I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of the ‘pop-in’ store or as some may describe it the convenience store. I often hear it stated that nowadays we are all time poor (or so we believe). In essence we don’t have enough time during the day to do everything that is necessary in life. Yes, you can say that we have allowed the distractions of modern day living to drive us to this time poor image but I personally think that we are indeed struggling to fit it all in. If I compare our generation to previous generations it does appear that the lifestyle is different. The necessity to do all it takes to pay the bills seems to somehow pull is into a state that means we haven’t got time almost to do on a daily basis what previous generations did. I equate this to shopping trips of old. You see when I was kid we shopped at one retail establishment. We spent enough time there to gather everything we needed for the next week and we always stuck to ‘the list’. Who amongst us has the time to do that now? It does appear that there is a marked shift to online for shopping but one area that is going from strength to strength is convenience, in essence this is the ‘emergency shopping service’ that has started to take the place of the weekly shop.
We all have that far too familiar telephone conversation with our partners where there is the inevitable question, “What shall we have for dinner?” It must take place thousands of time across the UK every day. The invariable response, “I will pop in to ‘wherever’ and pick something up on the way home” almost seems inevitable. Invariably it’s a convenience store, you know the one; It’s that one on our route home, the one where we can park easily, select what we want and get home in the shortest time possible. Retailers have got savvy to this growing trend and the value that convenience can add to the bottom line. What’s more, maybe there is an opportunity to add a little more to the price to grow profits. The thinking here is that you will pay a little more for the convenience. A raft of convenience stores, with a smaller footprint, are rapidly populating our towns and cities.
Some of the more traditional convenience stores that have been in this space are re-inventing their images and making changes to their ad campaigns to ensure they capitalise on the time constrained message.
Analysts are predicting that convenience will continue to grow at a pace and I for one say “God Bless the convenience store”.