Convenience sector set to be worth £48.6bn by 2025

The convenience sector is set to grow to £48.6 billion by 2025, up £3.4 billion from the total value of sales in the year to March 2021, according to the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS)’ ‘The Local Shop Report.

This figure comes as the ACS report shows across the UK’s 48,590 convenience stores, £605 million was invested over the last year in areas such as refrigeration, shelving, store signage and internal building maintenance, 62% of which was funded through retailers own reserves.

Within the past year, 73% of independent retailers have also invested in their local community, with the most common form of engagement through collecting money for charity.

Some 36% of independent retailers, this has also involved donating to food banks which have seen referrals double since 2019, having reached 13,920 in July, according to Citizens Advice as food prices have continued to rise during the cost-of-living crisis.

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The report which also looked into retail employees, found that of over 405,000 jobs which have been provided through the convenience sector, 68% of these workers are satisfied with their job and a total of 76% feel secure within their employment.

“The Local Shop Report is our most comprehensive look at the UK convenience sector, providing crucial insight into the way that stores are run, the colleagues that are employed in stores and the communities they serve,” ACS chief executive, James Lowman told Retail Week.

“The report is currently making its way to every MP in Westminster, highlighting just how important we are not only as a sector, but as individual businesses trading in just about every postcode across the UK.

“This year’s Local Shop Report shows the continued resilience of the convenience sector after the pandemic and in the early stages of the cost of living crisis. Local shops are well placed to support their customers during this difficult time through a diverse range of products and services, helping consumers manage their money and making a really positive impact in the communities that they trade in.

“We believe that the Local Shop Report sends a clear message about the importance of convenience stores, and the need to support them in difficult times, such as those that we’re facing into right now on energy costs.”

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