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Convenience shines in grocery sector

Store refurbishment, new formats and food-to-go aids growth, says IGD

Sales in the convenience sector have grown at a faster rate in the last 12 months than the wider food and grocery industry, figures from retail analysts show.

IGD said the UK convenience market has increased by 6.1 per cent (grocery as a whole stands at 5.1 per cent) at a time when store numbers have dipped by 1.6 per cent.

The market researcher’s lead analyst, Stewart Samuel attributed the growth to improvements in store formats, investment in ranges and a stronger emphasis on ‘food-to-go’ categories.

Fresh food categories contributed recorded sales nearly 30 per cent up on the same period last year.

IGD is forecasting stong growth for the sector over the next five years, with sales increasing from its current level at £29.1bn to £39.7bn by 2014 driven by “evolving convenience formats”.