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The Era of The Convenience Store

February 1, 2019


The UK food and grocery convenience sector currently makes up one fifth of the country’s grocery market and is set to grow to £46.2bn by 2019. More of us are favouring a quick top up at the local store rather than a large shop at a superstore, but why? 


Our lives are busier than ever, and our habits reflect that. Shopping that fits the modern lifestyle is vital and ensuring that both the quality & customer experience of a supermarket is available at convenience stores is imperative to consumers.  


Location is key. With less time on our hands, going to a store that’s already on our path becomes a huge factor in where we shop. Nielsen Shopper Trends report indicates that 38% of UK shoppers visit new convenience stores as they pass them as location is one of the top three reasons for choosing a store. Consumers are much less inclined to go further afield to a large store when there’s a shop that’s local and easily accessible via car or public transport. According to the Association of Convenience Stores, there are almost 50,000 of these shops in the mainland UK, with three-quarters run by independent retailers.  


Nowadays we seldom have a typical weekly routine and so it’s difficult to plan from one day to the next. Our shopping often mirrors this, resulting in smaller, more frequent shops. Many users also find it easier to stick to a budget using this smaller shop, not to mention that the amount of food wasted is dramatically decreased. GlobalData found that millennials are doing their food and grocery shopping in convenience stores on an increasingly frequent basis, with 25% of 25-34-year-olds saying that they do their weekly shop in these stores. Many stores are also pick up points for click & collect parcels which increases footfall and encourages sales from people who may not have otherwise entered the store.  


Technology is rapidly changing the way we shop in convenience stores. Ubamarket, the leading in-store shopping app, allows customers to scan their items using their phone and the users debit card is automatically charged thanks to Apple & Google Pay. This provides a whole new level of convenience and eliminates the need for queuing. Additionally, it has the functionality to review the users shopping list to map out the best route around the store, as well as track promotions and loyalty points.  


As consumers needs increasingly gear towards convenience and customer experience, we will likely see this market continue to grow at an impressive rate over the coming years. HTEC can help you provide your customers with a reliable and positive transaction process which keeps them coming back for more. HTEC is one of the leading providers for EPoS, scan and go apps, payment technology, media & loyalty solutions. Contact us today and let us help transform your business. 




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HTEC Limited is the wholly owned subsidiary of Universe Group plc, a company registered in England and Wales at the same address with registration number 2639726.

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