Symbols grow 5.1% as multiples outnumber indies
The UK convenience retail market should be worth £49 billion by 2019, growing by over 30% over the next five years from a current value of £37 billion, according to latest forecasts from grocery industry research and education charity IGD.
Symbol group operators currently dominate the sector, accounting for just over £4 in every £10 spent in UK c-stores. Sales at symbols groups represent more than the next two largest groups (convenience multiples and unaffiliated independents) combined.
But convenience stores from the giant multiple grocers showed the fastest growth in sales in the 12 months to April 2014 and have now overtaken unaffiliated stores to become the second largest segment of the market.
Joanne Denney-Finch, chief executive, of IGD, said: “The convenience sector continues to build on its success and we’re forecasting almost £12bn in extra sales between now and 2019.
“Convenience stores are benefiting from changing social demographics, such as smaller households and shoppers spreading more of their spending across a variety of grocery formats.
“Our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week society means people can buy anything, anywhere and at any time.
“Convenience stores are well placed to make the most of this trend as shoppers use them more than any other type of grocery format. However, it’s vital convenience shops stay close to shoppers changing needs and keep innovating to maintain this momentum.”