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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 3, March 2014, Posted On: 2/28/2014

C-Stores Continue On Road To Expansion: 151,282 And Counting

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: bulk vending, convenience store growth, C-Store study, 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count

ALEXANDRIA, VA -- Convenience stores, an important location category for bulk vending, continue to show signs of robust growth. According to the 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count, the number of U.S. c-stores increased to 151,282 as of Dec. 31, 2013. That's a 1.4% increase, or 2,062 stores, compared with the previous year.

The survey also noted a continued growth of those stores selling gas. Overall, 83.7% of convenience stores (126,658) sell motor fuels, a 2.7% increase (3,369 stores) over the previous year. The increase of stores selling motor fuels is double the overall growth in the industry. This was due to fuel retailers adding convenience operations and convenience retailers adding fuel operations.

"Today's time-starved consumers need quick and convenient access to food, fuel and beverages. No other retail channel comes close to filling these needs than America's convenience stores, which is why our industry continues to grow, innovate and support their communities and their customers' busy lifestyles," said NACS chairman Brad Call, vice-president of adventure culture at North Salt Lake City, Utah-based Maverik Inc.

Texas leads the count with 15,191 c-stores, up from 14,920 in 2013. Other top c-store states are California (11,188), Florida (9,737), New York (8,154), Georgia (6,750), North Carolina (6,272), Ohio (5,452), Michigan (4,903), Illinois (4,607) and Virginia (4,512).

In all, convenience stores account for 34.3% of all retail outlets in the U.S., according to Nielsen. This is significantly higher than other retail channels, including drugstores (41,378 units), supermarket/supercenter (37,459 units) and dollar stores (24,853 units). The industry is dominated by single-store operators, which account for 62.8% of all convenience stores, or 95,056 stores total.

NACS is online at nacsonline.com.

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