UK consumers are more disloyal than ever before with the retailers they use, with food a particularly fierce battleground, according to new research.

Almost one-third of grocery shoppers say that, if they were able, they would shop somewhere other than their current main grocery store, according to research by Verdict Consulting.

Such a low level of loyalty comes despite the fact the major grocers have engaged in a variety of initiatives from price cutting to loyalty cards to retain consumers.
 
This is potentially good news for the discounters such as Aldi, Netto and Lidl who have been cashing in on disloyalty among the larger grocery chains and growing their own customer numbers. Verdict's analysis shows that all three chains have increased their share of food shoppers over the past year.
 
"While their customer share remains low compared to the likes of Tesco, there can be no doubt that the grocery discounters have been successful in attracting significant numbers of new customers," said James Flower, senior consultant at Verdict. "In the current environment their price focus has real resonance with hard pressed families."

Across retail as a whole, some 10.8m shoppers are disloyal to the stores they use; and, across every retail sector more consumers are saying that they would prefer to use an alternative store to the one they currently use most.

The findings demonstrate the extent of the challenge retailers now face in holding on to shoppers, especially in the face of the credit crunch when every customer counts.