As 2018 wraps up in a couple of months, noticeable trends have recently influenced the c-store channel. These changes are shaping the future of the coming years and setting the pace for innovations to come. That being said, the overwhelming amount of players in the game make it difficult to stay on top of the latest trends. To make navigating this arena a little easier, we’re providing you with a c-store roundup of how these stores are differentiating themselves.
When it comes to the retail industry, we can all agree on the importance of ensuring customers are able to get what they want, when they want it – a goal that is critical in this day in age. Looking at the name, it’s clear that convenience retail stores have always strived for this exact goal. While most shoppers don’t give much thought to convenience stores until they need to go to one, the convenience store’s prime purpose (in addition to offering fuel services) is to be a quick, one-stop shop for essential goods like drinks, hot and cold food or other household items like aspirin or toothpaste.
We know that tobacco (much like fuel) is historically a driving factor in customer traffic and loyalty for convenience stores. Typically, customers who enter the store for cigarettes are more likely to spend additional dollars on food, snacks and alcohol. But, costs per pack have gone up over the past year, and rebates, inventory management and resource allotment can often seem unsuccessful and result in tight margins.
Traditionally, the convenience store has primarily served as quick stop for gas on the way to work or on a road trip. In recent years, however, a number of convenience stores, from the small mom-and-pop shop to the mega travel centers, have added a number of merchandise offerings, including grab-and-go food, adult beverages, toiletries and even yard-art. Today’s consumers are taking advantage of these offerings as they’re stretched for time as they run between work, children’s activities, networking commitments and home.