Poles are not boycotting retail chains as announced. UCE Research and Proxi.cloud Analysis

According to the analysis of Proxi.cloud and UCE Research, it is based on about 500,000 observations. The reality for consumers is very different from the statements of the Poles about the boycott of the remaining retail chains in the Russian market. Traffic at Auchan outlets has outpaced competition. The number of unique customers in this chain has decreased slightly, but the loss is still small compared to other hypermarkets. The Leroy Merlin chain, which only recorded declines, performed worse than other DIY stores. On the other hand, traffic at Decathlon outlets increased, while it decreased at all segments of sports and tourism stores. In terms of the number of unique customers, the competition showed a slight decrease in the chain.

There has been a lot of talk about boycotts of networks such as Auchan, Leroy Merlin and Decathlon, which have not stopped operating in Russia since the recent attack on Ukraine. As a technology company that can measure traffic in stores, we decided to answer the question of whether Poles really run away from stores. We examined differences in the number of unique customers and their visits. We compared the data before and after the war, ie from January 24 to February 23 and from February 24 to March 26 this year. Since the second month of the year is shorter than the first, the number of days in the studied periods is equal – Mateusz Chołuj, head of the Proxi.cloud team, says.

compare To visit Auchan stores and in competitive hypermarkets. It turned out that after the start of the war outside our eastern border, traffic at its posts in Poland increased by even 4.5%. At the same time, competition increased by an average of 2.1%. This gives the French company an advantage of 2.4 percent.

The grocery brands you buy are easy to change, only they have comparable quality and price. However, it is definitely more difficult to give up a given store in favor of a store located away from home, kindergarten, or work, especially when fuel is more expensive and there is a constant lack of time. In the case of older people, there is also the issue of health and physical strength, which is necessary to shop away from home. – Explain the research of co-authors from UCE Research.

In terms of the number of unique customers, Auchan’s work has decreased by 2.3% compared to the period before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, it was lower than the competition – 4%. This is a difference of 1.7 pp in favor of the French chain.

It should be noted that many Polish refugees were supported by buying food, medicine, hygiene products and other products, as well as pets imported from Ukraine. Auchan, which has invested in the construction of small shopping malls, has been able to move quickly to help customers. After all, its facilities include not only grocery stores, but also other stores, such as pharmacies, veterinary or clothing stores. – Mateusz Chołuj analyzes.

According to Adam Grochevsky, an analyst at Proxi.cloud, the concentration of a wide range of commercial offerings significantly increases the convenience of customers and at the same time increases the barrier for them to leave the Auchan network. Consumers will have to spend more time before making all the relevant purchases in various new locations.

It should also be made clear that the above information does not apply to turnover. Therefore, it is possible that Poles do not limit their visits to Auchan stores, but spend less money on shopping there. For example, they come to them to buy products that they can’t buy anywhere else, and finally they supply them here. – Mateusz Chołuj adds.

Leroy Merlin Results but also collected with competition data. Following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the French network recorded 5.7% less traffic than in January-February this year. On the other hand, in other DIY stores, this figure increased by an average of 6%. That’s a difference of about 12 pp in favor of Leroy Merlin’s competition. In turn, the number of unique customers of the network decreased by 10.2%. No change was felt in the stores of other chains in the same segment, gaining 0.04%. This gives them an advantage of more than 10 pp

The number of Leroy Merlin’s unique customers has fallen further than traffic. In our opinion, this means that mostly casual buyers have opted out of this network, and to a lesser extent regular customers, such as construction companies or various types of one- or several-person repair teams. Thus, the boycott is mainly for consumers, but also for professionals – Grochevsky notices.

on the other hand Decathlon in network facilities traffic increased by 3%, while its competition increased by an average of 1%. The difference is 2% in favor of the above-mentioned sports and tourism stores. The number of unique Decathlon customers decreased by 2.9%. The remaining companies operating in this segment recorded losses of 1.8%, or less than 1%.

After the Russian occupation of Ukraine, the Poles could not boycott the Decathlon because they wanted to help the Ukrainians. The store offers a wide range of products, from headlights to tents and sleeping bags on the front. Such products were widely purchased after the war. Therefore, the choice of place of purchase was determined by a wide range of offers – Mateusz Chołuj explains.

According to the authors of the study, in the case of both Decathlon and Auchan, customers’ own shopping habits are important, it is not so easy to change them all at once. Yes, many consumers oppose the war in Ukraine and strongly demonstrate it, even thinking badly about these stores, but still buy from them. However, the permanent representatives of these networks know what they can find in them. Knowledge of the prices and quality of specific products outweighs the desire to boycott non-Russian companies. This may prove that the declarations of the Poles are different and the experience is different.

About research
The analysis was developed by technology company Proxi.cloud and the analytical and research platform UCE Research. The monitoring covered a total of 481,200 people. consumers and a 1980 sales outlet located in all Polish provinces. The information used in the analysis was obtained through geofencing, ie virtual circles marked on the map, which allows to collect information about the entry and exit of a certain consumer in a certain area. The results for the period from January 24 to February 23, 2022 and from February 24 to March 26, 2022 were compared.

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