Retail property experts Christie & Co said 4,000 pubs were expected to come on to the market over the next 18 months. The downturn meant pub companies were expected to offload sites to tackle debts and declining sales.
The ease of transferring pubs to alternative use meant supermarkets, regional mults and c-stores were filling the gap left by residential developers, Christie & Co said.
The Southern Co-operative has recently opened a new c-store in a former Portsmouth pub, while Tesco has already converted some sites. Costcutter and Bestway said last year they were targeting the pub market.
"We have found increasing numbers of pubs are being sold for c-stores. These are becoming more popular as retailers do not need planning permission to transfer the site," said Christie & Co head of retail Tony Evans. "They also come with car parking in a residential area."
The company recorded a 21% rise in deals on c-stores, forecourts, off-licences, newsagents and pharmacies in the first six months of 2010 compared with the last six of 2009.