China Chain Store and Franchise Association: Convenience Store Growth Surges in Many Cities
In a recent survey conducted by the China Chain Store and Franchise Association, it was revealed that the number of convenience stores in several cities across the country is experiencing positive growth. This rise can be attributed to policies promoting the construction of urban quarter-minute convenient living areas. The “China Urban Convenience Store Development Index” indicates that by 2023, the convenience store count in many cities will continue to increase, with Xiamen, Taiyuan, Dongguan, Changsha, and Guangzhou ranking among the top five in terms of convenience store development.
According to the survey, 64.1% of the total number of cities surveyed witnessed a growth in urban convenience stores. Most cities have successfully maintained a stable development of these essential retail outlets. Moreover, the convenience store format has expanded to lower-tier cities and county-level markets, as it continues to serve a broad spectrum of consumers.
On a national level, convenience stores in various cities primarily focus on exploring their respective regional markets. Factors such as geographical distance, supply chain limitations, and management efficiency hinder the establishment of cross-regional chain convenience store brands. Nevertheless, some chain convenience store brands are enhancing their supply chain capabilities and adopting digital technologies. Consequently, competition in certain cities has intensified, leading to regional integration among these chain brands.
In terms of operating hours, the survey results indicate that the proportion of 24-hour convenience stores in each city remained consistent compared to the previous year. However, there is a significant disparity between cities, displaying a “high in the south and low in the north” pattern. This discrepancy is influenced by weather conditions, economic levels, and local residents’ consumption habits. The China Chain Store and Franchise Association emphasized that besides ensuring supply and meeting consumption needs, 24-hour convenience stores can further enhance their role in meeting consumers’ daily emergency requirements. The association believes that policy support and guidance in the future will help elevate the level of service provided by these stores to urban residents.
Furthermore, when comparing convenience store saturation across mature markets worldwide, it was discerned that only a few cities in China have a saturation rate of less than 2,500 people per store, reaching the standards of a mature market. The majority of cities have a saturation rate ranging from 3,000 to 9,000 people per store, signifying substantial room for improvement before reaching the mature market stage. The healthy and sustainable development of convenience stores necessitates further policy guidance and support.
In conclusion, the rapid growth of convenience stores in various Chinese cities is a testament to the increasing demand for easily accessible daily essentials. With continued policy support and efforts to enhance operational efficiency, convenience stores are poised to play a vital role in serving the urban population’s needs.