More shoppers are topping-up

Jennifer Pratt, Senior Insights Manager 

Our latest convenience research, carried out during the summer months, shows how the time of year makes a difference to the way shoppers in the UK use convenience stores. The results show one thing that we expected would happen over the summer weeks. Soft drinks are replacing hot drinks sold on the drink to go mission.

However the other shift we have seen is that there are more shoppers using convenience stores to top-up during these summers weeks with 1% more shoppers topping-up than in Spring. This led to a growth in the average spend of shoppers, which is up 8%.  When we look at the basket composition, the main driver is the growth of the 5+ item basket. Almost 1 in 5 baskets are now classified as large baskets in convenience, with 5% fewer shoppers buying one item only.

Our assumption is that this summertime increase in top-up is driven by a shift in the family dynamic, with kids off school and at home mums / busy providers using supermarkets less and relying more on the c-stores for top-up baskets. We would expect the top-up mission to return to spring levels once kids are back to school and supermarkets pick up footfall again. But are suppliers and retailers taking advantage of the additional top-up shoppers in their stores? Are they making efforts to convert them to impulse purchases on the more traditional c-store categories (confectionery, soft drinks, crisps?)

Clients can access the full exec summary via our online hub.

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