Here are some other Customer Missions that may become crucial to your store in the future….
Gifting is fairly small in terms of footfall, accounting for just 1%, but is a great opportunity to sell premium products once you remember the key gifting dates. “Gifting is an ‘all year’ occasion and a basic choice of premium chocolates and wine should be available, with an opportunity to offer wine gift bags, but your gifting range should be given more space and focus around Valentines, Easter and Christmas too,” says HIM’s Katie Littler. “A small range of wrapping paper and cards is also appreciated by the last minute ‘distress’ shopper, and remember to stock sticky tape and scissors as well!”
Earlier this year First Drinks announced a focus on gifting and urged retailers to take advantage of the £125m opportunity within the sector to sell more premium alcohol products for a wider range of gifting occasions. It recommends keeping stocks of mini packs, added value packs or presentation boxes for when customers needed a last-minute birthday gift. “The convenience channel benefits from sales uplifts over Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day but there are also birthdays to consider which provide a year-round opportunity and are the number one gift buying occasion,” says First Drinks’ John Moore.
Key categories in this mission include confectionery, alcohol, cards, and wrapping paper.
While small in terms of footfall (0.5%) and trade spend (1%), the entertaining mission provides potential for those big basket spends as shoppers are prepared to spend a little more on premium occasions.
HIM’s Littler sees this mission as a future opportunity for retailers, especially when it comes to events. “With an increase in ‘big nights in’, convenience stores are perfectly placed to provide a quick, simple and local solution to shoppers needs,” she says. “This mission ties in well with the opportunity to maximise sale through events, such as big sporting events and seasonal events - something that the majority of shoppers think convenience stores could do a better job of.”
Manish Jadav of Go Local Extra in Bradford agrees. “We’re always looking at ways of expanding on our night in offering as it can really increase basket spend,” he says. “We have a large range of share-size snacks that are very popular with customers who are having people over, so we’ll keep products that work well together close by so that it becomes natural to put them in the basket as well. We’re also tying in our DVD offering with a bottle of wine and treats to provide everything people might need if they’re entertaining.”
Key categories in this mission include beer, wine and spirits, share-size snacks, confectionery, and party platters.
Meal for Tonight
Although only accounting for 4% of footfall in convenience stores, the ‘Meal for Tonight’ mission is one that will become very popular with customers. Already many stores are following the multiples’ lead and creating ‘Meal for Tonight’ offerings that provide everything customers need for a meal in.
This mission also proves that shoppers will still pay that little bit extra for convenience, says HIM’s Littler, if the offering is up to scratch. She says that it’s the fresh fruit and vegetable section where the battle is won.
“’Meal for tonight’ shoppers are the highest spending shoppers in a convenience store and the mission presents a significant opportunity for c-stores, which supermarkets have been fighting aggressively for over the last few years,” she says. “The mission currently accounts for 4% of footfall, but this is higher in supermarket convenience stores, where fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh meat are key focus categories - these are the top categories which shoppers want c-stores to improve on.”
Littler says convenience stores have improved in this area. “Some 27% of shoppers think the quality of evening meal solutions in c-stores has improved in the last three years.”
Key categories in this mission include chilled foods, fruit & veg, ambient, bakery (wrapped), and frozen foods.