingly visiting stores (grocery discounters, supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience chains), which is confirmed by studies of the frequency with which they shop. The latest such analysis, based on the behaviour of over 1.1 million Poles, was carried out by the technology company and the analytical and research platform UCE RESEARCH. A total of 33 thousand retail outlets were observed from 1st of January to 15th of May this year, with reference to the same period in the previous year (excluding holidays and non-commercial Sundays).

During the period covered by the survey, Poles made purchases more often than in the same period of the previous year. According to Mateusz Chołuj, co-author of the analysis from, the increase in the frequency of grocery shopping by 10.2% is the result of the fact that they are more planned. "The basic reason for this phenomenon is care for the home budget and controlling expenses in the face of rising prices of almost all products. Another contributing aspect may be emerging promotions that are temporary. As a result, customers go to stores more frequently to replenish their stocks with cheaper products. This trend is unlikely to change, because consumers are more and more closely following the weekly discounts and adjusting the frequency of visits to stores for them", believes Chołuj.

In turn, Dr. Maria Andrzej Faliński, former general director of POHiD, draws attention to the so-called "weaker wallet" of the consumer, which means that he avoids buying for stock and does not reach for an extended range of goods. "Few families are still making detailed shopping plans, although this phenomenon is growing. However, for now, it is being replaced by smaller purchases. With inflation-adjusted prices, we put less in the baskets. We save to achieve the purchase effect, but not to spend too much", adds Dr. Faliński.

We definitely choose discounters

The investigation also shows that the market shares of the various retail formats remained stable during the analysis period. Dr. Urszula Kłosiewicz-Górecka from the Economic Foresight Team at the Polish Economic Institute is of the opinion that the structure of trade formats visited by customers when buying FMCG is the result of the existing structure of points of sale in Poland and the choice of discount stores by customers as key places to buy everyday products. The analysis shows that about 88% of all customers visited discount stores at least once during the period under review.

"The high and consolidating market position of discount stores in Poland was determined by their availability to customers, i.e. a dense network of outlets located close to their places of residence, as well as a competitively priced offer and attractiveness of the promotion. With high inflation, customers prefer to shop in stores that ensure low prices for products. This results in the dominant position of discount stores in the structure of the retail network and the unchanged annual share of these stores among all trade formats. The structure of points of sale in the short term, e.g. during the year, shows only minor changes," notes Dr. Kłosiewicz-Górecka.

In addition, Dr. Faliński adds that other formats tried to catch up with the popularity of discounters, but did not withstand price or quality competition, or did not offer the opportunity to shop in such a short time as it is possible in discount stores. The expert also draws attention to the specificity of convenience stores, where goods are relatively more expensive, but such stores offer small and quick purchases, as well as supplementary, made e.g. once a week or month. They are also visited in exceptional situations, e.g. when customers return late from work, are unexpectedly visited by guests and do not have time for large purchases. "This trend will continue, because it is flexible in relation to the current needs of the client, operating both in times of abundance and now and for some time", believes the former general director of POHiD.

Uneven clash of formats

Mateusz Chołuj, an expert from, emphasizes that for the vast majority of people, the distance from their place of residence is of great importance when choosing a grocery store. This is understood by retail chains, which locate even several discount stores in each large housing estate. The expert also points out that supermarkets and hypermarkets have not completely given up in the clash with discount stores and from time to time try to fight harder for customers, but they approach these treatments with a distance.

"The competition between formats is the most useful for consumers, who gain a wide choice between various types of offers and opportunities. Supermarkets and hypermarkets have to work hard to stay highly competitive. Of course, discounters should also keep their finger on the pulse so as not to lose their position on the market," says Chołuj.

On the other hand, Dr. Kłosiewicz-Górecka does not expect that the position of discount stores will change significantly in the near future, although with decreasing inflation, shopping in convenience stores and autonomous stores will become more and more popular.


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