Starting a Convenience Store

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: May 2017
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • Qualifications and skills
  • Key market issues and trends
  • Trading, commercial and legal issues
  • Legislation
  • Further information

A convenience store is a small retail business trading from 'corner shop' premises, usually located in a residential district or on the local high street. They are typically open for long hours each day, often from 7am until 10pm and for seven days a week as they are exempt from Sunday trading restrictions due to the size of their premises.

The convenience sector includes unaffiliated independent stores, those that are affiliated to symbol groups, multiples (convenience outlets that are part of major supermarket chains), forecourts (based at petrol filling stations) and co-operatives.

Convenience stores typically stock a range of everyday items, groceries and household goods, along with soft drinks and confectionery, tobacco, toiletries, newspapers and magazines. Many are also licensed to sell alcohol.

Most also sell National Lottery tickets, scratch cards, seasonal items such as fireworks and Easter eggs, along with essentials such as basic stationery and greeting cards. Many convenience stores provide a range of in-store services, such as access to an ATM (cash machine), bill-paying facilities and parcel collection.

The majority of customers live within a mile of their local convenience store, pay for their purchases in cash and spend an average of £6 each visit, and many visit a convenience store every day.

Convenience stores are highly regulated under legislation governing food hygiene, food labelling, price marking, weights and measures, underage sales, alcohol licensing, sales of restricted products and waste disposal.

This profile provides information about starting up and running a convenience store. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and the key trading issues. It also explains the legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information and support.

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