The majority of British people simply don't like shopping, with almost six in ten (57%) shoppers aiming to get what they want and get away as quickly as possible, according to the latest research from Mintel.

Just 16% of Brits actually view shopping as an enjoyable pastime and women are only slightly more likely to agree with this (17%) than men at 13%.

"The majority of us do not actually find shopping an enjoyable experience, and this is surprisingly true of both men and women. Clearly shoppers are looking for efficient stores, where they can find what they want, pay quickly and get away promptly," said Richard Caines, senior retail consultant.

There are several irritations that are driving people out of our stores. Top of the bugbears for food shoppers is change, with almost half of shoppers demanding less frequent changes in grocery store layout. It seems as consumers age, they become increasingly less tolerant of changing store layout, and this is particularly true of the 45 to 54 age range, where as many as 65% of shoppers complain about these changes.

Space is another major concern for grocery shoppers, with a quarter willing to give up some choice in return for wider aisles.

"Clearly, store designers should concentrate on easy access, efficient checkouts, simple merchandise schemes and good point-of-sale information to please customers. This especially applies to men, who are much more inclined to be 'quick' shoppers," said Caines.

Price is important

Last year, UK retailers spent an estimated £1.7bn (US$3.1bn) on shopfittings and interiors, out of an estimated total of £3.2bn spent on store designs and refits. This total spend represents around 1.3% of retail sales in the year.

In 2003, although there was plenty of new store design activity; there were signs that some retailers were attempting to achieve refits with less expenditure. This was related to the shortening expectation for the lifespan of shopfits and a dampening of confidence among retailers.

"Interestingly, just 5% of grocery shoppers are looking for a more frequent update of store interior. What is more, almost a quarter of shoppers (23%) are prepared to settle for a lesser store environment if the price is right. Indeed, consumer research shows other retail offerings such as live food demonstrations in store (9%) and advice for putting wines with food (6%) are of little interest to today's price conscious consumers," added Caines.

Future showcase

For the future, retail design will continue to shift away from simple white boxes to include more personality and expression. There will be more connections made to heritage, culture, local references and origins of goods. Communication styles will become more conversational and involving, chains will try to look more like independents, more personal, more real. The ultimate extension of this will be quirky, surprising 'cult' design for some fashionable goods. The product will be hero and showcase displays will help to elevate product awareness.