Stimulus Checks Boost C-Store Spending

The third in a weekly look from PDI and NACS at trips and basket-level data in convenience retail.

April 28, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Consumers spent more at convenience stores during the third week of April than in the prior week, with a marked uptick on April 15 coinciding with the arrival of federal stimulus payments, according to the latest weekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior.

Powered by PDI Insights Cloud, the report provides consumer trip and basket-level data and analysis that will enable essential businesses around the United States to deliver what their customers want and need right now.

Here are some key insights for the week ended April 19, 2020: 

While overall spend and trips are still down compared with a year ago, there are signs of improvement. The decline in year-over-year spend further decelerated (-5% for the week ended April 19 vs. -12.1% for the week ended April 12), primarily because trips aren’t down as much (-24.3% for the week ended April 19 vs. -28.7% for the week ended April 12).

Spend increased 25.5% for the week ended April 19, compared with a 23.1% rise the prior week. There was a marked shift in performance starting Wednesday, April 15, as Economic Impact Payments began arriving in consumers’ bank accounts via direct deposit. (Many Americans are still waiting to receive their payments.) On April 15, dollars were up 3.9%, spend was up 31.3% and trips were down 20.9% year over year.

Week-over-week improvements were seen almost across the board. Alcohol and other tobacco products (OTP) continue to outperform other categories overall, while lottery and gaming was the top performer when looking at year-over-year gains.

Click here to read the free two-page summary, and click here to get the full report from PDI.