Latest research from HIM showing the future of the forecourt

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The latest research from HIM, market leading Research Company in the wholesale, convenience, foodservice, high street and forecourt market, has shown some interesting results.

The latest whitepaper for September 2018 from HIM has shown that the behaviours of consumers is evolving quicker than ever within the forecourt convenience bracket.

An example of this can be seen between the differences between forecourt shopping and convenience shopping. The average forecourt shopper, who tends to be employed and rushing, spends 26 seconds less time in store than the average convenience shopper.

The convenience shopper is not spending an incredible amount of time in store; however, regardless of consumer habits, with a time of just over three minutes shopping, retailers need to be clever with their layout in order to drive additional spend and upsell.

Whilst the spending habits of consumer’s are an important factor within the overall forecourt spectrum, fuel habits and the overall changing nature of forecourts has been under the microscope.

The research by HIM found that fuel has gone from comfortably being the main driver to a forecourt to the third in the last 5 years, with top-up shop leapfrogging it into first.

We have seen revamped stores in countless locations across Ireland and this appeal of fresh food-to-go to consumers has led to forecourts becoming a stop for convenience rather than filling up your tank.

Governmental plans with Ireland have already seen a want for a changing landscape of the old, tired forecourt retailer. They have set a rather ambitious target of 250,000 electric cars on the road by 2020.

Whilst this is good progression in terms of environmental impact, the changes mean the forecourts will quickly have to adapt to the needs of a new wave of motorists. Many other industries may well crumble implementing changes this big, but it would appear forecourts are evolving with it.

What the latest HIM research really outlines is the forecourt sector is changing, and retailers and suppliers need to evolve and adapt to the needs of the consumer. There can no longer be a reliance on fuel to drive footfall to a forecourt store, with many shoppers not on a fuel mission.

This trend is expected to continue and gather pace, with other countries around the world setting out their ambitions with regards to fuel and car emissions over the coming years. Being left behind in this new wave of fuel and travel conscious could severely dent countries economic or trading capabilities.

The forecourt sector is changing and retailers and suppliers need to evolve and adapt to the needs of the consumer. There can no longer be a reliance on fuel to drive footfall to a forecourt store, with many shoppers not on a fuel mission.

This trend is expected to continue and gather pace, with countries around the world setting out their ambitions with regards to fuel and car emissions over the coming years.

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