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Are consumers returning to old spending habits?

Today's news that sales are up 11% at high-class supermarket Waitrose would suggest that UK consumers are now moving away from the recessionary phase of food purchasing. Slowly but surely it seems that customers are now moving away from the so-called value products and moving back to the items on their shopping lists before the recession began. So how will this affect the UK supermarket sector?

There is no doubt that the likes of William Morrison and some of the more basic food retailers in the UK have benefited from the recession which has seen many customers downgrade their weekly shopping list. However, the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda, while maintaining their high-value product lists, have also entered the value sector thereby covering themselves whatever future spending patterns reveal.

Whether or not the growth phase is well and truly over for some of the more value food retailers remains to be seen but as the UK economy starts to pick up it is likely that Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda will perhaps benefit more than the others. However, with life remaining very tough on the high street, consumers will still be chasing bargains and demanding value for money for the foreseeable future.

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