Convenience stores are taking more of the grocery and quick-serve market share, according to a report by the National Association of Convenience Stores.
The NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey, which polled 90 domestic companies and their network of 1,778 stores, found that 60% of convenience stores experienced higher in-store sales over the first nine months of 2017 than during the same period of 2016. Only 20% reported lower numbers during this stretch.
“While retailers attributed several reasons for both strong sales and optimism, an increased emphasis on fresh food sales was most often cited,” the report states.
The report found several chains from Kwik Trip, Casey’s and California-based Cameron Park Petroleum all are experiencing strong sales with their fresh sandwich program. Retailer’s like Wal-Mart Stores also continue to push more fresh ready-to-eat wraps and sandwiches in their main stores and as well as fresh pizza and hot dogs in their smaller adjacent convenience store format.
Convenience retailers also reported a bump up in fuel sales from a year ago, which helped to support a wider overall optimistic view for the fourth quarter. NACS said 75% of the retailers surveyed are optimistic on the next quarter and bullish on the overall economy through the end of this year. A year ago, just 53% of respondent had positive outlooks for the overall economy in the fourth quarter.