With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, a record 93 percent of Americans say they will be driving the same or more this month, and they anticipate spending more over that same time period, according a recent NACS Consumer Fuels Survey.
Nearly three in four consumers (72 percent) say they will spend the same or more this upcoming month in stores, led by 79 percent of Americans 50 years old and older.
Consumer confidence in the economy also is very high; a record 61 percent of consumers say they are optimistic about the economy, the same percentage as the month prior and up 11 percentage points compared to November 2015.
Consumer optimism is highest in the Northeast (65 percent) and South (62 percent), though a solid majority of consumers in the Midwest (59 percent) and West (57 percent) also report feeling optimistic.
Prices at the pump continue to drive consumer optimism, with three in four (75 percent) saying that gas prices affect their views of the economy.
“Steady gas prices and high levels of economic optimism are great signs for convenience stores heading into the holidays. Convenience stores expect strong sales for fuel, food and drinks from now through the end of the year,” said Jeff Lenard, NACS VP of strategic industry initiatives.
The survey was conducted online by PSB (Penn Schoen Berland); 1,100 U.S. adults who purchase fuel for a vehicle such as a car, truck or van at least once per month were surveyed from Nov. 8-10, 2017.
The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8 percent of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.