The UK's shopping scene may be changing faster than anyone could imagine, with the discount retailers like Lidl and Aldi winning over the smart tote bags of the previously loyal M&S and Waitrose customers -- even at Christmas, the most aspirational of ham-purchasing times.
This is according to The Times, which says it saw a posho loading up the boot of a flash car in a Lidl car Park, so it must be true.
The mass switching to the discounters is more apparent and shocking at this time of year, as it's when we traditionally upscale to get nicer stuff in for Christmas; Co-op shoppers upgrade to Asda, Asda shoppers treat themselves to a trolley load of wines and crackers from the more aspirational Sainsbury's, while the Sainbury loyalist might go mad and upgrade to Waitrose, all in the name of getting a supposedly higher quality Christmas feed.
But nowadays, with the discounters doing their own in-house posh ranges with their fancy cheeses, their imported hams and their award-winning wines that are hard to differentiate from the twice-the-price alternatives at the high end supermarkets -- not to mention the battering of austerity that's hit even the richer parts of the nation -- we're more tempted to have a bargain Christmas.
Most of it comes out of the same factory, anyway.
Clive Black from Shore Capital says the big old supermarkets are trading on past reputation alone, and while they might see a bit of benefit from trading up shoppers this Christmas, the future appears to belong to the cheaper discounters and their quality clones, their bonkers mid-aisle hardware and their growing promise to offer decent food for less. [The Times]