ALEXANDRIA, Va.—In this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Fuels by the Numbers,” Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives, NACS, discusses the status of c-store fuel sales and consumer behavior with Donovan Woods, director of operations, Fuels Institute, and Chris Rapanick, director of business development for NACS.
Rapanick explains how using data from the NACS Convenience Store Exchange (CSX) allows retailers to compare geographic and company specific financial performance within the convenience industry and make better plans for the future.
“The [c-store] numbers for the first half of 2019 are great,” said Rapanick. “Inside sales are up 5%, merchandise is up about 5% and foodservice is up a little more than 4%.”
When it comes to fuel, “everyone knows that fuel prices have been a little bit lower than they were at the same time last year, and that’s caused fuel sales to be a bit negative—just under 3% negative,” he said. “But that’s all driven by price. Gallons are up about 1%, and that’s good news.”
Rapanick noted that the growing trend of shopping online also is taking consumers off the streets and highways. That means many people are “clicking and collecting” instead of driving to a shopping destination, he said. The podcast concludes with a discussion about ways to attract more traffic into convenience stores and boost the number of store transactions.
Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 110,000 times in 90 countries.