CStore Decisions outlines extensive insights on top trends and critical headwinds impacting today’s core c-store categories.
In 2020, convenience stores are enticing customers with increased category innovation, from new beverage varieties to fresh food to mobile payment options. In the year ahead, c-stores are also set to face ongoing challenges, including increasing tobacco regulations, technological disruption and growing competition from other channels on ‘convenience.’
The U.S. convenience channel today is comprised of more than 155,000 convenience stores.As competing channels look to encroach on the convenience landscape, c-store operators are expanding on the convenience concept by adding made-to-order foodservice programs that feature healthy food options, as well as delivery and order ahead/ pick-up in-store options. From food kiosks to mobile loyalty programs and electronic payments to electric vehicle charging stations, c-stores are investing in cutting-edge technology to best the competition.
As Gen Z infiltrates the marketplace, c-stores are expanding and fine-tuning their product assortments to meet the evolving needs of today’s consumer.
Efforts are paying off. Dollar sales at total U.S. c-stores were up 3.3% for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 29. 2019, compared to 2% for total multi-outlet (grocery, drug, mass market, military, and select club and dollar retailers), according to Chicago-based market research fi rm Information Resources Inc. (IRI).
IRI reported that 98% of the U.S. population shops in convenience stores each month, generating more than $200 billion in annual sales.