Fresh not for everyone – analyst


SUCCESSFUL development of a range that suits its customers is one of the most important aspects of convenience retailing says specialist analyst HIM Research & Consulting.
HIM marketing executive Ruth Cousins said of 20,000 shoppers surveyed some 80% said “a range of products to meet my needs” is important.
But it isn’t always easy to provide for everyone, she said. C-stores have much more limited space than supermarkets and shoppers differ – 58% of at-home mums see stocking value lines as important but 21% of childless couples say the same of premium products.
“There are a number of different factors to contemplate when deciding on range at any store,” said Cousins.
70% of London shoppers say ‘health’ is an important factor when choosing products to purchase but the average across the UK in HIM’s Convenience Tracker Programme research is 49%.
“Whilst it is hard to ignore the increasing demand for a range of fresh fruit and vegetables in UK convenience stores, it is not necessarily an appropriate option for all retailers. Most stores have very limited space available for these displays and such short shelf-life SKUs can be a risk,” she said.
Only outlets with high ‘top-up’ and ‘meal for tonight’ mission mixes should consider devoting considerable space to fresh produce, she suggested.
“Remember, whilst shoppers rate range as an important need when shopping in convenience stores, it is always important to know your shopper, sometimes when you’re limited on space – less is more!”