SUPERMARKET research reveals a move away from brand loyalty, with younger shoppers more likely to show no allegiance to where and when they shop.
A Woolworths study released this month, examining shopping behaviour over 25 years, found that older shoppers were more likely to follow a regular routine but younger generations made more frequent supermarket visits to no one spot in particular.
The finding follows company chief executive Grant O'Brien's speech to a business leaders' conference in which he announced Nielsen survey results that showed 97 per cent of Australians switched between the country's four major supermarket chains - Coles, Woolworths, IGA and ALDI.
"There are no switching costs for retail customers who are unhappy with price, service, or range," he said.
This move away from store loyalty could help explain why Coles owns six stores within a 5-kilometre radius of Launceston's centre while Woolworths owns four - all to serve a greater Launceston population of 79,000 people.
Tasmanian retailer IGA has four express outlets, four medium-sized stores and a large supermarket over the same area.
A new full-line Woolworths supermarket is due to open in the city centre on Wellington Street in 2015.
Launceston sociology lecturer Nicholas Hookway said research suggested consumer choices relied on a supermarket's reliability, queue waiting time and correct pricing.
He said a supermarket's proximity guided choice as well as ethical consumption ranges.
"Increasingly, people want to know where their food is coming from and they want to buy organic food or locally sourced food," Dr Hookway said.
Launceston City Council officers this week approved a development application for a convenience store to open in Paterson Street.
The 352-square-metre store, to operate in a former employment agency, will sell essential items and hot food from 8am to 6pm seven days a week.
It is expected that up to three people will be employed when the shop opens.