Stores that are a cross between a convenience store and another type of outlet could be the future, a new research reveals.
The report – The Growing Role of Convenience Stores – by data and digital experts TWC shows that eating food on the premises is a new format that could drive further traffic, with 35% of UK adults saying they would embrace this European-style approach when visiting a retail store, and 29% said they would probably use the store if they could consume alcohol on-premise.
The figure increases to 42% if the convenience store could include a proper pharmacy in it, with pharmacists working in it.
Tom Fender, development director for TWC, said: “There is far greater competition for ‘top-up’ shopping today than there was 20 years ago. A huge percentage of visits to supermarkets are ‘top-up’ trips, as well as discounters taking a chunk out of c-stores’ top-up market.
“Therefore, c-store operators have had to go fishing in ponds other than the ones they are used to. This has predominantly involved services, food-to-go and coffee …. although it is still a constant surprise that industry data shows that still a majority of UK c-stores still do not have a coffee offer.”
Fender added: “And it’s not just about food, although food and coffee are powerful draws. For example, as yet we have to see the emergence of pharmacy aligning to c-stores, which feels a symbiotic partnership and one that would have great appeal to residents in local communities. Almost half of 7-11 stores in Japan have a pharmacy within it.
“When we say pharmacy, we don’t mean putting some deodorant or body spray on shelf, but having an actual pharmacy offer in-store with the right expertise (i.e. an on-site pharmacist). What is often forgotten in our channel is that if you look at the most common types of retail business consumers visit, pharmacy is usually one of the highest. So it makes sense for retailer to consider introducing business concepts which are clearly successful in their own right and attract high levels of footfall too.”
Read TWC’s full report here.