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Britons branded poor shoppers

Survey finds we're a nation of impulse buyers


Buying digital TV equipment

Don’t rely on the advice of one retailer

Britons are among the least savvy shoppers in Europe, a survey shows today.

Britain is languishing last in a league table comparing our ‘shopping IQ’ with nine other European countries.

Poland came top in the tests, conducted by credit card company Visa UK. It said Poles were more open to new brands and rarely bought on impulse.

Each country was graded in five categories: thriftiness, self-control, openness to trying new products, comparing products in stores and online and researching goods before buying.

Shopping IQ

The researchers then worked out the average shopping IQ for each country by calculating the scores achieved in each section.

When shopping for everyday items the study found that the British are bad at researching new products, trying new products, saving money and self-control.

The good news is that we are good at comparing different products in stores – a skill which earned us the tag of best ‘comparison shoppers’ in Europe.

French consumers have good all-round shopping habits and the Germans are good at swotting up on products before buying them.

Meticulous research

The research shows that the most intelligent shoppers are those who research meticulously, either online or via store-by-store comparisons before they purchase. At the other end of the scale, those with a low shopping IQ fail to set themselves a shopping budget, are regularly seduced into making impulse purchases, and rarely carry out research to ensure that they’re getting the most for their money.

Visa UK Vice President Greg Twitcher said: ‘This study shows that there is potential for us all to improve our shopping IQ to some degree and pick up some tips from our European neighbours.’

The study was carried out for Visa UK in France, Germany, UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland. A total of 8,500 people were surveyed during June 2006.




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