By Claire West

In light of the much publicised Credit Crunch and the debt and interest rate fears surrounding the banking crisis, UK consumers are already more actively searching for bargains and altering their shopping habits, a new survey has shown.

Examining the climate of concern amongst consumers surrounding the ongoing fears and effects of the credit crunch, the study, commissioned by online discount retailer, surveyed more than 1,000 members of the public, gauging their thoughts on spending habits, debt and the search for bargains.

Respondents said in light of the credit crunch that they would look to reduce their spending in different ways. When asked if they would now be actively looking for bargains when shopping, 61% agreed they would, whilst 56% resolved to save money by not spending as much on luxury items and 28% would not go out as much. Only 9% said they would cut back on vices like alcohol and tobacco. When asked if shopping online made it easier to save money, 62% said it would, while 45% felt bargains were easier to come by online than on the high street. A combined total of 58% of respondents said they either regularly or occasionally used online price comparison sites.

When asked if the credit crunch would affect their broader spending habits, 48% of respondents said no, while 54% said the credit crunch would not affect their decision to purchase cars, holidays or other large, expensive

Respondents refused to point the finger of blame for the credit crunch at any one factor, with 33% blaming the government, banks, themselves and a consumerist society for the current climate. That said, 73% of respondents believe credit was too easy to obtain prior to the existing crisis.

Steve Robinson, CEO of, said “The survey shows that the UK consumer is in the process of becoming savvier when it comes to spending money. They want to continue to shop for what they want, but realise they
can find bargains online and cut back in key areas to help combat the effects of the credit crunch.”

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