Convenience stores continued to see solid although slower current value growth in 2021. The habit of buying groceries online stayed even after the pandemic was under control.
Meiyijia maintained its leading position in convenience stores in 2021, accounting for a quarter of value sales. With its headquarters in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, Meiyijia has expanded rapidly, opening 200-300 new stores every month over the past five years.
Contactless operations, which were already present before the outbreak of the pandemic, have seen strong development. Many convenience stores are now equipped with self-checkout machines allowing digital payments, such as QR codes or facial recognition, which in turn saves labour costs for convenience stores and meets the demand for hygiene.
Convenience stores is set to see dynamic growth in terms of both value sales and outlet numbers in the forecast period. However, changing consumer shopping patterns are already forcing players in convenience stores to rethink their product portfolios and store layouts.
Rising rents and labour costs have made it increasingly difficult for convenience stores to maintain their profit levels. Even Lawson only started to make a profit in 2020, 25 years after it entered China.
Policy will be an important driver behind the rapid development of convenience stores in China in the forecast period. On 31 July 2020, the General Office of the Ministry of Commerce issued the “Notice on Carrying out the Three-Year Action for Branding and Chaining Convenience Stores”, to stimulate the development of convenience stores and increase penetration rates.
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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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