5 Things Every New Convenience Store Owner Needs To Know

According to the Association of Convenience Stores, in 2022 the UK was home to 48,590 convenience stores ­- 71% of these were independent ­- driving a whopping £45 billion in sales.

UK consumers love a convenience store – 78% of customers agree they’re good for the environment – and with the cost of living crisis bearing down on communities, people are buying less, but more often to cut their expenditure and waste.

That presents a great opportunity for convenience stores, but if you’re considering opening one, there are some crucial things all new shop owners need to get right before they open their doors: here are five of the most crucial.

Do your market research

Just because a convenience store is on the smaller, more local side, doesn’t mean that you should skip your market research.

Understand the area you’ll be setting up in – the demographics and income ranges of residents might impact what you sell and for what price. Look at what the local competition is like – what are they doing that you could do better, or could you do something they’re missing a trick with?

Understand your legal requirements

As a retail business owner there are things you need to have in place to legally operate. For the majority of business owners, one of these is employers’ liability shop insurance (if you employ staff). This can protect your employees if they become ill because of working for you.

It’s also important to manage risks within your business, write a health and safety policy, provide the right training and facilities, and display the health and safety law poster in your premises. Find out more about your responsibilities via the HSE site.

Nail your branding

If you’re going independent, getting your branding right could have a decisive effect on how well your convenience store does once you open. Consider how other businesses in the area market themselves, then try and be distinct from them through your name, logo, colour scheme, and other visual elements. That way, you can stick in the minds of customers.

The best location

When selecting your location, account for things like footfall (the number of people walking past your shop on any given day) and catchment area (the area that people will likely travel from to visit your shop). In doing so, you can choose premises that are more likely to be successful.

Build supplier relationships

Strong supplier relationships can help improve the quality and availability of your stock. Meet your suppliers face to face, get to know them, keep in contact, and place orders clearly and in good time to get on their good side.

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When opening a new corner shop, it pays to consider the points above. Bear them in mind and you should be well on your way to community retail success!