Despite the pressurised retail environment in SA, there is excellent potential for one-stop-shops like garage stores and corner shops.

Growth within branded garage forecourt stores like Engen Quickstop, BP Express and Caltex FreshStop and branded superettes such as Pick n Pay Express, USave and 7-Eleven has been significant, according to Nielsen’s shopper trends report.

SA’s convenience retail sector is estimated at R35bn and makes up 10% of total market retail spend.

"Time is precious and shoppers are looking for a store that is accessible," said Nielsen SA’s head of retailer services, Gareth Paterson.

"Retail stores on fuel station forecourts are meeting this need with their proximity to shoppers’ homes and work, longer operating hours and their growing range of products and services," he said.

Consumers enjoyed the ease of parking, longer opening hours, excellent customer service and a pleasant and safe store environment provided by the shops.

The report showed that 89% of these spontaneous consumers frequented two to three convenience stores of choice along their daily routes and the average monthly spend at these outlets was R357.

"The reality driving this growing interest is that this format has gone beyond pure impulse or top-up purchases such as milk, bread, sodas, snacks and cigarettes.

"It’s expanding into broader product ranges and service areas, which include bakery, fresh and convenience foods and beverages including speciality coffees," said the report released on Tuesday.



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