The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has once again published its annual local shop report, and the 2023 edition provides some interesting and valuable insights into the current state of the fuel and retail convenience sector, as well as the emerging trends and themes to hit the sector over the last 12 months.
As ever, the report contains key information that will be of interest to retailers across the country, but we understand that many simply won’t be able to dedicate enough time to study the details for themselves. That’s why, following its release last week, we’ve flicked through every page to pick out our top three findings:
1) Convenience stores continue to make a major contribution
According to the 2023 report, there are currently 49,388 convenience stores across the UK mainland, with 70%of these stores owned and operated by independent retailers, made up by a combination of both unaffiliated and symbol group members. These stores employ approximately 437,000 people and generated a combined sales revenue of up to £47.1billion. This figure is expected to grow to over £50 billion by 2026. As such, it’s clear that convenience stores are still playing a major role within the UK economy, both through their own sales and the jobs they create for the local community.
2) Technology is taking centre stage
Technological advancement within the convenience and fuel retail sector shows no signs of slowing, with technology in the top 5 areas of investment. According to the report, 69% of all UK stores now operate with an EPOS solution, while 31% utilise digital signage to advertise to customers and 10% now use electronic shelf edge labels (eSELs). Notably, 16% of stores now have self-service checkouts – more than double the amount since 2020.
Whilst mobile technology is embedded in our day-to-day lives, 19%of UK stores now use mobile marketing or loyalty schemes. With 81% of shoppers now searching online before they visit a store*, it’s worth noting that more customers searched for convenience stores or the term ‘local shops’ on Google during the week of 25-31st December 2022 than any time in the previous 12 months.
3) Home delivery is a thing
The percentage of stores offering home delivery has almost doubled since 2020, with 33% of convenience stores now offering local grocery delivery. Out of these, a substantial 39% offer home delivery via a third-party app e.g. Deliveroo, Just Eat. With a further 32% of stores, who do not currently offer home delivery at the moment, planning to in the future, home delivery of FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) is set to rise.
With these insights, you can better contextualise the performance of your own store or forecourt and make changes for the benefit of your business. Harnessing the latest technology plays a key role within this, and our range of retail solutions help to keep up with the latest retail trends.
For example, retailers can boost their advertising and loyalty power with our evoPOS integrations with NearSt (Google and Facebook), MarketHub (eSELs) and loyalty (oil company and Azpiral). Whilst our evoPOS partnership with Deliverect means retailers can easily manage multiple delivery channels. For shop owners looking to queue bust, our evoSelfCheckout offering – whether a dedicated or hybrid – allows customers to seamlessly self-serve.
Download your full copy of the 2023 ACS Local Shop Report here