Convenience stores capture similar spend to supermarkets, research reveals

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Goddard: c-stores are engine room of high street

Goddard: c-stores are engine room of high street

British shoppers’ spend in local stores is almost on a par with the high street supermarkets, according to new research released by PayPoint.

The study of 22,000 shoppers, conducted by him!, revealed local stores are now seeing 18p in every pound, compared to 20p for the supermarket chains; and the average spend in local stores has risen by 15% over the last three years.

Researchers found the personal touch from convenience retailers is paying off with consumers as one in five now goes to their local shop every day, while a quarter go at least once a week. 

The study shows more than three quarters of consumers agree convenience store staff are friendlier than those in larger stores, while 86% agree they get outstanding speed of service and 85% believe convenience store shopping is easier than visiting chain supermarkets.

However, the tough economic climate has meant consumers have become much savvier about their grocery shopping and are less willing to part with hard earned cash on a whim.

The research shows shoppers are now more likely to do all their grocery shopping in one go and are not ‘topping up’ as much in between shops, with 52% saying they primarily visit their local convenience store to ’top up’ compared with 74% in 2010.

This increase in financial prudence has also meant consumers are now more aware about getting value for money when grocery shopping. Twelve per cent are now planning to buy in bulk more than they were a year ago and 17% will be more likely to make use of coupons when shopping to help save money.

Andrew Goddard, retail director of PayPoint UK & Ireland, said: “We’ve long recognised convenience stores are the engine room of our high streets, and it’s great to see him’s research reflects that.  

“Convenience stores today offer far more than groceries – you can pay bills, send money overseas, pay for energy, access your money and even pay for transport or parking. These are important services, and help consumers recycle their spending straight into the local economy to the benefit of the entire local community.

“him!’s research also reinforces the benefit to retailers of offering services such as PayPoint to their customers.

According to him!, Paypoint users visit the shop more frequently than the average shopper (4.61 vs 3.68 times per week), spend more per visit (£7.47 vs £5.47) and so are worth 71% more over a week (£34.44 vs £20.13)…or  £1,790.88 per shopper, per year.

Sivar Thievanayagam, who runs three NISA and Londis shops in Stilton and Peterborough, said: “It is tougher for our customers and they are watching what they spend but they’re certainly not turning their backs on the corner shop. We’ve found our customers like the convenience, there’s a wide choice of products and we’re open longer hours than the supermarket chains. We also consider ourselves very much part of the community – local residents want to support local shops like ours.”