The convenience channel will grow by almost 18% between now and 2022, to £47.1bn, according to figures unveiled at IGD’s Convenience Retailing Summit.

IGD’s research found that more than nine out of 10 (91%) UK grocery shoppers visited a convenience store in April and that time is of the essence for today’s shoppers.

Almost three in five (57%) said they choose to shop in convenience stores because they are quicker to get around, while over half (54%) of post-millennials (18-25-year-olds born between 1992 and 1999) and two in five (40%) over-25s claim to shop in their nearest neighbourhood store to save time, even if the cost is a little extra.

Michael Freedman, IGD shopper insight manager, told the Convenience Retailing Summit: “Not only do our channel forecasts, released today, predict that convenience will be one of the top three UK growth channels alongside online and discount, but our shopper data also demonstrates just how many shoppers are visiting these stores. Busier lifestyles mean shoppers are always looking for ways to save time, and smaller stores with fewer items can help them do this. Post-millennials are particularly engaged with the convenience channel because of their preference for shopping little and often.

“Great mission-based merchandising is a key route to success for retailers when it comes to meeting the needs of the shoppers coming through their doors. Some 56% of shoppers claim to have visited a convenience store for a top-up shop on their last trip, while over a quarter (28%) shopped for food-to-go. Choosing ranges and positioning them in a way to appeal to these shoppers will ultimately drive sales.”

He added: “Almost half (46%) of post-millennial shoppers told us they were loyal to well-known household brands due to product quality, so convenience stores trying to appeal to this generation should think carefully about their branded ranges. And it isn’t just post-millennials who have preferences for certain brands, but older convenience shoppers as well. Two in five (39%) said brand name is the top attribute they use to determine the quality of a product in convenience stores, so branded suppliers and retailers should collaborate to ensure they’re offering shoppers the right mix of branded and private label goods.”