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Industry Trends: C-store traffic up in first quarter

New York -- The mild winter weather across much of the country helped to offset the negative impact that rising gas prices traditionally have on convenience store visits, according to The NPD Group. NPD’s Convenience Store Monitor reports that in the first calendar quarter of 2012 compared with same quarter a year ago, c-store traffic increased by five percentage points from a year ago quarter and by six percentage points at major oil chain c-stores.

C-store consumers continued to pay slightly more for products with average check increasing slightly to $11.21 in the first quarter of 2012 compared with $11.08 in the same quarter year ago, according to the Convenience Store Monitor, which continually tracks the consumer purchasing behavior of more than 51,000 convenience store shoppers in the United States.

At the same time, consumers are not purchasing more products at c-stores with average units purchased maintaining at about 3.4 items per visit, the same level as a year ago.