Scots c-store retailers lead the way

Convenience sales are stronger north of the border

Tom Fender, development director at TWC.
Tom Fender, development director at TWC.

SCOTTISH c-store retailers are outperforming their counterparts south of the border, according to TWC Group.

Data from TWC’s SmartView Convenience market read for independent and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores shows value sales for Scotland in the year to 30 July were 4.6% higher than a year ago – which is ahead of growth across Great Britain.

The strongest-performing categories in Scotland were crisps, snacks and nuts (+21.4%), chilled (+18.5%), confectionery (+15.2%) and soft drinks (+10.9%).

In a separate study for TWC, 800 Scottish consumers were asked about the role of local independent convenience stores in their community.

The top response was “being open and available when consumers need them”, followed by offering jobs to local people.

Scots also recognised the importance of independent convenience stores in maintaining a community spirit in the area.

The next responses recognised the efforts of retailers to support their customers by trying to keep prices competitive and by providing good deals, offers and promotions.

Tom Fender, development director at TWC, said: “Data from SmartView Convenience confirms that the independent retail sector in Scotland is robust and there is plenty of room for optimism given that inflation is now beginning to fall and consumer confidence is rising. 

“Consumers recognise the importance of their local store and continue to support these businesses, which they see as an important part of their local community.”

Meanwhile, Lumina Intelligence says the UK convenience market showed impressive resilience and growth in 2022, despite economic challenges and the repercussions of the global pandemic.

The analyst’s Convenience & Wholesale Market Report 2023 claims the sector marked a substantial increase of 4% in 2022, amounting to a total value of £45.2billion. The primary driver of this growth was the convenience multiples sector, which led the growth at 6.8%.

As consumers return to a post-pandemic “normality”, market projections indicate further growth in 2023, with an expected rise of 4.1% to reach a market value of £47.1billion.