A general rule of thumb in research is that you should not presume that people’s attitudes translate into actual behaviour. Often, attitudes can be a kind of ideal for people – “this is how I would like to behave in a perfect world”.
A case in point is a question posed in a poll by The Grocer, in which it asked 532 supermarket shoppers how environmentally friendly they are. Forty one percent said being environmentally friendly was more important to them now than it was 12 months ago, and a whopping 94% said that being environmentally friendly was important to them.
Well of course, most of us want to be environmentally friendly. It’s the right thing to be, right? But when asked which products they would be prepared to pay more for if they were produced using environmentally friendly processes, 39% selected “none of the above” from a choice of twelve categories.
The UK was once ahead when it came to emerging mobile behaviour, but in more recent times has fallen behind. A major reason? Continual delay of 4G rollout. But at last, 4G is nearly here. On Tuesday, the heads of mobile operators Vodafone, O2, EE and Three and regulator Ofcom met at the Trafalgar Square offices of Culture Secretary Maria Miller, with the result that 4G can finally go ahead.
The company formerly known as Everything Everywhere (the parent company of T-Mobile and Orange), but now known unimaginatively as EE can now go ahead and use some of its existing spectrum over the next few weeks without the threat of a legal challenge from its rivals.
Vodafone, O2 and Three, which don’t currently own any airwaves suitable for 4G, conceded their position because Ofcom has agreed to bring forward its much-delayed auction of new spectrum to January.
This is also the week in which Tesco and Sainsbury released their preliminary sales data for their most recent reporting periods.
Sainsbury reported sales rose 1.9% from stores open at least a year during in the 16 weeks to 29 September, which was slightly higher than analysts’ forecasts. Store extensions added 1 percentage point of the like-for-like sales growth. Like-for-like sales in the first half were up 1.7 per cent.
Sainsbury’s sales were boosted by the grocer’s official sponsorship of the Paralympic Games, which saw it increase its media spend in the seven weeks ending September 10th 2012 by 98 per cent year-on-year to £3.8 million.
In contrast, Tesco reported a profit before tax drop of 11.6% to £1.66 billion, its first profit decline since 1994. Nevertheless, Tesco’s second quarter, which covers the three months to August 25, saw UK sales rising 0.1% over the same period a year earlier (excluding store openings, sales tax and petrol purchases).
During Tesco’s press conference, Tesco chief executive, Philip Clarke, stressed, “The UK [plan] is on time and on track.” But he continued, “This is only the start of a long journey; a long journey to come to a very different Tesco.” In two years, Tesco aims to have 20,000 extra staff. A total of 8,000 additional staff are already in store while over 230 stores have been refurbished over the first half of 2012. High quality global journalism requires investment.
Clarke also claimed that the supermarket is leading the market in customer service innovation, especially around digital, such as click and collect. Tesco is also aiming to reduce its electrical and general merchandise offer, and plans on decreasing the space devoted to non-food by up to 20% in some stores.
Tesco's decisiveness, online shopping services, and focus on improving customer experience so dramatically should concern its rivals. The cost of these changes initially worried investors, but they should expect improvements in the coming quarters.
Meanwhile, in other retail news, a sofa store 'robbery' was foiled after Laurel and Hardy duo forget to close van's doors: video