Corner shops cashing in on our changing buying habits

Convenience stores are cashing in on the trend to do 'top-up shopping', according to new research.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 10:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 12:26 pm
The traditional corner shop, as seen in Open All Hours, is enjoying a revival thanks largely to young shoppers

The study suggests business is booming for corner shops, epitomised in the sitcom Open All Hours.

Those aged 18 to 34 are leading the trend, with more than half (56 per cent) regularly using convenience stores, and 14 per cent using them for their main weekly or monthly shop.

The research, by consumer analysts Mintel, shows almost half of all adults (45 per cent) say they regularly visit convenience stores to do a 'top-up' shop, while around one in 14 (seven per cent) visit such outlets for their main shop.

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Of those who use convenience stores, 59 per cent visit twice a week or more, with one in eight (12 per cent) shopping four to six times a week, and five per cent saying they do so daily.

Experts say the growth in the convenience sector has been driven by a shift in habits by shoppers who are looking to cut down on the time spent grocery shopping.

The research suggests it is the flexibility of corner shops which is key for time-pressed shoppers, as three-quarters (75 per cent) say the opening times make it easier to fit shopping into their daily schedule.

And almost half (49 per cent) say shopping at convenience stores allows them to be more flexible with their meal choices.

Nick Carroll, retail analyst at Mintel, said: "The increasingly busy nature of modern life means that across categories, consumers are looking to cut back on the time that it takes to do certain activities.

"Grocery retailing is no different, and the convenience sector is perhaps the best suited to take advantage of this. As a result, the market is flourishing."

"Consumers are increasingly looking for convenience in all aspects of their grocery buying experience. That is why we have seen a shift to more fluid grocery shopping habits with consumers, particularly among younger consumers, shopping on a more when-needed basis.