Convenience Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 83,800 convenience stores in the US sell a limited selection of merchandise in high traffic locations. The majority of convenience stores in the US sell gasoline. Most convenience stores are independent operators – 92% of c-stores have a single location.

Rising Credit Card Fees 

The cost of credit/debit fees continues to grow, and can exceed the pre-tax profits for a c-store.

Reliance Upon Fuel Sales

Managing fuel sales is a critical yet risky part of c-store operations.

Industry size & Structure

A typical convenience store sells gas, operates out of 1-2 locations, employs 14-15 workers, and generates almost $7.5 million annually. A typical c-store that does not sell gas employs about 5-6 workers and generates about $1 million annually.

    • The convenience store industry consists of 83,800 companies with over 129,600 stores which generate about $457 billion annually and employ 992,000 workers.
    • Most convenience stores are independent operators - 92% of c-stores have a single location and 88% employ fewer than 10 workers.
    • The average c-store chain has about 50 individual stores.
    • Large companies include Couche-Tard, Casey's General Stores, 7 Eleven, and Speedway.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Convenience Stores Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Coronavirus Update

                            May 9, 2022 - Office Commutes Slow to Rebound
                            • The Omicron wave’s decline was as swift as its rise, but the return to workplaces has been slow, which could reduce demand for fuel and merchandise purchases at convenience stores. As of February 23, the average workplace occupancy was 36.8%, according to data gathered from the top 10 ten cities monitored by security firm Kastle Systems. By April 27, the average workplace occupancy rate was 43.4%.
                            • The pandemic reduced global demand for motor fuels as many people worked from home and traveled less. As COVID-19 cases have fallen, many travel industry insiders expected a summer release of pent-up demand, including road trips and car rentals. However, a rebound in travel-related fuel consumption could be tempered by high gasoline and car rental prices. According to a recent survey by Bankrate, nearly 70% of US adults say they are altering their summer travel plans due to inflation. A quarter of those surveyed said they would take fewer trips, and 25% also said they would travel shorter distances. About 13% said they would fly instead of driving, but 16% said they would drive instead of flying.
                            • Seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled (VMT), an indicator of gasoline demand, increased 2.2% month over month in February 2022 and 9% year over year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. February VMT was up 1.7% compared to February 2019.
                            • Sales in the gas station industry, which includes establishments with convenience stores, increased 8.8% in value month over month and 37.8% year over year in March 2022.
                            • Gas prices were already on the rise when Russia invaded Ukraine in February, which prompted sanctions by the US and allied countries and roiled global energy markets. According to AAA, as of May 6, 2022, the average price of gas in the US was nearly $4.28 per gallon, up by more than 45% from a year earlier. According to a recent AAA survey, 59% of US consumers said they would make changes to their driving habits if the price of gasoline rose to $4.00. Of those who said they would make changes, 80% said they would drive less. Convenience stores that sell gasoline may see a drop in business if consumers drive less. Even stores that don’t sell gas could experience a decline in sales if consumers curtail discretionary spending due to high gas prices.
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