C-stores get an “A” for growth. While many brick and mortar stores have been closing, the convenience store industry has actually doubled in size over the past 30 years and is still growing. In 2016, the number of c-stores in the U.S increased to 154,535 and experienced record in-store sales of $233 billion.

Key sales driver – C-stores account for 80% of all the auto fuel purchased in the country.

Fill-up & light-up – Gas and cigarettes are still the most popular c-store purchases followed by beer, non-alcoholic drinks and foodservice (prepared food) items.

Mouth-watering margins – Foodservice is becoming the c-store industry’s most profitable category, contributing over 21% of in-store sales in 2016.

Hungry for change Sandwiches, hot dogs and pizza are still the most popular meal items, but healthy options such as salads, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups are increasingly in demand.

Fresh opportunity – 76% of 18-34 year-olds would purchase more prepared foods from c-stores if the foods are designated as local, natural, and in environmentally friendly packaging.

Core customers – Consumers aged 35-44 are more likely to be daily or weekly c-store shoppers, and those 25-34 are more likely to buy in-store merchandise after purchasing gas.

Older, not so much – Customers, aged 55 and up, are less likely to make daily or weekly c-store visits or to stop in for a post-gas merchandise purchase.

Whoa! – Texas has, by far, the most C-stores with 15,671. That’s one c-store for every 752 residents of the Lone Star state. California is a distant second with 11,774, one c-store for every 3,355 residents.


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