C-stores 'to play key role this Christmas'

C-stores ‘to play key role this Christmas’

More than a quarter (28%) say they are ready to begin their seasonal shopping visits at the start of December, while a further 42% of shoppers plan to do top-up shops at their nearest c-store in the final days before Christmas.

Those are some of the key findings of a new survey from Ferrero, carried out by researcher KAM on behalf of the confectionery giant.

Further results included:

  • Fifty-five percent of shoppers intend to spend more or the same on home entertaining
  • Fifty-six percent plan to spend the same as or more than they usually do on gifts
  • Thirty-five percent plan to celebrate at home to save money
  • Nine in 10 will stick to chocolate brands they know and love as a part of their Christmas traditions
  • Fifty-two percent will spend more and opt for more premium chocolate over the festive period

Jason Sutherland, UK & Ireland sales director at Ferrero UK, said: “With many shoppers planning to use their local c-stores in the coming weeks, citing not just their convenience but the rise in fuel prices as reasons, retailers have a real opportunity to drive gifting and entertaining spend, particularly in the confectionery categories where boxed chocolate and novelty gifts are set to become more relevant.

“In terms of ranges to stock, more than half of consumers favour traditions and will buy the same confectionery brands each Christmas.

“Key manufacturers, brands and retailers alike understand and tap into these spending habits and trends to maximise opportunities throughout the festive period.

“With many planning to use their local convenience stores in the run up to Christmas, there is a real opportunity for retailers over the coming weeks and stocking the right products in the right place will be key to driving sales.”

According to the research, a third of retailers plan to run more in-store promotions around chocolate this year, with 59% of retailers saying they sell more boxed chocolate confectionery during the Christmas period.

More than a third (35%) also see an uplift in self-treat chocolate confectionery.

Alcohol is bought alongside chocolate confectionery on 68% of occasions, while snacking products such as crisps and nuts came in at second (47%) and cards third (45%), suggesting retailers should dual-site products to boost revenues.