Market penetration has dropped while visit frequency has increased, according to new research from Lumina Intelligence.

In its latest Convenience Tracking Programme (CTP) update, covering 13WE 01/01/2023 vs 13WE 31/12/2023, Lumina Intelligence reported penetration within the channel dipped 0.5 percentage points year-on-year. It attributed this drop to shoppers looking to save money by using the discounters and major multiple retailers during the festive season.

Despite the dip in penetration, the CTP found that ‘core convenience shoppers’ are more engaged in the market, visiting stores more frequently (+8%) and purchasing more items (+7%).

It also reported a year-on-year rise in consumer confidence, increasing 20 points to -22, which was driven by a decrease in inflation and one of the warmest Decembers on record.

Lumina Intelligence advised retailers need to keep core shoppers engaged, through delivering value to target budget-conscious shoppers. 

With core shoppers  drawn to convenience via top up missions (+2.1ppts planned, +0.9ppts distress), it added that innovating own brand ranges would be “key for retailers seeking to win back more shoppers, especially top up shoppers”.

Impulse growth

The research also found that shoppers increasingly purchased from forecourts for Treat missions, driving an increase in impulse purchasing in the sub-channel as shoppers look for small, affordable luxuries, and that shoppers are increasingly purchasing on impulse in symbols and independents because “I saw it and was tempted”, aligned to the growth of treat missions. It advised retailers to use engaging and exciting store displays to attract attention and tempt shoppers.