The convenience store sector is set to benefit from an influx of new sites thanks to further consolidation in the pub industry, according to a retail property agent. Christie & Co told The Grocer – a sister publication of M&C Report – that 4,000 pubs are expected to come to the market in the next 18 months. The ease of transferring the usage of the pubs to an alternative has attracted an increased amount of attention from the convenience store industry, filling a gap left by property developers. Tony Evans, head of retail at Christie & Co, said: “We have found increasing numbers of pubs are being sold for c-stores. These are becoming more popular as retailers do not need planning permission to transfer the site. “They also come with car parking in a residential area.” The Southern Co-Operative has recently opened a new store in a converted pub in Portsmouth and retailers Costcutter and Bestway have also intimated that they intend to open in former pubs.