A new consumer survey from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) has revealed that nearly half (42%) of all regular Black Friday shoppers expect to shop more this holiday season as a result of lower gas prices.
Shoppers also expect to have plenty of company in stores over the holiday season: 96% of Americans say that they expect Americans to shop at least as much — if not more — this holiday season as they did last year. Overall, one in four Americans (25%) expect to shop more this year than last holiday season, when gas prices were approximately 70 cents more per gallon. Two in five (41%) shoppers ages 18-34 say they are likely to spend more this year, while only 14% of those over age 50 expect to do so.
Consumers say they are posed to spend more this holiday season because of lower gas prices, and nearly nine in 10 (87%) of holiday shoppers expect to stop at a convenience store, most often to purchase gas (77% of all travelers and 86% of regular Black Friday shoppers), or to use the bathroom (50% of all travelers and 51% of regular Black Friday shoppers).
Travelers will be buying plenty of beverages at convenience stores: 46% expect to purchase bottled water or a soda and 42% expect to purchase coffee or an energy drink to stay alert. They also plan to purchase food, with 45% expecting to buy a snack and 20% expecting to buy a sandwich or meal from a convenience store while traveling over the holidays.
Younger consumers ages 18-34 are most likely to stop at convenience stores during holiday travels, whether to buy a snack (57%), a bottle of water or soda (55%), a coffee or energy drink (52%), a sandwich or meal (28%) or use the ATM (25%).
“Sales have been strong all year at convenience stores and it looks like these strong sales will continue through the holiday season, especially with Millennials seeking out more fresh items in stores like salads, fruits or sandwiches,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS vice president of strategic industry initiatives. “Consumers are optimistic about the economy and lower gas prices are contributing to this optimism.”
Half of all Americans (50%) are optimistic about the economy, according to survey results released by NACS last week.
NACS, which represents the convenience store industry that sells 80% of the gas sold in the country, conducts monthly consumer surveys to gauge how gas prices affect broader economic trends. The NACS survey was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland; 1,100 gas consumers nationally were surveyed Nov. 2-4, 2015.