While some had predicted convenience stores and smaller, local grocers were passé, there's been a rebirth in the format.
U.K.'s biggest chains, like Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco all investing heavily in smaller format stores. In fact, the number of Sainsbury’s Local outlets (smaller format stores) will overtake the number of Sainsbury’s supermarkets this year.
The reason? A report says more consumers are choosing their local stores on their way home from work than go to a supermarket. Local stores now have many of the features of a traditional supermarket, say experts.
READ: U.K. grocers show development in space, range, format
Combined with the economic downturn and the modern lifestyle, consumers are preferring to a bunch of mini-shops than one big weekly shop.
Or convenience store shops can be used to top-up an online shop, which is also growing.
The U.K.'s Association of Convenience Stores reported that a quarter of those over 65 visited their local shop every day, with 59% of all shoppers visiting convenience stores more than once a week.
Global grocery and research firm IGD estimates that by 2018, the U.K. convenience stores market currently worth £35.6 billion, will have risen 30%.
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