My visit to Dan Cock’s newly-refurbished Premier store at the start of this month was inspirational.

Equipped with a café, bar and lounge, alongside shelves filled with the latest trends and growth categories, it showed just how far the independent convenience concept has moved on.

The convenience world is changing and you have to change with it

To do everything that Dan has done in his store is by no means realistic for every convenience retailer in the country, but every retailer can take inspiration from it. “I think any retailer can take one little part of what we’ve done and transfer it to their store,” Dan said.

Where you get inspiration from might also be changing. For some, it may come from Sainsbury’s latest move. Its head office is keeping tight-lipped about whether it will roll out a local convenience franchise beyond its current trial, but many independent retailers are already excited about it.

They’ve witnessed the success of retailers that have partnered with Tesco-owned One Stop Franchise and they’re looking for the next opportunity.

With One Stop making great strides in convenience and Booker’s proposed merger with Tesco, working alongside the supermarkets is no longer a ludicrous idea for many.

The convenience world is changing and you have to change with it. Whether you remain fully independent or team up with a franchise, you have to think about how to improve your business. At Retail Express, we’ll keep bringing you stories and ideas to help you take that next step.