C-Stores Are Becoming the Center of Daily Life in Asia

They provide innovative products, good food and places to socialize.

October 20, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Convenience-store sales in Asia are growing, and consumer reliance on c-store goods and services is changing consumers’ lifestyle, according to RetailNewsAsia.com.

In 2018, Nielsen reported that sales growth in Southeast Asian convenience stores reached 8.3%, and Mintel reported that sales through Chinese convenience stores hit US $19.78 billion, with a CAGR of 24% over the past five years.

These figures reflect changing consumer lifestyles influenced by Asia’s constant and rapid urbanization. In fact, urbanization around the globe has caused lifestyles to evolve, with people becoming more mobile and time constrained. In response, convenience stores are becoming more integral to people’s daily lives.

For instance, e-commerce giants Zalora and Lazada in Hong Kong and Singapore have paired up with 7-Eleven stores to provide easily accessible and trusted locations to pick up parcels if customers miss home deliveries. The accessibility of c-stores also presents partnership opportunities for other brands and companies to grow.

Convenience stores provide an extensive selection of high-quality, easy-to-eat meals that cater to busy schedules. Many outlets also offer air-conditioned seating areas with Wi-Fi where shoppers can dine in comfort. Hence, convenience-retail channels are turning into new places for social engagement as lifestyles and social interactions become more fluid and mobile.

It’s not uncommon these days to see stores such as 7-Eleven hosting events or musical performances, occasions that create partnership opportunities for brands to co-host. Convenience stores today also provide novel and experiential consumer retail experiences by testing everything from cashless payments to unmanned kiosks.

The ongoing diversification of consumers’ needs overtime has made c-stores more than just a convenient place to shop. Convenience is being redefined and becoming more of a cornerstone in people’s daily lives. To grow closer to customers, brands need to adapt to these changes and use of convenience retail channels in varied ways to:

1) Provide access to services and products

2) Provide a wide range of food and beverage options to meet different dietary preferences

3) Partner with channels to host events

4) Use these channels as a testbed for innovative product formats

5) Create personalized marketing campaigns from consumer-generated data.

To capitalize on the growth and opportunities convenience stores present, food and beverage brands should map out areas of play in convenience retail channels. This includes an understanding of formats and a thorough comprehension of new developments and trends.