Best-Rated Convenience Stores

Canstar Blue’s first-ever review of convenience stores has seen SPAR, Night Owl, 7-Eleven, IGA Xpress, EzyMart and The Foodary (Ampol) compared and rated on their customer service, variety of products available, store layout and presentation, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Best convenience stores 2021

Most Satisfied Customers | SPAR

SPAR was rated the best convenience store chain in Canstar Blue’s ratings, scoring five-star reviews in all categories, namely customer service, product variety, store layout, value for money and overall satisfaction.

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SPAR is best in convenience store ratings

Where can you satisfy your midnight munchies, grab a coffee for the road AND shop for groceries in one place? At your local convenience store of course. Canstar Blue’s recent survey found that location and the convenience of being close to home or work is the number one reason people visit the same store because a trip to the supermarket is sometimes too much effort. Plus, convenience stores are open 24/7, and stock a wide range of everyday essentials like groceries, toiletries and even some over-the-counter medications. Our research also revealed 36% of Aussies also enjoy hot foods likes pie and sausage rolls available at convenience stores.

To help you find the best convenience store(s) near you, Canstar Blue has produced ratings based on the feedback of nearly 1,300 consumers who’ve visited and made a purchase from a convenience store chain in the last 12 months (excluding independently-owned local corner stores). The stores that received the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses were compared and rated on their customer service, variety of products available, store layout, value for money and overall satisfaction.

SPAR was rated the best convenience store chain in Australia, after rating best for overall customer satisfaction and across all categories, including value for money!

Best Convenience Stores

SPAR stores

Here are the best convenience store chains in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s inaugural review:

  1. SPAR
  2. Night Owl
  3. 7-Eleven
  4. IGA Xpress
  5. EzyMart
  6. The Foodary (Ampol)

SPAR topped our ratings as the only convenience store chain to rate five stars in any category, including for customer service, variety of products available, store layout, value for money and overall satisfaction. Night Owl and 7-Eleven were rated four stars overall, while IGA Xpress, EzyMart, and The Foodary (Ampol) got three stars for overall satisfaction.

About the Winner − SPAR

SPAR

SPAR began trading in Australia in 1994 and today boasts over 100 stores nationwide. It also supplies approximately 300 independent retail supermarkets, most on the Eastern seaboard of Australia. SPAR is a franchise, meaning many of its stores and food outlets are independently owned. SPAR stores stock a wide range of competitively-priced everyday essentials like groceries, health and beauty staples, as well as hot foods including pastries, fish and chips, sandwiches and cold meats. The convenience store chain also sells its own private label products.

  • SPAR was rated five stars in all categories, including for customer service, variety of products available, store layout, value for money and overall satisfaction.

What can you buy from a convenience store?

The most common convenience store purchases made by consumers we surveyed included:

  • Snacks (i.e. chips, chocolate, etc.): 40%
  • Grocery items (i.e. bread, milk, eggs, etc.): 27%
  • Other items (not specified): 16%
  • Cigarettes: 9%
  • Bag of ice: 3%

Are convenience stores better than supermarkets?

Supermarkets are still the best option for doing your regular grocery shops, as they’re likely to stock everything you need at much cheaper prices as they deal in much higher volumes. Meanwhile, convenience stores are limited in what they can offer both in terms of products and value because they have lower stock volumes and higher expenses in labour and inventory.

Our survey found that a fifth of consumers (20%) visited their local convenience store more during COVID-19, while location and proximity to home and work is the biggest reason people visit the same store (64%), suggesting the biggest advantage convenience stores have over supermarkets is…convenience.

About the author of this page

Megan Birot

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have visited and made a purchase from a convenience store chain (excluding independently-owned local corner stores) in the last 12 months – in this case, 1,281 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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