ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Attendees at the NACS State of the Industry Summit heard firsthand that convenience stores sales overall surged 9.3% to $601.1 billion in 2017, led by a 14.9% increase in fuel sales.
The sales increase at convenience stores was largely because of higher gas prices in 2017 (up 12.8% to $2.38) and a 1.9% increase in gallons sold. Meanwhile, fuel gross margins in 2017 increased to 22.0 cents per gallon. Paired with increased sales volume overall, fuel gross profits increased 11.7% per store.
Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and while fuel sales account for 61% of sales dollars, fuels margins are still relatively slim and fuels only account for 38% of total profit dollars at convenience stores.
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“2017 fuel consumption was a bit crazy,” said NACS Research Committee member Andy Jones, president and CEO of Sprint Food Marts in Augusta, Georgia. With the first six months of the year posting 2.4% fuel consumption. “Although 2.4% does not sound like that much, it was the equivalent of 4.4 days with zero fuel sold in the United States. That happened in the first half of the year so we all felt like we were playing catch up all year,” he said.
Jones added that 2017 ended with fuel consumption being down almost 1%, but with gains in the tail end of the year.
For more a complete analysis on retail fueling at convenience stores, pre-order your copy of the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2017 Data. Available in June, the report is the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s premier benchmarking tool—delivering insightful, useful information about the industry to retailers maximize their effectiveness and profitability.