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County convenience stores could face struggle

Independent convenience store owners across Shropshire could be facing a fresh challenge to stay open for business as more consumers find themselves forced to shop on the cheap, it is claimed.

 

The warning follows news inflation rates have hit the highest level since September 2013, and are expected to edge up even further over the course of 2017.

 

Convenience stores are already facing a battle to keep the likes of Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local at bay as they move in on traditional corner shop territory - and the news of a consumer squeeze due to inflation will add further cause for concern.

 

Chief executive and founder of convenience store cloud technology software company Epos Now Jacyn Heavens, believes that the news will be worrying for store owners in some of Shropshire’s market towns.

 

“Convenience stores are already facing an uphill battle to compete with discounting supermarkets and this news will be worrying for stores that rely on attracting customers with branded goods at a price of convenience.

 

“The rise of inflation is expected to continue and as consumers begin to cut back on their spending, a trip to the convenience store could pay the price, with many unable to compete with the giant supermarkets.

 

“At difficult times like this when consumer shopping habits may be forced to change, it is important the convenience stores do everything they can to closely monitor their margins to ensure they retain their custom and profits.

 

“It’s up to small businesses and convenience stores to have an innovative mindset and address the challenges posed by the change in inflation rates, which in turn will allow them to thrive in tough economic times.”

 

Statistics collected by Epos Now in February revealed that the price of iceberg lettuces has increased by 29% from 87p in January 2016 to £1.12 at the start of this year – based on a study conducted on the 500 convenience stores who use their technology.

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