RETAIL INSIGHT: Conquering the Convenience Channel

Our recent consumer insight study, The Changing Face of Grocery Shoppers, showed that the weekly shop is in decline, as is the traditional ‘one store’ loyalty shopping model.  Demanding, and changing, consumer lifestyles are driving the growth of convenience and independent stores across the country… and challenging the conventional retail landscape hard.

With this in mind, the ever inquisitive Escapade team wanted to find out more about the convenience store market, from a retailers perspective, and gain unrivaled retail insight into the convenience space for brands to exploit as competition intensifies across the channel.

There are currently more than 46,000 convenience stores in the UK, generating some £37.7bn in sales*, which is expected to increase by 17% to £44bn over the next five years**.  This growth trend has not gone unnoticed by the major multiples, which while opening convenience stores at the fastest rate, still represent under 10% of the total number*.

The main changes in the market are being driven by local entrepreneurs, staving off the major players to retain independent stores. The majority of local shops (75%)***  are run by small business owners, with over seven in ten being the first person in their family to own or run a convenience store and an increasingly large number (15%) are aged 30 or under***.

Our Escapade Purple Paper – Conquering the Convenience Channel is packed full of market insight and research, gathered by industry experts him!, exploring what makes convenience and independent retailers tick including purchasing decisions, listing reviews and market predictions – and, importantly, what brands can do to influence these thousands of independent buyers as changing shopper behaviour drives the sector’s continued growth.

Louise Howarth, Shopper Insight Manager at him! said: “Convenience really is at the heart of this sector, and in order to remain relevant, it’s all about serving the needs of Generation C(onvenience). This generation knows what they want, and they want it now! With lifestyle changes meaning we are seeing an increase in little and often shopping in neighbourhood stores and a move towards more eating on the go in transient locations, a tailored offer to the local demographic is vital. Few know the impact of these changes better than the local retailers themselves, which is why it’s imperative to speak to shoppers and retailer alike”.

To find out more and view our latest ‘Purple Paper’ contact: Rhianon, Lynne or Naomi on 0118 920 7675 or

*IGD Convenience retailing factsheet, June 2015

**Convenience stores turn the corner, August 2015

*** The Local Shop Report 2015 – a report by the Association of Convenience Stores

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at