Sales in convenience stores are expected to grow by £10bn over the next five years as retailers continue to offer busy local shoppers great service and value for money.

According to IGD research, UK convenience store sales are set to reach £44bn by 2017, a 29% increase from the current value of £34bn.
It forecasts that the annual growth rate for the sector will be 5.1% between now and 2017.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said that the sector will benefit from its increased standards. “The sector is more competitive than ever, with operators raising their game to attract more customers. This includes offering stronger promotions, greater choice of goods and better value.”

Denney-Finch added that convenience stores are ideally placed to take advantage of changing shopper habits and busier lifestyles. “The market is benefiting as people favour a ‘little and often’ approach to their food shopping that helps them spread the cost,” she said. “People are leading increasingly busy lives and might not be home when online deliveries or bulky post arrives. C-stores can help by offering the facility to pick up parcels, giving shoppers the opportunity to do grocery shopping at the same time.”

She advised retailers to make the shopping experience easier by introducing more technology. “Stores could do more to embrace technology,” added Denney-Finch. “Two-thirds (65%) of shoppers can see themselves using money-off coupons sent to their mobile phones when doing their c-store shopping.”