According to the latest research from the UK's Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD), symbol-group operators such as Budgens and Costcutter now account for 40% of UK convenience-store sales.
IGD predicts that by 2020 they will account for half of all convenience sales. Symbol-group stores currently generate £13.6 billion in sales, which is nearly three times the total that they delivered in 2002.
According to Joanne Denney-Finch, CEO of IGD [pictured], "The convenience channel as a whole goes from strength to strength. We are forecasting it to grow by 29% over the next five years, compared to 18% for the overall UK grocery market."
The total UK convenience market is currently worth around £34 billion, and IGD forecasts it to increase to £44 billion by 2017.