Convenience retailer optimism picked up sharply as sales of both in-store items and motor fuels remained strong for the first nine months of the year, according to a survey of retailers released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
More than two in three convenience retailers (69 percent) say that in-store sales in the first nine months of 2016 were higher than the same period last year. And three in five (60 percent) say that motor fuel sales were higher compared to the nine months of 2015.
Strong convenience store sales also pushed retailer optimism higher. Nearly three in four (73 percent) convenience retailers say they are optimistic about their own business prospects in the fourth quarter, up from 68 percent who said they were optimistic last quarter. New foodservice offers and the continued growth of craft beer—and growler—sales at convenience stores were cited as factors driving retailer optimism.
Retailers say that the holidays in the fourth quarter should help grow sales, as will the good weather and continued low oil prices—if they both happen.
Retailers were nearly as optimistic about the overall convenience store industry’s prospects. More than two in three (71 percent) say they are optimistic about the convenience retailing industry over the fourth quarter, up eight points from the previous quarter. And a majority of retailers (53 percent) say they are optimistic about the overall U.S. economy, a six-point jump from last quarter.