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NACS: Fuel Contributes To A Successful, Historic Year For C-Stores

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Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:25 pm

Buoyed in part by low fuel prices, the U.S. convenience store industry had record in-store sales of $214.9 billion in 2014, higher than overall industry sales in 1998, according to figures released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

Overall industry sales for 2014 reached $697.5 billion. The industry’s 2014 numbers were announced April 15 at the NACS State of the Industry Summit, a two-day conference that reviews and analyzes the industry’s key economic indicators.

The U.S. convenience store count increased to 152,794 stores as of Dec. 31, 2014, a near 1 percent increase (1,512 stores) from the year prior. Convenience stores also account for 33.9 percent of all retail outlets in the U.S., according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels, including drug stores (41,799 stores), supermarket/supercenter (41,529 stores) and dollar stores (26,572 stores).

The industry’s in-store sales of $214.9 billion represent an increase of 4.6 percent over 2013, which was itself a record year. Although more gallons of fuel were sold in 2014 than 2013, total industry fuel sales decreased by 1.8 percent due to the factor that gasoline prices that were 4 percent lower in 2014 than the previous year.

In-store sales growth in 2014 was driven by sales gains in both food service and merchandise, with the highest growth in commissary (e.g., packaged sandwiches, deli salads) up 9.8 percent, salty snacks (up 8.5 percent) and packaged beverages (up 6.5 percent).

Here’s how in-store sales were broken down in 2014:

• Tobacco (cigarettes and OTP): 35.9 percent of in-store sales

• Food service (prepared and commissary food; hot, cold and dispensed beverages): 19.4 percent

• Packaged beverages (soda, alternative beverages, sports drinks, juices, water, teas, etc.): 15.4 percent

• Center of the store (candy; sweet, salty and alternative snacks): 10.6 percent

• Beer: 7.3 percent

• Other: 11.4 percent

The industry’s 2014 metrics are based on the NACS State of the Industry survey powered by its wholly owned subsidiary CSX, a major online database of financial and operating data.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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