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C-store in-store sales hit record $204 billion in 2013

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — U.S. convenience outlets reached record in-store sales in 2013, with sales climbing 2.4% to $204 billion. Combined with gasoline sales of $491.5 billion, overall convenience store sales were $695.5 billion, according to figures released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Convenience stores account for 34.3% of all retail outlets in the United States, according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drugstores.

Convenience store sales in 2013 were led by continued growth in foodservice (2.4%), driven by prepared food and commissary. Motor fuels sales also hit new highs on a per-gallon basis, with sales climbing 0.9% to 132,029 gallons per store per month. While fuels sales per store increased on a unit basis, a 2.9% decrease in gas prices led to an overall 2.1% decrease in fuels sales.

Although the industry again realized strong sales, store-operating costs increased at a faster rate than sales and led to a decrease in industry pretax profits, which fell from $7.2 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion in 2013.

The biggest increase in costs was wages and payroll taxes. The industry saw a dramatic 19.5% increase in employees, a function of the industry’s continuing embrace of foodservice, which requires more labor to manage.

The link between fuels and convenience retailing continues to grow. Overall, 83.7% of convenience stores (126,658 total) sell motor fuels, a 2.7% increase (3,369 stores) over 2013, according to the 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

Beyond sales, convenience stores are an important part of the economy. They employed 2.2 million people and generated $174.5 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2013. Overall, convenience stores sales represent 4.0% — or one out of every 25 dollars — of the entire $17.4 trillion U.S. gross domestic product.

Motor fuels continued to drive revenue dollars, but in-store sales drove profit dollars. Overall, 70.7% of total sales were motor fuels, but motor fuels only accounted for 35.6% of profit dollars. Motor fuels gross margins were 18.5 cents per gallon before expenses, or 5.3%.

Here’s how in-store sales were broken down in 2013:

• Tobacco (cigarettes and other tobacco products): 37.0% of in-store sales
• Foodservice (prepared and commissary food; hot, cold and dispensed beverages): 18.0%
• Packaged beverages (soda, alternative beverages, sports drinks, juices, water, teas, etc.): 15.5%
• Center of the store (candy; sweet, salty and alternative snacks): 9.9%
• Beer: 7.9%
• Other: 11.7%

Meanwhile, foodservice was the category that drove profits, accounting for 29.1% of gross profit dollars. Packaged beverages were second, accounting for 19.6% of gross profit dollars. While tobacco products constituted 37.0% of in-store revenue dollars, they accounted for only 18.7% of gross margin dollars.

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Home Depot names ag expert, GE vet to board

BY CSA STAFF

Arysta LifeScience president and CEO Wayne Hewett will stand for election to The Home Depot’s board of directors when current director Bonnie Hill steps down.

Arysta LifeScience where Hewett serves as CEO is one of the world’s largest privately held crop protection and life science companies. However, his career also includes more than 20 years with GE, where he held numerous leadership positions, including CEO of GE Advanced Materials and vp of GE’s Supply Chain and Operations. Among his other roles during his career at GE, Hewett was president of GE Plastics Pacific and a member of GE’s Corporate Executive Council.

"We’re extremely pleased with the board’s nomination of Wayne," said Frank Blake, The Home Depot chairman and CEO. "His experience and skills will enhance our board’s ability to provide thoughtful oversight as we continue to implement our key strategic priorities."

Bonnie Hill, currently the board’s lead director, has been a board member since 1999 has reached the age limit of 72 set forth in the company’s corporate governance guidelines.

"We’re truly grateful for the outstanding leadership and dedication Bonnie has brought to our company during her fifteen years of service," Blake said.

Gregory D. Brenneman has been selected to succeed Hill as lead director following the Company’s 2014 shareholders meeting.

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Nordstrom drives innovation at Experience Center

BY CSA STAFF

The Nordstrom’s Customer Experience Center is a replica of a store where the department store operator can bring together salespeople, suppliers and customers to share feedback on new concepts before they are introduced to stores.

President of stores Erik Nordstrom and vp of customer experience Fanya Chandler recently shared their thoughts on how Nordstrom leverages the Center and offered insights on the innovation process led to the creation of a new beauty experience. Nordstrom and Chandler discuss the company’s beauty concierge, trending now and play bar component of the company’s approach to beauty in this video created as part of National Retail Federation’s “This is Retail,” initiative.

See what Nordstrom and Chandler had to say, click here.

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