Convenience store trends 2021

UK based research group IGD has identified the following five convenience retail trends that they believe will shape the sector in 2021:

1. Bigger basket missions

As a direct result of the pandemic, shopper frequency has declined while basket sizes have increased in the convenience retail channel. Local operators have performed well during the pandemic period, meeting the shopper demand for a wider range of food and grocery items.

With more top-up and main shop missions being completed, meal solutions and home cooking essentials are increasingly important.

2. Showcasing the value proposition

COVID-19 has created a more challenging economic environment for consumers. IGD’s ShopperVista research indicates that UK based convenience store shoppers are now more likely to focus on saving money than last year. To respond to more savvy purchasing behaviours, UK retailers are lowering prices and implementing promotional activities. While the Irish market is different to the UK, value and price competition remain key considerations.

3. Accelerating online propositions

Online grocery shopping has increased exponentially, with shoppers attracted to the channel’s safety and convenience.

While the growth of home delivery saw an increasing number of convenience retailers entering this channel before the pandemic, the upsurge in shopper demand for delivery, due to COVID-19 has made it a priority for many operators.

4. Sustainability evolution

With shopper interest in buying more locally sourced products rising, IGD believes convenience retailers will increase their focus on communicating local credentials. As shopper attention shifts from COVID-19 to concerns for the environment, initiatives to reduce plastic use will become more prominent.

5. Format refinement

In 2020, convenience retailers invested in new store concepts to test initiatives and to remain relevant in a changing world.

Whilst format innovation accelerated last year, in 2021 it is expected that new format launches will be refined. Formats tailored to the post-pandemic environment will evolve to incorporate longer term trends.

If you would like to discuss how these trends will affect your convenience retail business, please contact Catriona Threadgold.

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