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The hypermarket hype is over

15 December 2014

Hypermarket StoreConvenience stores are increasing in popularity across the UK, as consumers seek a fast, convenient outlet to purchase their groceries. Supermarket and hypermarket stores have become huge, carrying more than 40,000 product lines, with many featuring in-store opticians, electrical stores and even hairdressers. So have these stores just become too big? Have consumers and retailers moved on from the concept of ‘bigger is better’?

Consider the retail strategies of the big supermarkets – they are all looking for small retail spaces to launch more, small format stores. Sainsbury’s convenience store portfolio overtook its supermarkets for the first time earlier this year, while Tesco, the Co-Op and Morrisons all battle intensively for a high street presence.

So why is this happening? The convenience channel is sizable in the UK with many consumers turning to their local convenience stores for mid-week top-up shops and to pick up snacks and beverages for immediate consumption. Basically – the supermarkets want in on this.

Small format stores on the high-street and busy shopping streets will also attract the lunch time trade as busy workers seek a quick and convenient lunch option. This presents an additional revenue stream for supermarket chains that their out-of-town stores struggle to capitalise on.

Furthermore, the strategy defends against the rising popularity of discounters. Supermarket retailers are feeling threatened by the increasing popularity of discounters – and rightly so. Increasing their high-street presence will help to defend their position against the discounters and ensure that they remain the number one choice for grocery shopping.     


By Kirsty Nolan

Kirsty Black And White

After graduating with honours from the University of York, Kirsty worked as a financial analyst in the mergers and acquisitions industry, gaining experience in report writing and detailed strategic analysis. Since joining Canadean as an analyst in early 2014, Kirsty has authored reports providing thought leadership into the future of snacking, as well as producing bespoke analysis for key players in the industry. Kirsty is particularly interested in determining growing trends in developing economies and their future impact.