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Industry News

Convenience stores innovating, merging to maintain market share

Convenience-store sales are suffering as more consumers buy snacks and gas at warehouse clubs, dollar stores and drugstores, according to Bloomberg.

The nation’s 154,500 convenience stores are getting squeezed by competition from all sides. 

Last year the $550 billion U.S. convenience-store industry reported its weakest merchandise sales growth since 2013. Loyalty programs, better food and more omni-channel purchasing options are among the strategies that chains are pursuing to reverse the trend. Circle K owner Alimentation Couche-Tard, a Canadian company with 7,700 stores in the U.S., recently hired its very first chief marketing officer.

“They’re just facing a lot more competition for convenience than ever before, whether it’s for coffee, food service, whether it’s for gasoline,” said consultant Todd Hale, a former senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights for Nielsen Co. “Now they have to figure out what they’re going to do in the world of e-commerce.”

By Brannon Boswell

Managing Editor/SCT