The average size of a c-store is now 1,628sq ft, compared with 1,418sq ft a year ago, in a market that has contracted slightly (by 1.3%) in store numbers. Sales through the sector have surged ahead by 4.9% to reach £26.1bn for the year to April 2007, outstripping the 4% sales growth achieved in the grocery market as a whole.
Report author Stewart Samuel said that there was a variety of dynamics involved in the increase in average size. "Growing product categories such as chilled and foodservice require more space for equipment and preparation areas, so this means that stores need to get bigger. There's also examples of developments such as the Somerfield/Texaco estate, where the units are being knocked down and rebuilt on a bigger scale.
"Interestingly, although symbol stores have had another very good year (sales were up by 8%), the average size of symbol stores has hardly moved. This is probably because a lot of recruitment into symbol and fascia groups has been at the smaller end with a lot of former CTN outlets being brought in."