Rhode Island C-Stores See Brisk Traffic

Designated as essential, retailers are experiencing an uptick in business despite reduced hours.

April 24, 2020

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I.—Many Rhode Island convenience stores have reported business is booming, as traffic increases despite early closures for extra cleaning and restocking, the Valley Breeze reports. “It’s a big number. We’ve been getting more people that we’ve [ever] seen before,” said Ray Masse, an employee at a Li’l General store. Masse said the store has sold more lottery tickets because of the casino closures, along with deli meat, toilet paper, bread and milk.

Big D’s Variety also has been selling a lot of lottery tickets, hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Employee Bob D’Andrea said he’s had to place limits on popular items. “We’re just trying to keep things in here that people need,” he said. “It’s been very difficult. Now, you have to talk to God to get toilet paper.” Big D’s started opening and closing an hour later, reducing its business hours by two each day.

Raj with M & R Convenience hasn’t seen any noticeable fall off of traffic in his store. “Business is steady,” he said.

Crystal Setaro with another Li’l General said customers are lining up for salads, fresh ground meats and deli items. “I have noticed a definite uptick in sales and customers,” she said, adding that she hopes the store will gain new customers because of its smaller size and available items.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.