Convenience stores is not usually considered a distinguished retail channel in Austria. The penetration of fully-fledged supermarkets is very high in Austria especially in mid-sized towns and larger cities, with these outlets offering a large variety of takeaway foodstuffs - a field that is mainly catered for by convenience stores in other countries.
Most outlets categorised as convenience stores are small grocery stores located in rural areas with a strong focus on takeaway food along with other extra services. Since the number of these outlets is continuing to decrease, there are fewer outlets categorised as convenience stores, thus negatively impacting retail value sales in the category.
Overall, convenience stores will register a significant drop in value sales in 2021, normalising to its pre-pandemic levels after a peak in 2020. The first year of the pandemic was largely beneficial for the category as many consumers, particularly older Austrians, did not want to travel far for their shopping and wished to avoid larger public spaces.
The prospects for convenience stores have significantly improved after the changes experienced during the pandemic. The fears of contracting COVID-19 led to a stronger appreciation of local businesses and local products and encouraged less-price sensitivity when purchasing healthier, higher-quality foodstuffs.
During the pandemic, the concept of unattended self-service grocery store in shipping-container-size drew a lot of attention. The concept was developed by small, local producers to sell their own products and in 2021 was adapted by long-standing brands Billa and Unimarkt who both opened a handful of such stores.
In spring-2021, Rewe publicly announced the intention to give the control of several its Billa supermarkets to independent, local traders. This idea is nothing new since the Spar, Adeg, and Nah & Frisch brands have been using this model in Austria for decades and is one of the reasons why a portion of Spar outlets are considered convenience stores.
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Chained grocery retail outlets selling a wide range of groceries and fitting several of the following characteristics: Extended opening hours Selling area of less than 400 sq metres Located in residential neighbourhoods Handling two or more of the following product categories: audio-visual goods (for sale or rent), foodservice (prepared take-away, made-to-order, and hot foods), newspapers or magazines, cut flowers or pot plants, greetings cards, automotive accessories. Sales data excludes foodservice sales. Example brands include 7-Eleven, Spar. Note: The number of branches required to be termed chained varies from country to country but is usually ten or more. If a multinational is operating in the country, then this is included, even if there are fewer than ten outlets under the brand.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Convenience Stores research and analysis database.
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