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Number Of UK Convenience Stores Increases: IGD

Published on May 22 2017 10:40 AM in Retail tagged: Convenience Stores / food to go / UK Convenience

Number Of UK Convenience Stores Increases: IGD

The number of stores in the UK convenience sector has grown marginally over the last 12 months, with an increase of 0.4%, according to the latest figures from grocery research organization IGD.

Stores in the symbol segment experienced the highest level of growth, increasing by 2.3% compared to last year, however, this has led to a decline of 1.1% in the number of unaffiliated independent stores.

“The increase in convenience store numbers might be small, but it’s nevertheless a sign of the enduring appeal of small stores," said Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive of IGD.

"With other formats such as online and discounters growing in popularity, convenience stores will have to work ever harder to gain growth in the future. However, we believe there are some really clear opportunities for this part of the market."

Growth Opportunities

IGD says that convenience stores have an opportunity to engage with younger shoppers. Its data shows that 19% of 18-25 year olds mainly shop in convenience stores, which is more than double the number of those aged 26 and over.

Food-to-go is also a potential area for growth, with 83% of c-store shoppers saying that they could be encouraged to buy more products in this category.

“Convenience stores need to offer shoppers convenient and effortless ways to get the products, meals and food-to-go options they want, in the shortest time possible," said Denney-Finch.

"Those operators who get this combination right have a unique opportunity to build on changing shopper habits.”

© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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