Shoppers are increasingly making supermarkets their destination for non-food as well as groceries.

As many as 11% of shoppers go to a supermarket just to buy non-food, new shopper research indicates. The research from IGD found that shoppers buy non-food categories in different outlets according to what they are buying. For example, supermarkets are the first choice for toiletries and household goods. Goods such as washing powder and toilet rolls are regarded as part of the grocery shop, with over three-quarters of shoppers choosing to buy them in the supermarket. Almost two-thirds buy toiletries in a supermarket, as opposed to 22% in a specialist store such as Boots, and 6% in a discounter.

However when it comes to cosmetics, 38% prefer to buy these in a specialist store such as a pharmacy (compared to 23% in supermarkets), as they are regarded as a treat or luxury purchase.

A specialist clothing store is first choice both when shoppers are buying clothes for themselves (46%) or for children (26%). Supermarkets are the third choice for shoppers buying clothes for themselves (13%) and the second choice (14%) when buying clothes for children.
Some 22% of shoppers would use a supermarket for buying everyday homeware like pots and pans and consider that supermarkets provide a good range at affordable prices, whereas department stores offer more special occasion or premium products.

When it comes to electrical goods, 60% of shoppers prefer to buy large appliances and 46% small appliances in a specialist (compared to 11% who prefer to buy large appliances and 26% who prefer to buy small appliances in a supermarket). They often consider the range to be better in a specialist outlet, in terms of choice and well-known brands and also appreciate the specialist advice and after-sales service available. Small appliances, for example toasters and kettles, are more likely to be purchased in a supermarket, as shoppers perceive less risk in buying these in a non-specialist outlet. However 16% of shoppers said that they would be prepared to buy large appliances in a supermarket, indicating potential for market growth.