The latest research by digital identity specialists, ID Crypt Global, has revealed that the UK convenience store market has increased by almost 4.1% in size in 2022, generating revenues to the tune of £47bn.
However, it’s estimated that 37% of businesses are failing on ID checks, with the growth of the sector suggesting more minors are able to purchase items such as tobacco and alcohol illegally.
Despite the dominance of big supermarket brands within the UK, the convenience store sector has been going from strength to strength, as consumers move towards a little and often approach to shopping due to time constraints, as well as a greater emphasis on reducing food waste.
In fact, there are currently an estimated 31,763 convenience stores across the UK, over 2,000 more than there were just a decade ago, with this number increasing by 1.7% in the last year alone.
In fact, with the exception of the pandemic (2020 to 2021), the number of convenience stores operating within the UK has increased every year since 2012.
It’s a profitable business, with the total size of the market sitting at over £47bn in revenue, up 4.1% annually and 37% higher than in 2012.
However, the research by ID Crypt Global also suggests that this increasing market size does come at a risk, with 37% of stores failing to pass ID check tests.
Based on the current number of UK convenience stores, that’s some 11,752 businesses that are not currently operating as they should when it comes to their legal obligation to prohibit the sale of items such as tobacco and alcohol to minors.
CEO and Founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith said, “It’s great to see that despite the dominance of the UK’s big supermarket chains, the smaller convenience store still holds a place in society and the sector has been growing consistently over the last decade.
Of course, the downside to this often independent outlet can be the resource and budget available, which can prevent them from implementing developing technologies to better serve and protect the consumer.
For example, we’ve seen the sophisticated advances that many big brands have now made within their checkout infrastructure, with self-serve checkouts that help streamline the process while still ensuring that any age prohibited products are flagged.
This is certainly an area of concern for smaller convenience stores, with well over a third failing ID check tests altogether. This is largely down to human error, with many minors knowing that a smaller store with fewer staff and technology resources is an easier target to the often more rigid approach taken by big supermarket brands.
These smaller stores also sit within the heart of our communities and so it’s imperative that as the sector grows, it continues to work on upholding the standards expected in order to better protect the wider community it serves.”