Estate agent Christie and Co has predicted the CTN sector will consolidate regionally in 2003 with more supermarket-branded c-stores opening.
Its Business Review 2002 and Outlook 2003 report says multiple c-store operators will continue to offload poorer performing CTNs, and remaining CTN groups will churn outlets. That will leave strong regional clusters of CTNs.
Chairman David Rugg said the buoyancy of the convenience sector would continue to attract multiple operators keen to claim a slice of the growing market in the wake of the Tesco/T&S and Co-operative Group/Alldays deals.
The report says corporate off-licence units attracted unprecedented interest from buyers in 2002. The majority of 31 Unwin's stores put on the market via Christie were sold in excess of quoted guide prices.
Director Mark Sheehan said: "The activity in 2002 underlines the increasing strength of brands in the convenience store market ­ a factor becoming almost as important as location."
Retail property value rose 5.5% in 2002 in a "robust" market. "We expect to see independents steadily acquiring and building strong regional clusters this year," said Sheehan.

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