The 2023 Local Shop Report has revealed the significant investments that convenience retailers are making to provide a wider range of services to their customers and to make a positive contribution to their communities.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the convenience sector over the last 12 months looking at colleagues working in the stores, retailers’ investment decisions, the products and services being offered and the impact that local shops have on the communities that they serve.
Convenience retailers have continued to make significant investments into their stores to diversify the breadth of services that they offer. Findings from this year’s report show that convenience retailers have invested £646million in their businesses over the last year and of those investing the top areas of investment are: refrigeration (56%), shelving (39%), store signage (33%), in-store lighting (32%) and technology (29%).
Convenience stores provide local, secure and flexible jobs to over 437,000 people and as staff shortages ease retailers are employing more people for more hours. Over the last year colleagues in the sector worked a combined 12.1million hours a week.
Key figures from this year’s report include:
- The convenience sector generated over £47.1billion in sales over the last year, with that figure set to grow to over £50.9billion by 2026
- 70% of stores in the convenience sector are run by independent retailers, either as part of a symbol group (31%) or unaffiliated (39%)
- 79% of independent retailers engaged in some form of the community activity over the past year
- A quarter of customers come from half a mile or less and over half of customers (57%) walk to store
- 36% of customers know the people running and working in their local shop very well or quite well
The 2023 Local Shop Report has also revealed significant growth in the number of retailers that are using social media for their businesses. With more products and stores going viral over the last year, there has been a clear shift towards activity on platforms like Facebook, X (Twitter) and Tiktok to engage with customers. This could be linked to the changing profile of convenience store owners, which is becoming younger, including more women, and more likely to include first-time investors coming into the sector, as well as established family businesses.
The full Local Shop Report presentation, with more detail on all areas, is available on the ACS Member Portal here.
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