Convenience stores in smaller towns and villages, especially those in the catchment areas of other modern grocery retailers with a highly competitive price level, have been losing business. The COVID-19 pandemic transformed grocery shopping, leading to less frequent shopping trips, with a higher basket value per transaction and a shift towards discounters and other larger grocery retailers.
Convenience stores in downtown areas of Budapest, such as Roni and Manna, face a different challenge. Their core customers are passers-by (including tourists and local impulse shoppers), and people working in offices in the neighbourhood.
Nowadays, forecourt retailers are more active in promoting consumer foodservice, as these sales come with a higher margin and make it easier to differentiate the brand. However, retail sales in these outlets also make an important contribution to sales/profit.
The competition from e-commerce has been rising for convenience stores, with players such as Auchan and Tesco having a very competitive e-commerce offer and taking some sales from convenience stores. However, this is also a valid option for players in this channel.
Franchising remains the most obvious option for players to increase their store-based coverage in the country. Traditional grocery retailers with a large enough sales area and independent variety stores that are adjusting their assortment to include fresh food are key prospects to incorporate into convenience store chains.
The erosion of the number of convenience stores in small villages is an age-old problem in Hungary. The new government initiative Hungarian Village Program secured a HuF45 billion subsidy to allocate to local small business owners to purchase retail properties, improve the retail infrastructure, reduce energy consumption and provide wage subsidies.
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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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