The Return of the Corner Convenience Store

With the COVID-19 virus making its mark all over the world, many restaurants, supermarkets, and groceries are seeing a downturn in transactions as they are only open for a limited time. Even markets are seeing a decrease in sales and purchases, as social distancing measures are seeing fewer people out in open markets.

But though individual transactions are down, the amount of merchandise on each transaction had increased. People bought more food and home supplies, from toilet paper to flour, and what people bought reflected what they were doing in quarantine. The increase was also reflected in the rise in online sales of groceries. Companies like Tesco had doubled their online capabilities since online orders reached at least a million since the pandemic began.

Additionally, the pandemic also made your corner convenience shop even more important.

Local Becomes You

Many people in quarantine are now limited in movement, and their local corner convenience store has become more important in making sure they have access to food and home supplies. Though customer numbers have gone down and open hours are now limited, these corner shops have expanded their services to include delivering supplies to their local community. Their service has bolstered community bonds and improved relations between clients and owners, which might have been so important in the past.

Some convenience stores that have remained open still allow a limited number of personnel and store visitors to come in, which has improved client-business relations. Owners make sure to disinfect surfaces such as shelves and glass door refrigerators in commercial establishments to prevent the spread of the virus, aside from requiring patrons to wear masks and get their temperature checked. These measures made patrons feel they are part of the larger community, and that businesses care for their welfare.

But Not Everything is Coming Up Roses

However, there are convenience stores that have seen a rise in crime. In communities where drug use and crime have been prevalent, some people have used the regulatory face masks as a way to shield their identity. They come in groups and steal groceries, making diversions such as spitting at staff. Clearly, the pandemic has given some people a weapon to instill fear in others.

And while some shops thrive, others are barely making it. With opening hours limited and transactions down, some shops cannot even meet the bare minimum. People are only buying food and milk, and for some store owners, the number of transactions might not be enough.  Some have even seen people selling their mobile phones to corner shops, as many have lost jobs or are not receiving any income.

Lockdown Hopes

Cashier in convenience store

Store owners remain hopeful that once lockdown restrictions ease, their sales will go back to normal. And they know many customers are also eager to go back out, but unwilling to face possible risks to their health. Shops may have to continue following proper hygiene measures, such as regular disinfection and requiring patrons to wear masks. Still, they are willing to pay the price to continue their operations under the ‘new normal’.

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