What are considered good retail margins for in-store categories? | NACS – Ask NACS – About the Industry
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What are considered good retail margins for in-store categories?

​The NACS State of the Industry Report contains a chapter on merchandise sold in a convenience store.  In 2012, the U.S. convenience store industry had sales of $700.3 billion, with merchandise contributing to 19% of sales.  The total gross margin contribution of merchandise was 40%. 

Included in the Merchandise chapter are also same-firm samples of industry sales by category, percentage of in-store sales, average sales per store and percentage of stores selling the categories.  Also included are gross margin percentage, average GM% per store and GM contribution for various categories.  The percentage of sales, average store sales and GP margin dollars and gross margin percentage are shared by subcategory as well. 

To see these numbers first hand, purchase the report by visiting nacsonline.com/soi or contact NACS at (703) 684-3600.

To better understand what comprises each category, you can review the NACS Category Definitions and Numbering Guide, which was developed by the NACS Research Committee.  These categories are used by the industry to establish performance benchmarks and a framework for retailers and manufacturers to have meaningful discussions regarding market performance comparisons.  This guide is available in both PDF and Excel formats at nacsonline.com/categorydefinitions


The NACS State of the Industry Report is based on annual same firm survey and monthly reports engine for tracking category market performance based on retail metrics reported throughout the year. NACS respondents are typically mature operations with more extensive product and service offerings, compared to a syndicated sample representing a broader range of retailers. NACS survey participants typically perform at a higher level than the national average, selling more fuel and having a more comprehensive foodservice offering. This report also uses independent industry sources, including The Nielsen Company and Symphony that these independent sources are reliable; we have not verified the accuracy or completeness of this data or any assumptions underlying such data. Both companies are a marketing information provider, primarily serving consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers. Nielsen Scantrack provides NACS with major category data through their Scantrack service that compiles statistics based on scanner transactions in certain channels, including grocery stores, mass merchandisers, drug chains, convenience stores and gas stations, excluding Walmart or small independent retail outlets. Symphony cigarette data through their AllScan service, which implements 12,500 store scans.


 NACS SOI Report


The NACS State of the Industry Report of 2016 Data
Order your copy of the convenience and fuel retailing industry's most comprehensive collection of firm-level, store-level and category data and trends based on 2016 data.

Previous years NACS State of the Industry Reports also available for purchase.