In its new report, Convenience Stores UK 2009, the company argues that growth in the average supermarket size and ever-expanding product ranges will ensure that the major players in the grocery sector will continue to grow.
The author said: "It is a fallacy to suggest that people are shopping locally more the evidence of volume sales is against it."
The report gives the Co-op a 23% market share of the c-store sector, followed by M&S at 14%, Tesco at 9.5% and Spar at 7.1%, while unaffiliated independents have a 21.2% share in total.
It also maintains that greater use of c-stores by the consumer is being encouraged chiefly by the major food retailers' new c-store formats, which have also been the main beneficiaries of the trend.
It adds that symbol groups are outperforming independents, and will grow by attracting even smaller stores as members.