Almost half of all convenience retailers have begun planning for the new future, research reveals.

The Fourth Chapter in TWC’s Research, Forging a New Future in Convenience Retail – ‘The Retailer Perspective, found that most convenience retailers said they think will have to change pricing and promotional strategies, followed by the product range that a store offers as consumers look for ‘more local and less national’.

Tom Fender, speaking on behalf of TWC, said: “It is clear that retailers are looking ahead to what is round the corner and one factor, which rated highly is around how stores will market to their customers in the future.

“Over half of both symbols and independents say that they will be setting up their own delivery and click & collect services for customers (which many have implemented already), and 43% say they will be investing in a new digital strategy and see technology as having ‘come of age’ during the pandemic.

Fender added: “11% of stores have already gone cashless over the last 12 weeks, with a further 3% stating their intent to do so.  And, 8% of symbol stores say they have installed self-serve checkouts, in contrast to only 1% of independents.

“We hear much discussion and debate around how retailers can maintain the growth momentum in the months ahead, and this report highlights the categories that retailers intend to focus more on as they look to the immediate future.

“Fresh is clearly seen as important with 44% responders citing fruit and vegetables, 40% said bakery would be a key growth area for them and 33% highlighting milk and dairy. This opens up some great opportunities for local suppliers.”

In addition, the report reveals that the majority of convenience retailers believe that wholesalers and local suppliers have been supporting them as well as they possibly could throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

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