US convenience store retailers are reporting an increase in sales this year, mainly driven by the growth in food sales, according to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
Three in five convenience store retailers say that in-store sales in the first nine months of 2017 were higher compared to last year, while 20% say sales thus far were lower. Additionally, one in three say that sales of motor fuels have increased, compared to 27% who say sales were lower.
Meanwhile, 75% of retailers say they are confident that their business will perform strongly in the fourth quarter. Although most of retailers have attributed several reasons for the growth, a strong emphasis has been placed on fresh food sales and increased consumers confidence.
According to NACS, many convenience retailers are taking steps to encourage growth in the area of food sales. For example, Pride C-Stores is focusing on prepared foods, Kwik Trip continues to grow its hot foods range, and Cameron Park Petroleum is experiencing strong growth with its fresh sandwich programme.
The Landhope Corporation has recently refurbished its stores by providing more fuelling locations, new lighting systems and an expanded foodservice programme. The additions have been welcomed by customers, said director Dennis McCartney.
The NACS survey has also shown that more than three in four retailers expressed optimism about the economy in the fourth quarter. In addition, 73% of retailers are expecting a further increase by 2018.
However, some retailers also expressed concerns, including high insurance costs, a shrinking labour pool and increased competition from retail disruptors like Amazon.
Over 90 member companies, representing 1,778 stores, took part in the October 2017 NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Francesca Volpe. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.