The UK's convenience store market is braced for exponential growth over the coming years.
According to the latest projections from grocery thinktank IGD, the industry is braced for a 30 per cent increase in value of 30 per cent over the next five years. This represents a significant jump and will see it worth £49 billion by 2019 with group operators Nisa and Costcutter continuing to thrive. The pair have the biggest overall share in the market accounting for £4 of every £10 spent in the UK.
In recent years, supermarkets have been increasingly looking to the high street for a source of extra revenue. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Morrisons have all branched out and opened various smaller stores across the country but the research has shown that the convenience market is remaining strong despite the increase in competition from household names.
IGD noted that sales within the symbol group, which represent more than the next two largest groups after Nisa and Costcutter, had soared to a combined £15.5 billion in the 12 months to April 2014. Convenience multiples were found to have the fastest growing increase in sales during the same period and now represent the largest part of the market with a net worth of £7.3 billion.
It had also been a positive year for unaffiliated independent stores and symbol group which account for 70 per cent of the total number of convenience outlets across the country. The two sectors had grown at a fast rate up until April 2014.
Joanne Denney-Finch, IGD chief executive, said: "Convenience stores are benefiting from changing social demographics, such as smaller households, and shopper spreading more of their spending across a variety of grocery formats.
"Our latest ShopperVista research shows that seven out of ten (71 per cent) of them are using both a supermarket and convenience shop in any given month."