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Convenience In-Store Sales Hit a Record $204 Billion

9 Apr, 2014 By: Doug McPherson

CHICAGO – U.S. convenience stores hit record in-store sales in 2013 by climbing 2.4 percent to $204 billion. Combined with gasoline sales of $491.5 billion, overall convenience store sales were $695.5 billion, says the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

The convenience store industry reports that in-store sales have seen rapid growth during the past decade, as consumers seek out more food and beverages on the go. In-store sales in 2013 were led by continued growth in foodservice (2.4 percent), driven by prepared food and commissary. 

Convenience stores account for 34.3 percent of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drugstores (41,378 stores), supermarket/supercenter (37,459 stores) and dollar stores (24,853 stores).

Convenience stores employed 2.2 million people and generated $174.5 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013. Overall, convenience stores sales represent 4 percent of the entire $17.4 trillion U.S. gross domestic product. 

“Our industry numbers demonstrate that convenience and fuel retailing continues to grow, despite economic and retail environment challenges,” said NACS Chairman Brad Call, vice president of adventure culture at Maverik Inc. “These numbers show that we continue to meet the needs of our diverse consumers throughout the United States.”

Of major interest to retailers this year was the breakout of industry numbers into regional benchmarks, allowing them to compare key metrics against more companies in their respective markets. 

The 2013 in-store sales breakdown:

  • Tobacco (cigarettes and other tobacco products): 37 percent of in-store sales
  • Foodservice (prepared and commissary food; hot, cold and dispensed beverages): 18 percent
  • Packaged beverages (soda, alternative beverages, sports drinks, juices, water, teas, etc.): 15.5 percent
  • Center of the store (candy; sweet, salty and alternative snacks): 9.9 percent
  • Beer: 7.9 percent
  • Other: 11.7 percent

Meanwhile, foodservice was the category that drove profits, accounting for 29.1 percent of gross profit dollars. Packaged beverages were second, accounting for 19.6 percent of gross profit dollars.

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