The convenience store channel has outperformed the broader market in each of the past three quarters, galvanized by increasing consumer mobility. Inflation and supply constraints continue to pose risks to the segment. To sustain outsized growth moving forward, a focus on store brands, well-designed loyalty programs and e-commerce solutions is key.
- The convenience channel grew 7.7% in Q3 through a combination of more frequent trips, more buyers and bigger baskets.
- Store brands are outperforming national brands in the channel and can help retailers differentiate themselves, boost customer loyalty and better control product availability.
- Seamless integration of loyalty programs, mobile apps, cashier-less checkout and secure mobile payments can enable c-stores to make the most of the e-commerce opportunity.
- Rapid fulfillment and delivery are increasingly becoming a point of differentiation in the convenience channel, but retailers must be realistic about associated costs.
- C-store sales growth is being led by strong volume growth in the edible segment.
- Three-quarters of c-store retailers are boosting tech spending to unlock new data security, training and sales opportunities.
- Better lighting, fresh-prepared foods and enhanced sanitation can enhance merchandising and the shopper experience.
Continuing the strong growth trajectory in convenience stores will require careful management of assortment, pricing and promotion, the report said, especially as supply challenges continue into next year. Greater focus is required in nonedible categories, where price increases and supply challenges are driving down volume.