In-Store Trips, Fuel Sales Increase

Data suggest pump conversion is higher than pre-pandemic level; Midwest sees 2019 fuel sales levels.

September 10, 2021

Customer Grabbing a Drink

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Customers are walking into the convenience store after pumping gas more often now than they were pre-pandemic, according to data released by GetUpside. Pump-to-store conversion rose two percentage points after COVID-19 response measures went into full-effect in April 2020. Customers before the pandemic went into the store an average of 11.8% of the time after filling up, and that number increased to 13.8% after the pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020.

GetUpside suggests that customers prefer to make quicker fill-in trips at c-stores instead of longer runs to a more-crowded grocery store. Customers are also spending about $2 more per visit inside the store now than pre-pandemic. Data also show that customers are most likely to go from pump to store between midnight and 5 a.m., with the fewest conversions happening mid-morning during the work week.

Additionally, GetUpside reported that in the July Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said it does not expect gasoline consumption to surpass 2019 levels until 2022. However, a recent study of 14,000 fuel stations across the U.S. shows that Midwestern fuel sales are now 2% up from 2019 levels.

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