6 lessons you can learn from the international independent retail market


British independent retailers can learn a lot from each other, from sharing industry concerns, or how they can improve, but now your attention needs to be on international convenience retail.

But convenience industry retail research company, Him!, launched the first international convenience shopper survey allowing retailers an insight into the global market and you may be surprised to discover that UK issues are not that unique.

Tom Fender, managing director of Him! International, said: “There are very good British retailers, but as an industry there is a lot they can learn from convenience stores globally. In relation to stores from around the world, the UK hasn’t haven’t been in the market than long.”

There are six vital lessons Retail Express learned from the global convenience community:

1) Internationally, convenience retail is fighting back against the multiples.

global retail multiples

Eighty per cent of the world’s population are top-up shopping in a week and these customers believe that c-stores are competing better against supermarkets than three years ago.

2) The definition of a convenience store is not one size fits all, but the attitude to top-up shopping is.

global independent retail

Shoppers in Germany typically believe a c-store is on a forecourt, but in France it’s a specialist shop, such as a baker or butcher. Regardless of the definition, two thirds of people use these stores to replace items they’ve run out of.

3) Fresh is best.

global retail fresh produce

Customers would rather their stores focus on fresh products rather than promotions. Up to 50% of people globally want retailers to improve their fresh produce rather than the 15% who just want promotions.

4) Think outside the normal realms of retail to please customers.

global retail loyalty card

Shoppers now want loyalty schemes, and additional services such as free Wi-Fi in store, post offices or specialist products and a third demand a click and collect service.

5) But a great product range could be just as good.

In Japan, c-stores have the highest product churn with 100 launched a month and their customer satisfaction is the highest with only 16% of shoppers feel that limited product range is an issue – half of the global average.

6) It’s a classic, but never forget the food to go range.

global retail food to go

Around the world, we’re indecisive about our next meal or just time-poor. Britain and Australia eat breakfast-on-go more than anyone else with a third of people eating on the road and a third grabbing a quick lunch.


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