Scotland Supermarket Drive Time Map

Scotland Supermarket Drive Time Map &  Locations

Individual locations for all of the mainstream supermarket chains in Scotland were identified.  For each chain,  20 minute drive time areas calculated for each site.  This time was considered a reasonable driving time to access a supermarket.  The total population with reasonable access to each chain was determined by calculating overlap with SIMD2020 datazones (6976 zones each of which also gives the population) to provide a value for the total population within a 20 minute drive for each chain.

The chains surveyed include:
Aldi,  Asda,  Coop,  Farmfoods,  Lidl,  Marks and Spencer,  McColl,  Morrisons,  Premier,  Sainsburys,  Spar,  Tesco  and Waitrose.

The drive time areas are shown as maps (see Map1) for each of the individual supermarket chains plus a map showing the coverage of all the locations (Scotland).

Population with Reasonable Access to a Supermarket

The total number of mainstream chain stores is 1874.  As a whole 97% of the Scottish population ( a total of 5,424,800  in the SIMD2020 dataset) is within a 20 minute drive time of a mainstream supermarket.  A 20 minute drive to a supermarket was considered a reasonable timescale to access groceries.  The area covered by the drive time for all supermarket chain locations is approximately 50% of the land mass and cover is sparsest in the regions with low populations: Grampian Highlands and the West Highlands.

Good Access Across All Chains

With the exception of Waitrose, the twelve major stores each have 80% or more of the population within a 20 minute drive time of at least one of their stores (Table 1).  This was an  unexpected result as greater disparity between stores was expected at the outset.

The Coop has the most stores in Scotland (517), more than double its nearest rival.  Coop stores range across the whole of Scotland including communities in the West Highlands and Scottish Isles that are less well served by the other chains.  The Coop has a population reach equivalent to 96 percent of the Scottish population.

Asda achieves good coverage with 61 strategically located stores whereas Marks and Spencer achieves similar coverage but requires 126 stores. With only seven stores mainly in greater Glasgow and Edinburgh, Waitrose still covers a respectable 39% of the population.

Table 1: Percentage of Scotland’s Population within 20min Drive Time to a Supermarket

table showing population within 20 minute drive time to supermarket chains

Map1: Scotland Supermarkets 20min Drive Time

Click on option boxes to see individual supermarket chains.

Independent Stores

Of course there are many fabulous independent grocery stores in Scotland, however, it has not been possible to map these.


Store Locations
The mainstream stores do not directly publish store locations.  Data for each store was obtained from the store website using bespoke python scripts to identify the sites coordinates.

Drive Times
Once Latitude and Longitude coordinates were available for each store group, areas showing the 20 minute drive times on a map were calculated using QGIS ( an Open Source Geographic Information System ) with the ORS tools plugin which provides access to openrouteservice routing apps.

DataZones and Population Data
DataZone shapefiles which contain demographic information are published by the Scottish Government:

The shapefile is difficult to find on the government site and it is also available here:

These were created using Folium Module for Python

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Scotland Supermarket Drive Time Map

One thought on “Scotland Supermarket Drive Time Map

  1. another source of store location data is Geolytix Supermarket Retail Points
    helpfully they have also classified the data points into store size bands, Smaller shops as well as having less choice tend to be more expensive than the larger locations.

    I normally split the data based on store size and load into a mapping app (AlpineQuest) to give me a quick overview of where to go when outside of my local area.

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