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Convenience stores show resilience

03 July, 2012
Page 8 

The convenience retail sector continues to demonstrate its resilience against the economic tide, according to Christie & Co's Business Outlook Summer 2012 publication, its first-ever interim report.

The report highlighted the fact that in the petrol forecourt arena, sales had been boosted by the 'panic-buying spree' brought on by conflicting opinions about the possibility of strike-action by tanker drivers in March.

It said that steady rather than spectacular transactional activity had typified a first half of 2012 where markets had learned to operate in a 'new normal'. Across all retail, there was hope and expectation that debt funding would become more widely available, boosted by the government's announcement of a new loan guarantee scheme for smaller and medium-sized businesses.

Steve Rodell, director and head of retail at Christie & Co, said: "Relatively few convenience stores are showing falls in sales while many are finding a safe haven in migrating to symbol brands, as we identified in Business Outlook 2012. Regionally, a change in consumer spending habits is seeing shoppers favouring local stores over the more costly trips to out-of-town supermarkets."

As Christie & Co also predicted, the restructuring of the Post Office sector has made for a lively first quarter in the transactional marketplace.