Vital trends crucial to success in the convenience retailing sector have been identified and analysed in the HIM Future of Convenience Report 2019.

The report focuses on seven trends highlighting four established ones – the war on plastic, responsible retailing, consumers’ evolving interest health and whether retailers should focus on core range or specialisation – and three emerging trends – the future of good service, social media shopping and experience as currency.

A chapter is devoted to each trend analysing what it is, how it is relevant to the convenience sector, how retailers can adopt them and some best in class examples.

In the chapter on responsible retailing one of the examples is how award-winning former forecourt operator Jonathan James uses his Twitter account to call out and celebrate team victories, highlighting positive staff culture and creating buzz around their stores. Celebrating awards won and press mentions, the group’s Twitter page celebrates the big wins, but also the small. Christmas traditions between teams and personal hobbies of members of staff are all included on this platform that helps bring the brand to life.

The chapter on experience as currency looks at how important online reviews can be in a shopper’s decision to purchase. It describes Westmorland’s Tebay Services in Greenholme, Penrith, as a shining example of what positive reviews can do for a con­venience outlet. It says: “With 3,344 reviews on Google and an average rating of 4.4 stars, this is an example of a hugely popular service station that goes far beyond convenience. Reviewers call out the quality of the produce supplied and many make a trip as a destina­tion to do their shopping rather than a pit stop along a journey. It’s not just quantity of shared experienc­es that make this such a successful example, but the detail and positivity of reviewers.”