CHICAGO -- Sales at c-stores grew 4.4% in 2010, reaching a record level of $190.4 billion, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores, which released its performance figures during an industry summit here in April.
As a result of strong sales, convenience store pretax profits reached $6.5 billion in 2010, a significant turnaround from 20 years ago, when the industry reported a loss of $220 million (1990). The recent NACS data do not include fuel sales, which represented another $385.3 billion last year.
"Our strong performance in 2010 shows that our convenience offer -- especially one-stop shopping and speed of service for refreshments, food and fuel -- continues to resonate with customers," said NACS vice-chairman of research Fran Duskiewicz, who is senior executive vice-president of Canastota, NY-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes.
The 4.4% growth of in-store c-store sales surpassed growth rates of warehouses, restaurants, and drug and grocery stores. However, NACS 2010 figures reflect an increased number of stores compared with the year before; the number of stores grew 1.2% to 146,341 last year.
These record numbers are good news for bulk vending operators who have added c-store locations to their routes over the past decade. Strong locations for traditional bulk venders, as well as kiddie rides, skill cranes and prize merchandisers, convenience stores have become prime locations, valued for their high foot traffic, long operating hours and wide range of demographics.
See NACS release