Laura said: Clearly, convenience retailers are under more pressure than ever – wages, product and utility costs are rising – and shoppers are cutting back and trading down so margins are being squeezed. Looming regulation on deposit return schemes and high fat/sugar/salt products was seen as concerning for some and, particularly in urban areas, the reliance on online purchasing and ultra-fast delivery services could re-define ‘convenience’.
But crisis has taught the sector resilience! It’s weathered Covid 19 and there’s hope that factors behind the cost-of-living crisis (such as inflation and product supply challenges) are easing, which should leave retailers able to finally concentrate on really knowing their customers well, serving their needs, and building loyalty. Covid 19 forced the sector to display real agility in adapting the model to serve in a very different environment – and if this agility can be continued with a true focus on customers, convenience shops can cement their place at the heart of communities.
Laura’s reflections offer an insight to a sector starting to move beyond the pandemic, whilst mitigating the ongoing challenges as a result of the cost of living and energy price crises.
In response to the current operating environment, Plunkett continues to provide access to our FREE advisory support service for any businesses reviewing their operations at this time. Also our online appraisal tool is available to help businesses self-appraise their performance, and receive a bespoke report with recommendations for their ongoing operation.
We are here to support the movement and we want our members and the community business sector to feel that they can come to Plunkett and be reassured that support is available to help them at this time.