Ben Cavender

Department stores in China are losing their shine, but convenience stores keep on doing well. Convenience stores offer consumers better what they need compared to department stores, says retail analyst Ben Cavender to the China Daily.

The China Daily:

Qi Xiaozhai, director of the Shanghai Commercial Economic Research Center, said that nearly all the goods supplied at convenience stores are daily necessities so the demand is hardly affected by other modes of shopping.

Ben Cavender, principal of China Market Research Group, echoed this point.

“Convenience stores continue to see strong growth in China because consumers need fast access to pre-prepared meals, snacks and beverages. When they cannot find affordable restaurants or supermarkets, the convenience store is a natural choice,” said Cavender.

“Department stores haven’t done well because they are not really providing a unique, compelling product or experience to consumers, so consumers have no reason to go. But convenience stores right now are often the only choice to buy cheap food that consumers are familiar with, such as mantou, or baozi (steamed buns), especially as a lot of street food sellers are no longer operating.”

More in the China Daily.

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