Convenience stores have won shoppers from big supermarkets during the first quarter of 2013, according to HIM’s Shop Waves research.

The average number of shopping visits per month has risen from 9.7 to 10.1 for convenience stores, and fallen for supermarkets from 8.2 to 7.9. In terms of missions, ‘top-up’, ‘food to go’ and ‘meal for tonight’ have all grown in the convenience channel in the first three months of the year, and even the instances of people doing their main shop in a convenience store has increased, while it fell at supermarkets.

Heavy snowfall undoubtedly helped footfall at local stores during the period in focus, but channel penetration for convenience (ie the percentage of shoppers using a c-store in the past month) has actually risen steadily since November, from 59% to 76%.

Main shop and top-up missions also continued to grow significantly in the discounter sector in the first quarter. Shoppers in the survey averaged 4 visits to a discounter per month.

Shop Waves research is based on online interviews with a nationally-representative sample of 500 adult shoppers every month.