Happy Solar Eclipse Day

Millions of people are on the road to witness the eclipse, which takes place this afternoon.

April 08, 2024

It’s finally the big day. C-stores have been prepping for the eclipse for months, and even unprepared stores near the path of totality figure to see a spike in traffic. NACS has the eclipse covered: Listen to an episode of the Convenience Matters podcast about the eclipse or read “Total Eclipse of the Mart” from NACS Magazine.

Potential Path Changes

New map calculations have raised the possibility that the path of totality is slightly narrower than NASA calculated, reported CNN. That means some cities on the edge of the route that were expecting to experience a second or two of total darkness might be left out.

NASA has not changed its predictions, but the space agency advises that there is some uncertainty involved in mapping the eclipse’s path.

“Calculations that use a slightly larger radius for the size of the Sun yield an eclipse path that is slightly narrower,” said NASA spokesperson Karen Fox told CNN in an emailed statement. “This difference would only affect cities on the very edge of the path of totality.”

Weather Forecasts

Another concern for viewers is the weather. According to USA Today, the most recent forecasts show that the best spot for viewing weather-wise will be northern New England, specifically northern portions of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

From northern Arkansas to central Indiana, clear skies are “possible,” but there’s the potential for high clouds to impact the view. Meanwhile, poor viewing conditions are expected from Missouri and Kansas south into central and east Texas, where it is likely to be cloudy with showers and possible thunderstorms.

USA Today reported that much of Texas has been placed under a ‘slight risk’ area for severe weather today, with the possibility of thunderstorms, hail and even tornadoes.

The Weather Prediction Center said Sunday afternoon that clouds may also impede viewing across Ohio, northwest Pennsylvania and parts of New York.

Gearing Up for the Eclipse

Don Rhoads, owner of Washington-based The Convenience Group and former NACS chairman, experienced the 2017 eclipse himself. His stores, even though they were outside the path of totality, experienced a surge in traffic as people traveled toward Oregon.

“Our stores are located in southwest Washington. And we weren’t in the path of totality, but leading up to the actual eclipse itself we were really busy,” Rhoads told NACS Daily. “The spillover effect of the eclipse really did boost our store sales.”

States government have been preparing for a surge in traffic surrounding the day of the eclipse. Retailers have been gearing up and planning around the eclipse too, along with special deals to entice and delight customers.

7-Eleven announced a special deal for the day—7NOW Gold Pass subscribers can get a whole pizza for $3 all day on April 8.

Buc-ee’s sponsored eclipse kits from the Houston Museum of Natural including lesson plans, classroom activities, virtual programs, and educator training materials.

Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz will celebrate the eclipse by offering My Sheetz Rewardz members $2 off any donut today only. Members must add the offer viz the OFFERZ tab on the Sheetz app.

Krispy Kreme announced the “Total Solar Eclipse Doughnut”—a glazed doughnut dipped in black chocolate icing, with silver sprinkles, piped with a buttercream made with OREO pieces, and a whole OREO cookie in the center, available April 5-8.

Frito-Lay North America has a very limited-time-only offer. SunChips Solar Eclipse Limited-Edition Pineapple Habanero and Black Bean Spicy Gouda will only be available for purchase online for four minutes and 27 seconds, approximately the amount of time some sites will experience totality.