Co-op Gen 2 store Shoreditch 4

The UK convenience market will grow to £49bn by 2019, IGD has said

The UK convenience market will grow in value from £37bn to £49bn by 2019, the IGD has predicted.

Growth would be driven by the continuing trend of consumers shopping little and often, as well as choosing to shop across an increasing number of grocery channels, the IGD said.

It found the total convenience sector grew sales by 5.2% to £37.4bn in the 12 months to April 2014.

Symbol groups still command the biggest share of convenience sales, growing 5.1% to £15.5bn last year to hold a 42% share of the market.

However, sales in c-stores operated by the multiples grew faster, by 16.3%, overtaking unaffiliated independent operators to increase sales to £7.3bn and share to 19%.

Both unaffiliated independents and forecourt convenience stores saw their sales fall – by 0.1% and 0.5% respectively – while c-stores operated by co-operative societies grew sales by 2.3% to £4.1bn.

“Convenience stores are benefiting from changing social demographics, such as smaller households, and shoppers spreading more of their spending across a variety of grocery formats,” said IGD CEO Joanne Denney-Finch.

“Our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week society means people can buy anything, anywhere and at any time. Convenience stores are well placed to make the most of this trend as shoppers use them more than any other type of grocery format,” she added.

Grocery Retail Structure

Figures from The Grocery Retail Structure 2014 jointly compiled by The Grocer’s publisher William Reed Business Media and the IGD have also revealed the number of convenience stores continues to grow – up 1.8% to 42,161 last year.

This growth was largely driven by stores operated by the multiples, which increased store numbers by 13.6% to 3,771 last year.

C-stores operated by unaffiliated independent retailers remain in terminal decline (-1%), but make up 38% of the market, with 18,630 stores.

Symbol group c-stores increased their estate by 2.8% to 17,080 stores, while the number of co-op-owned c-stores grew 1.6% to 2,680.

For more details on this year’s Grocery Retail Structure, see this Saturday’s issue of The Grocer.