Recently, at the 2018 China Convenience Store Conference, the China Chain Store Management Association and the Boston Consulting Group jointly issued the “2018 China Convenience Store Development Report”. The report shows that the rapid development of digital transformation is the most prominent feature of convenience stores in 2017, But there is still a big gap between China and Japan where the convenience store industry is more developed.
The report selected 55 convenience store companies in China to survey. Statistics show that in 2017, the growth rate of the convenience store industry reached 23%, the number of offline stores exceeded 100,000 and sales amounted to RMB 190 billion. Both the number of new stores and store sales increased. The first and second tier cities are hot spots for growth, but most stores are concentrated in regions, and none has made a nationwide distribution. There is still a large gap between China’s and international convenience store market in terms of profitability, product structure, joining mechanism, and store network management. The average daily sales of 55 sample companies in the survey is about RMB 5,000 yuan, lagging behind international industry leaders and thus under greater pressure.
Mr. Sun Da, a managing director of Boston Management Co., Ltd., pointed out in the report that at present, the commodity structure of convenience stores in China needs to be optimized. The proportion of fresh and semi-finished products in market convenience stores in Japan is 30%-40%, and 45% of China’s 55 sample companies’ ready-to-sell sales are less than 10%; the proportion of self-owned brand in Japanese convenience stores is 40-50% while 80% of sample companies in China sell less than 10% self-owned brand in their stores. In addition, the joining mechanism in China is still not perfect. 34% of the sample enterprises still have not yet developed the joining mode.
For the future development of the convenience store industry, Mr. Pei Liang, president of the Chain Store Management Association, said that in the past, companies were paying more attention to promotions and commodities. Now that the capital has entered the China market, the competitive landscape of the convenience store industry has undergone tremendous changes. Convenience store companies should start from consumers, research and insight into the changes of consumers, especially young consumers, to ensure the sustainable development of the industry.