U.K. Convenience Stores Appeal to Gen Z, Millennials

A new study highlights changing shopping habits, which include a positive view of local stores.

August 28, 2020

LONDON—The pandemic has changed shopping habits, including a revival of convenience stores among younger customers in Britain, the Retail Times reports. A new PayPoint survey found that 56% of respondents stopped by their local convenience store for the first time since late March. That number rose to 68% among Gen Z and 59% among millennials.

More than half (51%) plan to keep stopping by convenience stores to support local businesses, while 66% thought their local store positively impacted their community, and 71% viewed convenience stores as an integral part of an area. This appreciation of local stores has sharply risen during the pandemic, especially among millennials and Gen Z. Close to two-thirds of Brits (65%) said convenience stores carried everything they needed.

“This data clearly shows that the U.K. is undergoing a boom in appreciation for, and reliance on, convenience retail,” said Nick Wiles, CEO of PayPoint. Shoppers know they can trust their store to provide a safe environment and well-stocked range of products, and this is galvanizing convenience retailers’ value to communities up and down the country.”

PayPoint data also showed a jump in the number of transactions between March and July. Nearly half of Gen Z respondents indicated they would rather shop at a convenience store than a supermarket.

“As lockdown continues to ease, the data tells us that ‘convenience converts’ will continue to use their convenience stores for a range of services, from everyday food and drink purchases to parcel pickups and drop-offs, utility bill top-ups, cash withdrawals and much more,” Wiles said.