Convenience store sector now worth £37.4bn

Convenience store sector now worth £37.4bn, experiencing growth of over 5% this year.

New figures reveal the secrets behind the growth in the convenience sector, which now features over 5,400 stores in the North West alone.

The Association of Convenience Stores’ Local Shop Report shows that retailers are adapting their stores to meet the needs of all types of customers, from tech savvy youngsters to the traditional elderly market.

The report reveals that innovative services like click and collect, food to go counters and digital advertising screens are being featured in thousands of stores across the UK, while many retailers are also catering to traditional values by offering home newspaper delivery, post office services and local grocery delivery.

Convenience stores are also embracing the consumer’s need to eat more healthy food. The fastest growing category in the sector is fruit and vegetables, contributing an extra £190million to a category that is now worth £2.4bn alone.

The report shows that convenience stores are becoming a social hub for their communities where customers can pick up a coffee in the morning, a parcel at lunchtime and dinner in the evening.

The success of convenience stores is due in part to their ability to adapt to changes in consumer behaviour. There are more single person households than ever before, cash conscious consumers like to shop little and often and we are an ageing population, with a growing over 60 market.

This continued success is also not just down to expansion by company owned stores. Of the 50,747 shops in the convenience sector in 2014, 77% are owned by independent retailers.

We are joined by James Lowman, Chief Executive of the ACS - www.acs.org.uk.

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