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Local Shop Report 2018: Flexible Working and Investment Helping Convenience Stores to Compete

By Chris Dawson September 11, 2018 - 9:00 am

The 2018 Local Shop Report has revealed that retailers running convenience stores are countering cost increases in their business by investing in services, opening for longer and employing more people on flexible part time contracts.

Over the last year, there has been an increase in the average number of people working in stores, with the sector overall now employing almost 365,000 people, although this has been coupled with a move to colleagues working shorter hours.

Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • There are 46,262 convenience stores in mainland UK
  • 75% of people working in the sector work fewer than 30 hours a week
  • The convenience sector contributed over £8.8bn in GVA over the last year, as well as over £3.6bn in direct and indirect taxes over the last year including business rates, corporation tax and excise duties
  • 24% of independent convenience store owners work more than 70 hours a week
  • Convenience store retailers have invested £814m in the last year on improving their stores, extending the range of services available to customers and making their businesses more efficient

Ecommerce Click & Collect offered by 1 in 3 convenience stores

The report leaves little doubt that convenience stores are under increasing pressures but one of the ways they are fighting back is with investment in services which include the lottery, bill payment services, cash points and parcel services.

An amazing 34% of convenience stores offer parcel collection points with 32% offering click and collect services. These can range from locker solutions to acting as myhermes, Collect Plus or other parcelshop type schemes.

Across all age groups (Gen Z, Millenials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and 75+) the key driver for visiting convenience stores is ‘It’s close to where I live’. With this in mind and 1 in 3 convenience stores offering parcel services, online retailers should seriously consider click and collect at convenience stores as an offering in their delivery service portfolio.

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