7-Eleven’s planned expansion into WA a ‘good call’, Roy Morgan Research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 22nd April 2014
7-Eleven's expansion to WA is a 'good idea', according to Roy Morgan Research

More than a third (36 per cent) of Australians aged 14 years or older pay at least one visit to a convenience store in any given three-month period, according to findings from market research organisation Roy Morgan Research.

With these findings in mind, Roy Morgan Research has said that convenience store group 7-Eleven’ plan to expand into Western Australia is a ‘good call’. According to Roy Morgan Research, currently the closest 7-Eleven to Western Australia’s capital city Perth is in Geelong, some 3254km away in Victoria. Australian Food News reported earlier in April 2014 that 7-Eleven had announced it would open 10 of its convenient stores by the end of 2014, with plans for up to 75 stores in the State within 5 years.

Convenience stores popular in NSW, Victoria and Queensland

7-Eleven stores are found in vast numbers around metropolitan Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, which Roy Morgan Research said may account for the fact that a higher proportion of people in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland visit convenience stores than those in states where there are no 7-Elevens.

While NSW and Victoria were close to the national average, Queensland was home to the highest proportion of convenience store shoppers (47 per cent). Queenslanders were also the most frequent shoppers, paying an average of 3.4 visits to convenience stores per three months (compared to the national average of 2.4 visits).

“Whether it’s filling up with fuel or filling up with snacks, a large proportion of Australians would have visited a 7-Eleven at some point in the last three months,” said Warren Reid, Group Account Manager Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research.

Convenience store visits lowest in WA

It was a different story in States where there are currently no 7-Eleven stores, according to Roy Morgan Research. For those States, “you’re more likely to have gone to your local milk bar, supermarket or servo; for example Star Mart or Gull if you live in WA,” Mr Reid said.

Interestingly, despite having other convenience stores and milk bars, visitation incidence and frequency was lowest in Western Australia.

However, with 7-Eleven’s recent announcement that it will be moving into the Western Australian market over the next five years, Roy Morgan Research said it would be interesting to see how these statistics look down the track.

“While it may seem unusual for such a large retail chain not to be operating nationwide, it’s no real surprise,” Mr Reid said. “The added strain on supply-chain operations alone would be a hurdle for some retailers, and not cost effective,” he said.

“Supermarket chain ALDI is in a similar situation: with stores in the same three Eastern seaboard states as 7-Eleven, they have only recently announced their expansion west,” Mr Reid said.

Also interesting, and no doubt encouraging for 7-Eleven, was the fact that Western Australia had a noticeably lower rate of frozen drink consumption than the rest of Australia — not what might be expected from a state with such consistently hot weather. But that may change, with 7-Eleven stores due to open before the next summer, according to Roy Morgan Research.

“WA is obviously new territory for 7-Eleven, which means new franchise opportunities. If it proves successful, we may not have to wait too long before we see a 7-Eleven popping up on Main Street, Adelaide or even Elizabeth Street, Hobart,” Mr Reid said.