The Irish convenience retail sector offers a level of service, quality and range that surpasses that of other European markets, according to a study for Checkout magazine, produced by him! International.
The study, launched ahead of next week’s Checkout Conference, which takes place at The Mansion House, Dublin next Tuesday, found that 49% of Irish shoppers visited a convenience store at least once in the past month, compared to an EU average of 28%. In addition, 43% visited a forecourt store, compared to an average of 22% across Europe.
Respondents were asked to grade convenience stores out of ten under a number of different criteria; with Irish stores outperforming those in France, Germany and the UK in many categories.
Irish c-stores scored highest in terms of ‘friendly service’ (6.68, compared to 6.34 in Germany, 6.12 in France and 6.45 in UK); ‘speed of service’ (6.50, compared to 6.06 in Germany, 6.13 in France and 6.30 in UK); and ‘understanding customers’ (6.16, compared to 5.77 in Germany, 5.80 in France and 6.06 in UK).
Irish outlets also performed strongly in terms of ‘overall shopping experience’ (6.09, compared to 5.27 in Germany, 5.69 in France and 5.95 in UK).
However, Irish outlets were second when it came to customer perceptions of ‘value for money’ (5.17, compared to 4.84 in Germany, 5.07 in France and 5.36 in the UK).
“This survey underlines both the high standards that consumers expect from the convenience and forecourt sectors in this country, and the competitive nature of the market – which looks set to continue as we head into 2016,” said Stephen Wynne-Jones, editor, Checkout. “At the Checkout Conference, we will feature a more in-depth examination of how the Irish c-store sector deserves to be held up as a benchmark setter for the rest of Europe.”
him! International managing director Tom Fender will be among those presenting at the 2016 Checkout Conference. “I’ve always thought that Ireland has some of the best convenience stores in Europe,” said Tom Fender, managing director, him! International. “Our research now confirms this. I am looking forward to sharing some of the research findings with the conference delegates and highlight other areas for focus and development by understanding what’s going on around the world.”
Also presenting at this year’s conference are: Andrew Yaxley, CEO, Tesco Ireland; Tom Keogh, managing director, Keogh’s; Maggie Timoney, managing director, Heineken Ireland; Jim Power, Economist; Simon Twigger, trading director, Poundland and Julian Baldwin, Nielsen UK & Ireland.