C-Store Trips Lost Ground in Late June

Consumers spent less on beverages and beer the last two weeks of June, PDI/NACS Insights show.

July 08, 2020

By Kim Stewart

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The convenience industry saw trips and basket spend contract during the last two weeks of June as market dynamics continue to change around the country, according to the latest biweekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior.

The packaged beverages and beer categories were the biggest contributors to trip declines for the two-week period ended June 28, but trip setback generally broadened. During and since stay-at-home orders in April and May, the packaged beverage category enjoyed a significant climb but reversed course in the final week of June. The foodservice and commissary categories continued to lag behind most categories.

Still, the news is generally positive. The changes in recent weeks have been marginal, and week-over-week spend data indicate that consumer behavior is remaining relatively consistent. And the latest data indicate that foodservice, commissary and packaged sweet snacks continue to improve in terms of trips, although they have lots of ground to make up from their pre-COVID-19 performance.

Foot traffic in the crucial weekday morning rush period (7 to 9:59 a.m.) stands at 85% of prior year traffic, down slightly from 86% for the week ended June 14. Remaining dayparts lost more of the ground that they’d gained in prior weeks but still are above 90% of last year’s level.

Here are some additional insights for the two weeks ended June 28, 2020: 

  • Dollar sales growth fell slightly from the prior two-week period (+6.4% vs. +8.4% for the weeks ended June 14).
  • Basket spend dipped slightly year over year (+19.1% vs. +19.9% for the weeks ended June 14).
  • Trips fell from the prior two weeks (-11.1% vs. -10.2% year over year for the two-week period ended June 14).
  • Packaged beverages’ trips declined year over year (-0.3% vs. +1.3% for the two weeks ended June 14), along with cold dispensed beverages (-28.3% vs. -26.7%) and beer (+2.9% vs. +6.4%).
  • Lottery/gaming and other tobacco products trips fell year over year (-8.8% vs. -4.3% and -4.8% vs. -3.1%, respectively).

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. The report combines consumer buying data from 5,500 mid- to large-size convenience retail sites across all key geographic locations.

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

Kim Stewart is editorial director of NACS and editor-in-chief of NACS Magazine.