With nearly half of us topping up our shopping two or three times a week and one in four of us deciding what we’re going to eat on the day itself, convenience is the place to be in food retail. The Co-op was ahead of the trend in identifying this shift in customer behaviour and we are now well on the way to achieving our ambition of becoming the number one convenience retailer in the country.
Success in convenience retailing means three things to us: we’re close to where our members and customers live, we stock the products they want and we support the things that matter, whether that be selling 100% British fresh meat or supporting local good causes.
Location, location, location
When we’re thinking about opening a new convenience store, a great location is the most important thing we look for. Good sites are normally in highly populated areas, visible from the road and close to schools, transport hubs or other shops. We’ve crunched a lot of data and have now identified over 2,000 locations across the country that could benefit from a new Co-op. We plan to open over 100 stores in 2017, more than any other food retailer.
It’s what’s inside that counts
Someone in central London will be looking for something different from a convenience store than someone, say, in rural Scotland. That’s because what people expect depends on a number of different factors including the time of day, location and what they’re shopping for.
We’ve spent a lot of time finding out what our customers want, which means we can make sure our stores are designed better and that we offer the products that people want. City centre stores, for example, will stock a good selection of sandwiches and ready meals with a lot of self-scan tills for people who want to get in and out in a hurry.