BOSTON—Highlighting the growing trend of convenience stores owning the lunch daypart, the afternoon and early evening dayparts were the busiest hours for c-store traffic during the third quarter, according to GasBuddy’s latest foot traffic report for the fuel and convenience retailing industry.
Fridays are the busiest day for fill-ups at gas stations, with 15.61% of weekly visits. The spread between the busiest and slowest days was only 2.66 percentage points—a sign that today’s retailers are meeting customer needs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, Gas Buddy reported.
GasBuddy examined more than 24 million consumer visits between July 1 and September 30. The report separates fuel and convenience brands into four segments based on their number of locations. The footfall ratio equals average footfall per location/average footfall for the industry. A brand on part with the industry average would have a ratio of 1.0.
Washington-based Costco (250–999 locations) captured the most foot traffic per station of any brand in any segment—nearly four times the industry average with a score of 3.98. Kentucky-based Thorntons (50–249 locations) followed with a score of 3.90. Other segment winners include Ohio-based Speedway (1,000+ locations) and Indiana-based Ricker’s, (30–49 locations) which overtook longtime segment winner, Texas-based Buc-ee’s.
“Visits to gas station convenience stores remained consistent quarter-over-quarter, with consumers stopping for much more than a tank of gas on their end-of-summer drives,” said Frank Beard, convenience store trends analyst at GasBuddy and a NACS Daily contributor. “And with the most visits occurring during lunchtime, midday and early afternoon continue to be a big opportunity for brands to capture the hungry on-the-go crowd with relevant, fresh in-store offerings and excellent customer service.”
For more on capturing the lunchtime crowd, see “Let’s Do Lunch” in the October issue of NACS Magazine.