Planning for ‘adjusted normality’ within convenience

The UK convenience retail sector provides a key role in serving its local communities and never has this been more true than throughout the coronavirus quarantine. Convenience retailers have gone above and beyond, particularly in ensuring that the most vulnerable and those shielding have access to the goods that they need. In a recent survey undertaken by HIM/MCA Insight on behalf of The Grocer, 66% of shoppers agreed that their local convenience store retailer is doing as much as it can to support them and their local community.

As many shoppers have opted to stay local, the average convenience store basket has changed in line with the missions that these stores are now serving. Lockdown has forced shoppers to shop less often, leading to more main shopping missions, even in small stores. Distress missions have also increased as consumers were faced with out of stocks or missed items when on a bigger shop. Meanwhile, the food to go mission has suffered with the rise of working from home and fewer trips out.  

The convenience store channel has embraced the changes that the coronavirus pandemic has brought in several ways. For instance, shoppers have approached their local c-stores for items that they couldn’t get at the mults;  many retailers have fast tracked plans to implement a delivery solution; and safety measures have been brought in to reassure customers and facilitate social distancing.

Adapting to these changes has been critical to success during this period of uncertainty, but what will shoppers expect once lockdown ends?

For anyone operating in the convenience market – whether a retailer, supplier, wholesaler, investor or service provider – it is imperative that you understand what the new, post-pandemic ‘adjusted normality’ will look like. Armed with this knowledge, you will be better prepared and more able to capitalise on the opportunities ahead.

Next week, we launch our UK Convenience Market Report 2020, which provides a comprehensive overview of the convenience retail market, including detailed market sizing, analysis of the competitive landscape and shopper metrics.

The report also includes a dedicated coronavirus section to unpick the impact of the quarantine on the convenience sector; as well as understand more broadly which channels shoppers have turned to during lockdown. A further update to the report will be available in September, when we will provide updated forecasts for full year 2020 and beyond. Download the brochure to find out more.

Included in the report:

  • Market Development and News

A round up of the biggest news and events from the last year, including consolidation, competition and legislative changes, providing wider industry context for those operating within the convenience channel.

  • Market Sizing

Understand the size of the total UK convenience retail market and the sub-channels within it, in terms of both turnover and outlet counts.

  • Competitor Landscape

A ranking of the leading players in the UK convenience channel and detailed profiles for the top ten convenience brands.

  • Shopper Insight

Key metrics for the convenience shopper including behaviours, missions and needs; understand how different age groups shop differently in convenience stores; the role of seasonal events; and how to maximise store space.

  • Dedicated coronavirus section

A timeline of key events throughout the period and how consumers have responded. How has shopper behaviour changed pre-coronavirus vs peak coronavirus quarantine? What will ‘adjusted normality’ look like?

  • Future Outlook

Looking back on the last decade of convenience in terms of trends and looking forward to the next ten years and what we might expect to see.

Download the brochure to find out more.


UK Convenience Market Report 2020

A comprehensive overview of the Convenience channel in the UK including detailed market sizing, competitive landscape and consumer metrics, as well as a dedicated coronavirus section to show the impact lockdown has had on shopper behaviour.