At a time when supermarkets and high street retailers fight tooth and nail for market share, the convenience store sector is holding its own. Convenience stores have long provided efficiency for customers, with convenience being in the name – both in location and what they offer. They tend to be small retail businesses which stock everyday items which the average person uses, such as snack foods, toiletries or tobacco products. If shoppers require a couple of items that doesn’t justify a trip to the big grocer in the town centre, then a trip to the convenience store up the road often makes more sense.
And in an age when the Covid-19 pandemic led to Brits avoiding crowded places, convenience stores have further triumphed against their bigger supermarket rivals within the wider grocery sector.
Although the prices at a convenience store tend to be a little higher, customers spend less to get there, which creates a pricing balance. Customers also spend less time inside convenience stores, which is what consumers have sought during the pandemic – especially when under lockdown.
The share of non-affiliated independent convenience stores in the UK accounted for 40 per cent of market share last year, while co-operatives represented only seven per cent, according to a 2020 report by Statista.
Even though it is often reported that the high street is in decline – or at least evolving – thanks to the growth of online shopping, there are several reasons why the convenience sector is one that remains in high demand.
Despite the uncertainty, they provide a useful local stopgap for people to purchase items they need as they progress throughout the week – sometimes even offering Post Office services in store too.
There are many national operators in the UK, such as the Co-op, McColl&...
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