Sales continue to grow in the convenience store sector even though consumers are increasingly doing their shopping just once a week.
A study of 22,000 shoppers for PayPoint reveals the average spend in local stores has risen by 15% over the last three years.
The average spend in local stores is almost on a par with the high street supermarkets, with local stores now seeing 18p in every pound, compared to 20p for the supermarket chains.
PayPoint says service is key to the success of local shops, with 86% of people saying they get “outstanding speed of service” and 85% believing convenience store shopping is easier than visiting big supermarkets.
The tough economic climate, however, means consumers are now more likely to do all their grocery shopping in one go and are not “top-up shopping” so much, with 52% saying they primarily visit their local convenience store to “top up”, compared to 74% in 2010.
Consumers are now more aware about getting value for money when grocery shopping with 12% now planning to buy in bulk more than they were a year ago and 17% more likely to make use of coupons when shopping.
Sivar Thievanayagam, who runs three Nisa and Londis shops in Stilton and Peterborough, said: “It is tougher for our customers and they are watching what they spend, but they’re certainly not turning their backs on the corner shop. We’ve found our customers like the convenience, there’s a wide choice of products and we’re open longer hours than the supermarket chains.”
Andrew Goddard, retail director of PayPoint UK & Ireland, said: “We’ve long recognised that convenience stores are the engine room of our high streets, and it’s great to see that him’s research reflects that.
“Convenience stores today offer far more than groceries – you can pay bills, send money overseas, pay for energy, access your money and even pay for transport or parking. These are important services, and help consumers recycle their spending straight into the local economy to the benefit of the entire local community,” he said.