Shoppers drive retailers’ strategy for smaller stores, finds report

Boxing Small: shoppers drive small store trend

Boxing Small: shoppers drive small store trend

Shoppers are driving global retailers’ strategy for small box stores, according to a new report from Planet Retail – Boxing Small.

Featuring exclusive shopper research conducted by Simstore in Manchester in the UK, the report highlights the fact although small stores appeal mostly to younger customers, they also have a wide customer base stretching across a broad range of demographic groups. 

However, among these shoppers, the same convenience-related attitudes and need states for choosing small stores are also widespread, researchers found. 

The research suggests small store shoppers are under time pressure, and are more willing to pay more for extra convenience, such as longer opening hours and an easily accessible location. In fact, ‘fast shopping’ emerged as the primary reason why shoppers chose small stores, Planet Retail reports.

When looking at need states, it becomes clear visits to small stores cater to different needs than other formats, the study shows. For the small stores, need states that are over-represented are immediate consumption and fast shopping, while bargain hunting and stock-up are under-represented. 

As well as looking at the latest developments and prospects for the leading global grocers, this report identifies five key phases of format evolution: 

  • starting out
  • big time
  • transitional
  • small time
  • getting specialised

According to Planet Retail, this tracks the potential for small-box development by leading players as individual markets develop. 

The company has also identified some markets ripe for small-box development and expansion and looks to the future. 

Planet Retail says as the small-box channel itself becomes more saturated, the next evolutionary step will be for leading players to become more specialised in order to differentiate from rivals and to target niche customer groups.