Massive price war predicted for convenience retail post-lockdown

Convenience retail consultant, Scott Annan, founder of the Independent Retailer Owners Forum, has made several eye-opening predictions, in an interview with KAM Media. The interview is part of Consumer Talks, a series of 10 minute interviews with convenience industry thought-leaders focusing on how to survive and thrive post-lockdown.

In the interview Annan predicts “there is a massive price war coming because the nationals will want to keep their market share and new customers, and they’ve got a war chest now.”

There is a massive price war coming

In order to retain their new customers and increase basket spend, Annan recommends that convenience retailers will have to offer even better service, wherever the customers wants it.

KAM’s latest white paper – The Post-Corona Consumer – also identified a much more ‘cautious consumer’ coming out of this lockdown.

The new cautious consumer will be much more aware of how they spend their money, due to increased financial concerns. They will also be more cautious of ‘where’ they spend their money in order to keep themselves and their families safe. Stores will need to offer great perceived value and also a safe, hygienic environment.”

6 focus areas for convenience retail

In the interview Annan identifies key focus areas for convenience retail post-lockdown;

  1. A need to focus on retaining the new business and customers they’ve acquired.
  2. Getting business back that they’ve lost (such as “foodvenience” or fresh food-to-go which has had to be put on pause.)
  3. Looking at range and how shoppers’ demands have changed, for example there’s has been a growth in interest in home cooking.
  4. Creating space in store. Social distancing and creating a safe environment for staff and shoppers, will continue for a while.
  5. Independents who implemented home delivery will need to keep it and ramp it up.
  6. Taking advantage of an increased number of home workers by considering how they can get lunch directly to them.

Suppliers need to start thinking ‘retailer first’

Annan also has recommendations for suppliers on how they can best support convenience retail post-lockdown. “All suppliers, big and small, need to start thinking ‘retailer first’ and how they can support them without pushing products or physically being in store” he comments.

You can watch the full interview with Scott Annan here. Scott has also co-authored a fantastic white paper about the future of food retail, available to download here.