Corner shops ‘hard hit‘ by supermarkets convenience expansion


Retail insolvencies are at their highest level for five years as 1,287 businesses went bankrupt in England, Scotland and Wales in the last financial year.

The figure is up 12 per cent on the previous year‘s 1,149 casualties, according to today‘s report from accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy.

Big supermarkets have rolled out hundreds on convenience stores this year and this has hit independent convenience stores hard, the report said.

Anthony Cork, partner at Wilkins Kennedy said: “Unfortunately, many independent convenience stores struggle to match the quality of product of bigger retailers because they lack the scale of purchasing and logistics.”

Sainsbury‘s convenience business is growing at 18 per cent a year, while Tesco has merged its management team for Metro and Express stores to compete with Morrisons and Sainsbury‘s. Tesco now has over 1,700 convenience stores while Morrisons plans to add 100 M-local stores a year.

Bricks and mortar retailers have also suffered in the wake of growth by web retailers.

Cork concluded: “The supermarkets have the financial power to snap up the best small, inner city locations with heavy footfall and due to their scale can price very aggressively.”

Industry body IGD says the value of the convenience sector will grow from £35.6bn in 2013 to £46.2bn by 2018.