UK Convenience Stores market report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Convenience Stores market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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Products covered in this Report
This Report combines both market and consumer data along with key retailer metrics to give an overview of the UK convenience market.
Broadly speaking a convenience store (c-store) is a small-store grocery-focused retail format which is in effect complementary to grocery formats more geared towards large weekly shops, such as supermarkets and online channels. Conventionally, it offers a convenience service for people needing to undertake top-up shopping or make distress purchases. With the entrance of major grocers into the sector in recent years, with higher standards of fresh and chilled foods and trusted own-brands, the sector has become increasingly prominent in consumers’ last-minute meal shopping.
In practice, c-stores should:
- Be open seven days a week and have extended hours of opening
- Sell a range of groceries beyond simply CTN (confectionery, tobacco, news) categories
- Usually trade from a unit of less than 3,000 sq ft (280 sq m). Stores above this size cannot trade all day on a Sunday
Due to its larger size, Tesco Metro falls outside this Report; however, Tesco Express is included. Although some M&S Simply Food stores are larger than 3,000 sq ft, the retailer is predominantly a top-up shopping destination and is therefore included as a c-store operator.
The scale and offer of a convenience store are dictated by its location and the amount of business it can attract. At one end of the spectrum, a c-store can come close to fulfilling the primary shopping needs for a particular location. This is particularly true of the c-stores of the major grocers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, but also of symbol groups such as Spar and Nisa.
At the other end, smaller stores serving more limited catchments can be more akin to a super-CTN. One Stop, Mace and Best-One are examples of these smaller c-stores.
The following are excluded:
- All food specialists, from bakers and greengrocers to offlicences and tobacconists
- Hard discounters and Iceland
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Nick Carroll, a leading analyst in the Retail sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Growth in the convenience sector accelerated for the third consecutive year, in part driven by inflation. However, it was the structural changes, both through acquisitions and failures, which made it a defining year for the sector. The increased power of the multiples in the market is likely to be both beneficial to those who find themselves now supplied by some of the biggest names in the grocery sector, but equally challenging to those outside of these new organisations.
Senior Retail Analyst
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