Visiting shops shows what the challenge is. Most shops are clear that they have to capture the emergency purchase market in their village, but that this alone is not enough to sustain them. Few customers will do their full weekly shop there (although many thanks to those that do). What interests me is what the next step along the path is from emergency to full shop.
PS The next Plunkett Perspective will be on 17th August.
For mainstream retailers is is widening the convenience offer and expanding existing ranges. I think that community-owned shops are developing a different model. For many of them, the next stage is to add something different that you can't get elsewhere, often from local suppliers. They are building a retailing model designed to give reasons not to go elsewhere. It's early days, but I think that a retailing offer which is based on the values of the store is one that will grow to challenge the mainstream.