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Fast-Paced Australian Lifestyles Reinvigorating the Convenience Store

The growing number of time-poor, city-dwelling Australians is driving a new golden age for the humble corner store.
October 2, 2014

​SYDNEY, Australia – Urban consolidation is leading to convenience stores increasingly opening up in Australia’s inner city areas — in apartment buildings and near public transport hubs, hotels and tourist attractions — with many stores family-owned or run by private franchises, according to a recent article in Business Insider Australia.

These stores can secure enviable locations in high-density precincts where there is limited space available for large supermarkets, which have previously reigned supreme for Australian shoppers. A key problem for big supermarkets is that they are often hard to get to and visits can be time-consuming. In this environment, and with a 50-hour working week becoming common, convenience stores are also selling something else increasingly important: time.

Australian convenience store offerings have dramatically expanded, according to the article. Many of them are open 24 hours and provide Wi-Fi, ATMs, hot food, hardware, electronics and DVD rental.

Industry outlook reports cited in the article outline growth in convenience stores, also suggesting that many distributors currently supplying major retailers are likely to switch their focus to local outlets. This means that the great mix of stuff found at supermarkets is increasingly likely to be available at local corner stores.

Further collaboration between retailers and suppliers, innovation through store and consumer offers and brand differentiation will be key drivers of convenience store growth in Australia. Tech developments, such as smartphone applications to boost sales, the implementation of self-checkouts and new rewards systems are just some of the industry’s latest advancements. Expanding the range of fresh and healthy food items on offer and providing family-essential products in bulk quantities could also help.

The industry is also moving toward more enhanced foodservice, despite being hampered by the inability to sell beer and wine like many international operators. While convenience stores are constantly adapting to the ever-changing needs of consumers, marketing their services to niche city areas and suburban pockets and grouping together to compete against major players, there is still a long way to go before the majority of Australians will be skipping the line at the supermarket and grabbing their groceries on-the-go.

For more insight on the global convenience market, be sure to attend the NACS Show session, “Bright Ideas from Around the World” on Tuesday, October 9. Review all the NACS Show sessions and plan your Show experience now!