Asia-Pacific leads global convenience sector

The Asia-Pacific region is the largest and fastest-growing region in the global convenience market, according to a new report by GlobalData.

The research firm forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 10.6 per cent over the 2017-2022 period, due to local retailers increasing focus on store modernisation, the inclusion of technology, and a shift in consumer spending encouraging an investment in the channel.

International retailers are beginning to see the necessary changes, GlobalData retail analyst Honor Strachan said, but their efforts are far from the transformation seen in Asia.

“In a bid to attract new customers and prevent shopper desertion as the market becomes more competitive, convenience retailers are …refurbishing stores to incorporate new ranges (fresh, organic, and free-from are all gaining shelf space),” Strachan said.

“[As well as] new concepts such as food service, mobile charging points and online purchase collection desks to help drive footfall, average basket size and customer satisfaction.”

Strachan adds that these changes benefit store sales and profitability in a time that retail space is becoming more and more expensive, and margins come under pressure for inflation and discounting.

Local players upping the game

7-Eleven is one such chain, having invested heavily into innovating its convenience offering over the last few years in order to get ahead of the competition – opening unstaffed stores in the region, as well as focusing on improving its delivery service in more populated areas.

According to 7-Eleven chief executive Angus McKay, customers today want a different retail experience from what has long been expected from convenience chains.

“You have to be patient and really be on your game and know what the customer wants, and be prepared for them to change their minds,” McKay previously told Inside Retail.

“We’re investing in becoming better retailers.”

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