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What will the world be like in five years’ time? The latest convenience industry forecast from grocery think tank IGD paints an extremely positive picture for local shops. There will be an extra £10bn spent in the convenience channel in 2017, it says, with sales growing from £34bn to £44bn as more people buy more things locally more often. With £10bn up for grabs, suppliers will be paying close attention to the channel and will want to engage with proactive retailers to showcase their brands in the best stores.
According to IGD, independents currently make up 86% of stores and 60% of sales. The supermarkets are aggressively growing their convenience market share, but I calculate that there could be an average extra £2,700 on the table for independent stores each week. Your challenge is to grab as much of this as possible, and differentiation from the multiples is key. Supermarkets don’t have the local knowledge, flexibility or enthusiasm for the specialist products and services that customers love from their local shops.
That’s why every week we search out great retail success stories to share with readers and advice for stocking the right products in the right way. Our feature in this week’s issue of Retail Newsagent on Exmouth Market is an example of a group of independent shops thriving by providing a strong and vibrant point of difference to high street chains.