Here's Why Fast Food and Dollar Stores Sales are Up and Convenience Store Sales are Down

Wawa

Apparently, American consumers are no longer visiting convenience stores as much to get their snacks and beverages. Instead, they are choosing to visit fast food restaurants or dollar stores.

Not to mention, with delivery, E-commerce giants like Amazon and supermarkets that uppin’ the ante to compete, consumers have so many convenient options to get food and basic items.    

Because of this, the $550 billion convenience store industry had the slowest sales year since 2013. 

That’s why we are seeing super stores like Wawa and RaceTrac pop up all over. These stores are elevating the convenience store industry by offering more food options, online ordering, and loyalty programs– making other long-standing convenience stores with less inventory, hot foods, and technology implemented look tired.

“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 Todd Hale, former senior vice president of consumer and shopper insights at Nielsen Co to “Bloomberg.” “Now they have to figure out what they’re going to do in the world of e-commerce.”

So now it’s time for stores to compete with enhanced marketing strategies and elevated food product in order to survive. 

Gas accounts for an average of 60 percent of the sales at convenience stores, but the food product inside is where two-thirds of the profit is made. 

“At QuikTrip Corp., an Oklahoma-based chain with more than 700 stores, shoppers can choose from everything from wraps and salads to made-to-order flatbreads and burritos. Wawa Inc.’s hoagies drew crowds to its new location in Washington last month. And after adding Swirl World frozen dessert bars a few years ago, Georgia-based RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. now makes sandwiches on demand in 95 of its 475 outlets across the Southeast,” writes “Bloomberg.”

Although the demand for gas is down, Americans are still reliant on this energy and visiting pumps. This remains as an opportunity for the convenience store to make an additional food sale, if the options are enticing enough. 

“We’re giving them an alternative so they don’t have to make another stop in their day,” said Dayna Reed, RaceTrac’s executive director of reporting and insights to “Bloomberg.”“The entire industry is looking at what food service means and how we can grow the food-service business.”

Read more from "Bloomberg."