To kick off the first ever episode, our experts hone in on the legacies of 2020, including the suburban migration, online revolution and the recessionary revival. How will each of these trends shape UK convenience retail in 2021? What will the impact be on shopper behaviour? And what are the opportunities for retailers? They also briefly reflect on the news of Bestway acquiring Costcutter and the repercussions for the industry.


The suburban migration

One fact that is an undeniable result of the pandemic is the refocusing on residential and “closer to home” locations. With many consumers working from home, community-led convenience stores have benefitted from increased footfall. As restrictions begin to ease, how will this trend evolve? Has the increase in home working opened up opportunities within categories that convenience stores are not commonly known for?

Recessionary revival

The UK entered its first recession in 11 years in August. How will the recessionary behaviour of shopper impact consumers in 2021? How important is the role of own label? The vast majority of shoppers are more careful now with what they spend money on than before lockdown began, so convenience retail should expect increased scrutiny, particularly as shoppers already perceive convenience stores to have a 20% price premium vs supermarkets.

Expanding channels

Online has been a growth opportunity across grocery retail for some time, however the pandemic has really accelerated the adoption of digital solutions. Nearly a year into the pandemic, has convenience retail taken home delivery as far as it can go? What other avenues are available for retailers to capitalise on?