December 1, 2009
Global Convenience Store Focus editor, Fiona Briggs, chooses her top convenience formats featured during the last year.
Our launch issue of Global Convenience Store Focus in October 2008 featured two world-class formats: Tescoís Express environment store in Hinckley, Leicestershire; and Petro-Canadaís Neighbours convenience store.
The Tesco Express store was opened in June 2008 and is exceeding the retailerís environmental targets. Key features include:
- A deep roof overhang to provide summer shade
- Underfloor heating provided by waste heat from the refrigeration plant
- Roof cowls for natural air ventilation
- CO2-based refrigeration with just a small charge of refrigerant
- Sky lighting for natural lighting
- A dimmable lighting system
- Doors on all of the coolers to improve refrigeration efficiency
- A rooftop water reclamation system for watering planted areas
- Car park lighting sensors to reduce energy consumption
Petro-Canada, the Canadian forecourt convenience operator, is developing its Neighbours convenience store format as a destination outlet, famous for coffee and food service.
The format and its branding are separate from the fuel brand, attracting commuters and female shoppers with a food-for-now offer, rather than impulse purchases.
In November 2008 we enjoyed an exclusive preview of Pick n Payís new joint venture with BP in South Africa, Pick n Pay Express.
The new format serves time-pressed South African customers who are increasingly in search of efficient and affordable convenience retailing. Customers also benefit from discounted diesel. Petrol, which remains regulated, is sold at the set prices.
Pick n Pay Express offers 1,500 lines and is open 24 hours a day, offering a range of fresh food and convenience items plus BPís Wild Bean Cafe concept.
A year ago, Insight partner, Dan Munford, took a tour around the Tesco Express environment store, resulting in unique video footage. Click here to take a tour around the store. We also found the discounter Lidl was going head to head with convenience stores on the high street in the UK. The retailerís Edmonton Green, North London, store offers food-to-go, in-store bakery, coffee, sandwiches, soft drinks and meal deals.
In January 2009, we kicked off the New Year with a look at Applegreen, the leading independent forecourt retailer in Ireland. The company is expanding in Ireland and the UK, driven by its strategy for low fuel prices and a strong food-to-go offering including own label lines.
Dan Munford was back with the camera crew too, taking a look around the first convenience store opened by premium UK retailer, Waitrose. Click here to check out this new format.
February took us to France and two new convenience formats from leading European retailer, Carrefour. It is piloting two convenience store concepts: Carrefour City is located in urban areas and targets busy shoppers with food-to-go and extended opening hours; Carrefour Contact stores are located on the outskirts or in the centre of small towns and villages. They offer a selection of everyday essential food items with a broader range of fresh produce and a butcherís counter.
March 2009 and we were back in the southern hemisphere and at another South African joint venture - Freshstop, a collaboration between Fruit & Veg City and Chevron.
The new stores feature a number of departments, including a Pitstop Cafe, catering for the ever increasing, time-conscious demands of consumers.
The range and interior design has been influenced by elements of Fruit & Veg Cityís Food Loverís Market format, which caters for the more discerning shopper.
In April we reported from the Insight NACS Global Convenience Benchmarks event in Dublin, Ireland, and learnt how the leading players were surviving in the downturn and eyeing up new opportunities for growth. We also reported on Sainsburyís expansion plans for its Local convenience chain featuring two new models: neighbourhood shops and a city centre, food-on-the-move format.
In May Dan Munford took his camera crew to one of Applegreenís new UK forecourt sites. Click here to take a look around the store and also re-visit the Tesco Express environment store and Waitroseís Nottingham convenience store.
Zabka, Polandís leading convenience store chain owned by the Czech-Slovak Penta Investments fund, also impressed this month with the launch of a new format called FreshMarket.
FreshMarketís offer is positioned between the ranges of delicatessen chains and supermarkets and products have a premium proposition. The stores offer around 7,000 skus and feature cafť areas serving coffee, sandwiches and pastries.
In June Dan Munford was back at Applegreen visiting its latest UK store in Corby, Leicestershire. Click here to take a look around.
We also reported on Fresh Plus, a new convenience format in Dubai launched by Emarat, the leading petroleum brand in the United Arab Emirates. The storeís focus is on fresh food with a narrow food and non-food offer and fast and friendly service.
In August we visited Sparís new, larger format Eurospar store in Sheffield and learnt how the retailer is broadening its range and driving value in the UK.
We also revealed the retailers who would be competing for the first International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award, launched by Insight and NACS.
Fast forward one month and we were able to announce the shortlist in the competition:
Pick n Pay Express, Pick n Pay South Africa
Ryanís Centra, Musgrave Retail Partners, Ireland
Sainsburyís Local, Sainsburyís UK
Spar China, Spar International/Spar China
All four leading convenience formats were featured in this edition of the newsletter and supported by video and photographic evidence.
In October we were able to announce the winner of the award, voted by readers in an online poll.
Sparís new convenience format in China took pole position by combining global retailing expertise with local know-how. We also profiled two of the runners up in the award programme, Topaz in Ireland and Mercator in Slovenia.
Last month, November, Dan Munford was back out filming and this time with an exclusive visit to Tesco Fresh & Easy in the US with its store design and planning director, Steve Ryder. Click here to see Danís interview and tour a Fresh & Easy store.
Which brings us to December and our closing issue of 2009 plus another exclusive: Dan Munford's visit to Spar China, the winning retailer in our International Convenience Retailer of the Year Award. I think you will agree, his report really reveals why judges and readers voted this store as best in class.
Itís been an action-packed year but given the calibre and quality of the new convenience formats we have featured over the last 12 months, I predict competition in the International Convenience Retailer of the Year 2010 will be hotter than ever.
I hope you will all rise to the challenge.
December 2009 Issue