Posted on: 11 October 2019

The impact of convenience stores in the UK

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has released their 2019 Local Shop Report, which gives an in-depth breakdown of the convenience sector of the retail industry.

We have taken a look at the results and have extracted some interesting facts about UK convenience stores which you may not have known.

The importance of convenience stores and local shops

Convenience stores are often overlooked in the retail industry, especially when compared to the retail giants, such as supermarkets, or large high street clothing retailers, but convenience stores play a huge part in UK communities.

Job creation

The report showed that there are 405,000 employees in the convenience store sector, and according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it has a larger amount of people working in the industry than the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry and the real estate industry put together

This shows that this sector is not only convenient for the people who want to make purchases, but also for the community around them, who may benefit from flexible employment on their doorstep.

Ease of access

Convenience stores are named so because they are convenient. 57% of people who shop at convenience stores make their way to stores on foot, and 80% of customers surveyed live less than a mile away from their nearest convenience store.

The average customer will also visit their nearest convenience store 3.8 times a week, with 26% of all customers saying they visit every day

Impact on communities

As part of the survey, customers were asked to rank which establishments in the community had the most positive impact on the local area. Amongst the different types of establishments were pharmacies, pubs and bars, banks, restaurants, charity shops, petrol stations and pawnbrokers, of which, post offices and convenience stores were 1st and 2nd, respectively, on the list.

Convenience stores were also ranked 3rd best type of establishment for reducing loneliness in the community.

Other findings from the ACS report

What are some of the other key statistics that were reported by the ACS?

  1. There are 46,388 convenience stores in mainland UK.
  2. The sector was responsible for £40.3bn in sales in 2019.
  3. Overall sales account for one fifth of all grocery sales
  4. There is one convenience store for every 1,455 people in England, one for every 1,093 people in Scotland and one for every 1071 people in Wales.
  5. 74% of convenience stores have an EPoS service.
  6. Customers thought that the most useful features of their local convenience store were cash machines, post offices and click and collect.
  7. In terms of payments, 100% accept cash, 94% accept debit cards, 91% accept credit cards, 88% accept contactless payments and 80% accept mobile payments.
  8. 41% of employees have worked in the industry for between one and five years.
  9. 43% work between 0-16 hours per week.
  10. To get to work, 53% of employees in the industry walk, 33% drive, 11% use public transport and 3% use another form of transport.
  11. 19% of shop owners work more than 70 hours a week.
  12. 17% of shop owners take no annual holidays.
  13. To get to a convenience store, 57% of customers walk, 38% drive, 3% use public transport and 2% use other forms of transport.
  14. 80% of customers live less than a mile away from their nearest convenience store.
  15. The average customer will buy 2.31 items and spend £6.38 in one visit

Retail insurance with Premierline

As one of the biggest industries in the UK, the retail industry has thousands of different businesses, all with different business insurance needs, which is why it is so difficult to get the cover that will protect your business should the worst happen.

At Premierline, our insurance experts will assess your business’ needs to find the insurance policy that can give your shop the protection it needs. We work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurance companies to make sure that your shop insurance is competitively priced and suits your requirements. Get in touch with one of our insurance advisors to compare retail insurance quotes today.

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