Convenience stores continued to grow in value terms in 2021 in the UK due to another unprecedented year in the history of grocery sales. As strict lockdown measures, including mobility restrictions, were imposed on the country in the first quarter of 2021, many consumers continued to shop for groceries locally, driving sales of the channel.
Convenience stores located at the forecourts of petrol stations also registered growth in 2021. During home seclusion, many customers only visited such outlets for the purpose of purchasing groceries.
The competition amongst the leading players in convenience stores, Tesco Plc, Marks & Spencer Plc and The Co-operative Group remained stable in 2021. However, as consumers started to return to pre-pandemic habits, the traditional convenience channel, which specialises in offering to-go products, witnessed innovation in terms of store formats.
Convenience stores is projected to record a decline in value sales terms (at constant 2021 prices) over the early part of the forecast period. On the one hand, as foodservice starts to recover, local consumers are likely to do less grocery shopping, instead opting to eat out, especially as they spend greater time away from home.
The UK Government announced that the promotion of high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products in medium and large retailers will be restricted from October 2022. The regulation will prohibit multibuy offers of HFSS products, in addition to phasing them out from key locations in-store and online.
Besides the evolution of convenience store formats towards serving more than on-the-go needs, the application of high-tech solutions are about to alter the way consumers shop at smaller store formats. Amazon, the online retailer giant, opened a physical grocery store called Amazon Fresh in the UK in early 2021.
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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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