UK convenience stores received a healthy dose of investment this quarter, a recent study has revealed.
According to the Association of Convenience Stores Investment Tracker, retailers injected over £157m into their convenience store businesses, an increase of 36% on the previous quarter. The figures were based on a survey of 1,200 independent and multiple operators.
In September, October and November non-affiliated independent retailers spent an average of £2,165 per store, and symbol group retailers £3,405. Multiple convenience stores, meanwhile, spend an average of £3,957.
“The figures show the resilience of the convenience sector with many stores making improvements in their business infrastructure despite rising costs and continuing shop price deflation,” said ACS Chief Executive James Lowman.
“For stores to stay relevant and competitive, investment in better refrigeration, signage and new features and services is crucial to their long-term survival.”
The study showed that the biggest target for investment was refrigeration, with 36% of stores investing in it over the past 3 months. The second largest was till systems, followed by store signage and crime prevention measures.
At the same time, convenience stores continue to decrease staff hours, with only 7% choosing to raise them over the past year. This is the lowest level since February 2012 and, among other things, shows the ever present caution about the National Living Wage.