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Survey Finds C-Stores Should Push Self-Checkout, Fresh Offerings


Convenience retailers are increasingly feeling the pressure from grocery and general merchandise retailers offering a larger assortment of food and essentials through delivery and pick-up options. Incisiv and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions have announced their survey findings, titled “State of the Industry: The Future of C-Stores.”

According to the research, the convenience industry is adopting many new strategies to stay relevant. These include reallocating store space, ramping up fresh offerings, embracing flexible, speedy checkout and further investing in their advantage – catering to their local communities. But the speed of change remains a problem for most chains, with 74 percent of respondents dissatisfied with their ability to experiment quickly.

In addition, convenience has lagged compared to other segments technologically as it has not moved as fast toward unifying experiences across digital and in-store channels. This will need to be prioritized to compete for shopper’s wallet share.

“There is an opportunity for the convenience industry to prioritize unified commerce to gain market share against other segments,” said Fredrik Carlegren, VP of marketing and communications, Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions.

“While grocery and delivery trends continue to encroach on ‘convenience’ trends unifying in-store, online and delivery, convenience retailers see the need to innovate rapidly to compete and succeed in a competitive market to win consumers.”

“C-stores no longer just compete with the corner shop down the street. Grocery and general merchandise retailers offer a larger assortment of food and home essentials through convenient delivery and pick-up options. Quick Commerce upstarts such as Gopuff offer ultra-fast delivery in urban areas,” said Giri Agarwal, chief strategy officer.

“C-stores have the unique opportunity to become a unifying agent for some of the most exciting consumerism trends of the future: health and wellness, electric mobility and sustainability, and the rise of local ecologies. If they can do that successfully, they would have smartly redefined ‘Convenience 2.0’ to be about more than the need for speed.”

Click here to download the complete findings from State of the Industry: The Future of Convenience Stores.

Incisiv conducted a hybrid online and computer aided telephonic interview survey of 128 convenience retail executives in the U.S. The study was conducted from Sept. 6-23.

Incisiv is an industry insights firm that helps retailers and brands navigate digital disruption in their industry. It offers consumer industry executives responsible for digital transformation a trusted platform to share and learn in a non-competitive setting and the tools necessary to improve digital maturity, impact and profitability.

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