Convenience Stores Offer More Convenience

Convenience stores offer speed of service to time-starved consumers who want to get in and out of the store quickly. These shoppers recognize this channel of trade for its convenient locations, extended hours of operation, one-stop shopping, grab-and-go foodservice, variety of merchandise and fast transactions. Here's more interesting facts about this dynamic industry: 

  • About 80% of convenience stores (118,678 total) sell motor fuels.
  • Convenience stores have an unmatched speed of transaction: The average time it takes a customer to walk in, purchase an item and depart is between 3 to 4 minutes. Here's the breakdown: 35 seconds to walk from the car to the store, 71 seconds to select item(s), 42 seconds to wait in line to pay, 21 seconds to pay and 44 seconds to leave store. (NACS Speed Metrics Research)
  • The convenience store industry is a destination for food and refreshments. Foodservice sales are increasingly becoming the most profitable in-store category. 
  • Convenience stores are everywhere. There are 150,174 convenience stores in the United States—or one store for about every 2,225 people.
  • An average convenience store selling fuel has around 1,100 customers per day, or more than 400,000 per year. The U.S. convenience store industry conducts about 160 million transactions per day.
  • Self-serve is a part of most convenience stores' fueling operations. The first self-serve gas station was opened by Hoosier Petroleum Co. in 1930, but was closed by the fire marshal for being a fire hazard. Frank Ulrich reintroduced the idea in 1947 at the corner of Jilson and Atlantic in Los Angeles. Modern self-serve began in 1964 with the introduction of remote fueling; an attendant was no longer required to reset the pumps after each transaction. Today it is available in 48 states. Self-serve is still prohibited in New Jersey and Oregon, as well as in scattered municipalities across the U.S., particularly in Massachusetts.