The number of convenience-stores in the U.S. increased 0.2 percent to 154,535 from 2015 to 2016, accounting for more than $575 billion in sales, according to an Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing (NACS) report. Roughly 80 percent of convenience stores also sell gasoline, which is helping to fuel rising in-store sales of a broad mix of merchandise for on-the-go shoppers.
Yet, today’s gas station/convenience store locations have a depth and breadth of product, image and branding not previously seen. They have curb appeal, and they aim to offer consumers a one-stop retail experience. While they don’t require as much square footage as typical grocery stores, they do need more space than the typical convenience stores of the past.
This phenomenon is evidenced by the exponential growth of chains like Wawa in Florida and the Southeast and 7-Eleven on the national level. These gas station/c-store properties will remain viable in today’s online, on-demand retail environment, due, in part, to their ability to maintain “convenience” as a key tenant of retail sales.
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