Increased 'top-up' shopping is fuelling significant growth in the convenience market, with seven out of the ten largest global convenience retailers (in terms of sales per square metre) located in Europe, according to IGD.
These seven retailers are set to add an additional €3.5 billion in sales by 2026, at a compound annual growth rate of 3%.
“Unlike other regions, the ‘top-up’ shop plays a significant role in European shopper habits and demand has increased as a result of the pandemic. Consequently, basket sizes are larger, which means stores need to carry a wider range of goods," commented Charles Chan, senior retail analyst, and author of IGD's report.
From a global perspective, the convenience market is continuing to grow at pace, driven by the USA, China and Russia, with 7-Eleven maintaining a significant lead globally. The top 10 players will add around $43.1 billion (€36.5 billion) in sales by 2026, which is a CAGR of 3.7%.
In the UK, meanwhile, convenience sales are forecast to grow by 12.5% (+£5.5 billion) by 2026, driven by a continued focus on neighbourhood locations, and underpinned by higher levels of working from home and suburban living.
UK retailer Asda recently announced an expansion of its convenience offering, after a successful pilot, while frozen foods retailer Iceland recently unveiled its first c-stores under the 'Swift' banner.
“Moving forward, the sector will need to maintain and grow its market share by focusing on neighbourhood stores and expanding its ranges," said Chan.
"Convenience retailers have benefited from shoppers supporting local businesses, so focusing on long-term loyalty is a priority. Brands need to go beyond price, looking at engagement and customer experience, both of which are returning to the forefront as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease.”
He added that convenience retailers are likely to build increased flexibility into their operations, to meet "different shopper missions for different times and days of the week", while technology and omnichannel retail will also be utilised to enhance the shopper experience.
For more insight on the convenience market, visit: https://retailanalysis.igd.com/channels/convenience