Convenience is still on top

C-stores fastest growing in grocery

Day Today Maryhill
Symbols and independents increased value sales by 59.5% on 2019’s figures.

CONVENIENCE stores continue to be the star performers in growth terms, according to the latest data on the UK’s grocery market.

Kantar figures for the 12 weeks to 12 July revealed value sales in symbols and independents were up by 59.5% on the previous year – by far the greatest percentage uplift of any grocery channel.

In category terms, working from home appears to be boosting the performance of tea and coffee, with British consumers spending an additional £24m on these items in the four weeks to 12 July as compared to 2019, while biscuits were up £19m over the same period.

Nielsen data for the four weeks ending 11 July also revealed significant changes in grocery shopping habits.

Online sales now account for 14% of the UK’s total grocery market as lockdown habits linger despite restrictions easing.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight said: “The stalwart of the lockdown period was online grocery and there’s no signs yet that demand will slow.

“Shoppers also shifted a lot of their spend to convenience channels, preferring to do some of their big shop in smaller stores – possibly because of the need to remain close to home during the lockdown period.

“There are four major factors that will affect grocery shopping as we now exit lockdown. Though restaurants and pubs have reopened, we expect grocery sales to continue growing, as there remains a degree of caution when it comes to dining out. The demand for ‘staycations’ will also boost usual summer grocery levels as customers opt to stay at home or holiday in the UK.”