According to IGD research the convenience retail industry is set to grow by 29.8% over the next five years, taking its value to £46.2bn. In this article, we take a look at what trends convenience retailers should expect to see this year.
1. More value
Despite the more positive economic outlook for 2014, households are still feeling the pressure on their shopping budgets. This year we should expect to see an increasing number of savvy customers, looking for the best value products and discounts wherever possible.
2. Social Media
Customers are turning to social media to drive their shopping decisions and find the best value products and discounts. Developing relationships with customers not just in the c-store but also online will be key for convenience retailers in 2014.
Customers are constantly comparing prices online (home delivery) and in-store. Convenience retailers will need to work hard in 2014 to lure customers away from online offerings from supermarkets, demonstrating the value of the local c-store.
4. Growth of Multiples
Sainsbury’s will have more c-stores than supermarkets this year and we should expect this trend to continue amongst other supermarkets, such as Morrison’s who hope to open 100 c-stores in 2014/15.
5. Convenience meets discount
Booker, the wholesaler behind the Premier symbol group have launched the “Family Shopper” concept which combines convenience and discount to meet customer needs. We should expect this industry development to continue in 2014, particularly as discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have seen a successful 2013 with their discount c-store offering.
6. Fresh Produce
According to IGD, fresh fruit and vegetables are the fastest growing category within the convenience retail industry. Convenience retailers will be looking to showcase their fresh produce this year with innovative methods to attract customers’ attention.
7. Click and Collect
A trend which started in 2013 and set to rise this year, customers are taking advantage of the ‘convenience’ of Click and Collect, allowing them to purchase goods online and collect them in a local c-store – offering c-stores the opportunity to entice ‘click and collectors’ with their in-store offerings at the same time.
Food-to-go accounts for 15% of footfall in c-stores and is set to increase. C-stores will be taking up the opportunity of offering breakfast and dinner food-to-go options as well as lunch time offerings this year.
9. Fuel retail
With c-stores providing more revenue for oil companies than fuel, we should expect to see a rise in convenience retailing at fuel stations in the coming year. Supermarkets are also looking to profit from this trend with supermarkets including Asda, now offering some of the cheapest fuel in the UK paired with a smaller Asda store.
10. Growth in technology
As familiarity with new forms of payment methods grow, we will be seeing a greater demand for more flexibility and ease of payment in 2014. C-stores will need to adapt with payment options including contactless payments, in-store Pay Pal and mobile payments.