The convenience retail sector “continues to demonstrate its resilience against the economic tide”, according to Christie + Co’s Business Outlook Summer 2012 publication.
Commenting in the publication, Christie + Co’s first-ever interim report on its markets, Steve Rodell, director and head of retail at Christie + Co, said: “Relatively few convenience stores are showing falls in sales while many are finding a safe haven in migrating to symbol brands, as we identified in Business Outlook 2012. Regionally, a change in consumer spending habit is seeing shoppers favouring local stores over the more costly trips to out-of-town supermarkets.”
As Christie + Co also predicted, the restructuring of the Post Office sector has made for a lively first quarter in the transactional market place, with the company’s regional offices able to report on a number of sales to operators keen to take advantage of the sector during this transitional phase.
Rodell said: “As we contemplate the future Post Office landscape, we envisage substantial opportunities for convenience retail operators in delivering the Post Office counter-type services of the near future.”
In the petrol forecourt arena, the chancellor’s refusal to cancel the forthcoming fuel duty increase will potentially damage sales volumes and pose a threat to independent operators, although in the short-term they were boosted by the ‘panic-buying spree’ brought on by conflicting opinions about the possibility of strike-action by tanker drivers in March.
Across all retail, there was hope and expectation that debt funding would become more widely available, boosted by the government’s announcement of a new loan guarantee scheme for smaller and medium-sized businesses.
Source: Christie + Co