Swedish convenience stores’ sales and confidence on top

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Convenience index from the Swedish Convenience & Fast Food shows that sales, measured in comparable units and in current prices, rose 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Traders’ future confidence is now at 54 percentage points, indicating the start of 2016 also will be good.

For the first time in over a year showed all five sub-sectors in the convenience store index positive growth. Strongest performer was Gamble & Tobacco with an increase of 5.5 percent. Traffic Stores sales were also strong, with an increase of 3.9 percent. Café and Fast Food showed a similar growth of 3.1 and 3.0 percent. Mini markets surprised positively after several weak quarters. Sales in the sub-sector grew by 2.9 percent.

”Servicetrade ended the year in the best way. Sales rose by 3.7 percent, but most gratifying was that all sub-sectors showed fine growth. The traders also believe in better times ahead reinforces the good result,” says Bengt Hedlund, CEO of Swedish Convenience & Fast Food.

Service and convenience merchants’ optimism increased by 4 percentage points between the third and fourth quarter of 2015. Optimism is now at 54 percentage points, which means an excess of 54 percent of optimists over pessimists. Seen from a historical perspective, confidence is very strong. The historical normal level is 27 percentage points. The survey also showed that chain actors are significantly more optimistic than the individual retailers.

”Despite the good sales performance in the fourth quarter, service retailers have major challenges ahead. Profitability has declined and the increase in employer contributions for young people was a further blow to an industry that has taken responsibility. Service merchants are now burdened with higher costs, resulting in shorter hours and owners who work more hours instead of hiring young people,” says Bengt Hedlund, CEO of Swedish Convenience & Fast Food.