UK Retail Briefing - July 2013
We concentrate so much on the likes of Express, Local and M-local that we tend to forget that these are only a small part of the convenience market – at least in terms of store numbers.
There are around 2,500 of these high profile outlets out of a total market of around 40,000 stores C-stores (basically all food retail outlets other than those geared up to satisfying a full weekly shop). In terms of sales, however, the multiple-owned businesses take a greater share: Tesco Express, Sainsbury’s Local and M&S took 32% of Convenience store sales. The developing trend is for people to shop locally more often and at the superstore rather less. This reflects the growth in online shopping as well as a reluctance to spend money on petrol.
We need to develop new terms for these stores. Express and Local are satisfying top-up grocery needs and are genuinely complementary to the superstore charging near superstore prices.
But the rest of the C-stores are very different. They are satisfying the immediate needs of small neighbourhoods. They do not attempt to compete on price or range with superstores. They are offering a local service. An Express or Local achieves sales densities that are as much as five times those of smaller neighbourhood stores.
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