U.S. Convenience Stores Continue Growth

January 25, 2018

The industry’s core offer of convenience strongly resonates with consumers.

January 25, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. convenience store count increased to a record 154,958 stores as of December 31, 2017, a 0.3% increase (423 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2018 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

“Our continued store growth suggests that the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s core offer of convenience continues to resonate with customers,” said Chris Rapanick, director of business development at NACS.

“Convenience stores are the destination of choice for the 160 million customers who frequent their community convenience store each day to refresh and refuel, whether it’s to grab a quick snack and a beverage, or a fresh-prepared meal.”

The convenience store count is significantly higher than other channels of trade, accounting for more than one third (34.4%) of the brick-and-mortar retail universe tracked by Nielsen in the United States. Except for the dollar store channel, all other major channels have fewer units at year-end 2017 than 2016:

​Channel ​2016 ​2017 ​Unit Change ​% Change
Convenience Store​ ​154,535 ​154,958 ​423 ​0.3%
​Drug ​43,636 ​43,169 ​(467) ​-1.07%
​Supermarket ​51,191 ​51,134 ​(57) ​-0.11%
​Dollar ​28,832 ​30,332 ​1,500 ​5.20%

“Convenience stores saw solid growth in 2017 due to an increased focus on innovation, improved customer experience, assortment variation and healthy investments in food services,” said Jeanne Danubio, EVP retail for lead markets at Nielsen. “All of these factors have enabled convenience stores to meet the needs of consumers, stretching far beyond the pump. This shift must continue to further expand c-store’s relevance in today’s changing retail landscape. As more retailers across channels try to cater to convenience seeking consumers, c-stores will need to continue to innovate and evolve and grow to stay ahead of the curve.”

Single-store operators within the convenience retail space also increased by 139 units (0.14%), up from 97,504 stores at year-end 2016 to 97,643 stores at year-end 2017.

Overall, 79.1% of convenience stores (122,552) sell motor fuels, a decrease of 1.0% (or 1,255 stores) from 2016, with the single-store motor fuel segment dropping by 1,025 stores. The decline in the number of convenience stores selling fuel is reflective of retailers evolving their business models to focus more on the in-store, foodservice offer, as well as retailers embracing new store formats and establishing their brands in more urban, walk-up locations.

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count at 15,813 stores, or more than one in 10 stores in the country. California is second at 11,946 stores, followed by Florida (9,891), New York (8,725), Georgia (6,687), North Carolina (6,235), Ohio (5,686), Michigan (4,962), Pennsylvania (4, 855) and Illinois (4,759). The bottom three states in terms of store count are Alaska (217 stores), Wyoming (355) and Delaware (344).

The U.S. convenience store count has increased by 55% over the last three decades: At year-end 1987, the convenience store count was 100,200 stores, at year-end 1997 the store count was 108,800 stores and at year-end 2007 the store count was 146,294 stores.

NACS Article – Click here


Thanks @NACSonline for another great article.

And to the 423 new stores – call Insight Retail Software for your backOffice and scan data needs! We are the premiere provider for Scan Data Services!

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Convenience Store Retailers Cite Top Trends for 2018

January 10, 2018

NACS gives us their predictions for 2018. The great news is that backOffice Software™ from Insight Retail Software can handle everything that comes your way in 2018.  INCLUDING YOUR SCAN DATA SERVICE!


From Nacs:  ​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Growth in healthy food and beverages sales led to positive overall sales at convenience stores in 2017, and retailers expect the momentum to continue in 2018, according to a survey of retailers released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

More than two in three convenience retailers (69%) said that foodservice sales increased last year, and 61% said that sales of better-for-you items (i.e., fruits/vegetables, yogurt, nuts, health bars) experienced sales gains. By comparison, only 7% said that foodservice sales were down and only 3% said that sales of better-for-you items decreased.

“Customers are demanding higher quality foods and snacks” at Chestnut Petroleum stores (New Paltz, NY), according to Mickey Jamal. Sales of healthy food and drinks were strong in 2017 at Arroyo Grande Valero (Atascadero, CA). Protein bars and fruit and protein smoothies propelled sales at A-Square Enterprises Inc. (Conyers, GA), and water—whether plain, flavored or coconut water—grew sales at Select Fuel & Convenience (Red Bud, IL).

Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States and retailers also said sales were strong at the pump: Most retailers (52%) said that fuel sales increased in 2017, compared to 20% who reported a decline in gallons sold.

Trends for 2018
Retailers also predicted emerging trends for 2018. Kombucha drinks will continue to grow, as will new programs for home delivery, according to Lisa Dell’Alba at Square One Markets (Bethlehem, PA). New payment methods also will be a top trend, said Kent Frieling at Stop ’n Save (Grand Junction, CO). And healthier meal replacements won’t just be a big trend in 2018—they will also be on his menu, complimenting a robust growler fill program, said Kent Couch at Stop & Go Mini Mart (Bend, OR).

Also, retailers said that the lunch daypart has the most potential to grow sales at their stores, with 67% identifying lunchtime traffic as their biggest opportunity. But other dayparts also hold promise, including the opportunity to grow sales of mid-day snacks, noted Stephen Lair with Petromark Inc. (Harrison, AR).

“People love food inside a convenience store. It’s a one-stop shop for them,”

said Parvez Himani at Priya Impex Inc. (Alpharetta, GA).

Strong Optimism for 2018
Beyond products, retailers say that strong consumer optimism over economic prospects, identified in the monthly NACS Consumer Surveys, also helped grow sales in 2017.

“There seems to be a direct correlation between our customers’ view of the economy and their use of disposable income in our marketplace,” said Dennis McCartney of Landhope Farms (Kennett Square, PA).

Strong consumer optimism also translated into strong retailer optimism. More than three in four (77%) retailers are optimistic about their business prospects for the first three months of 2018, with the same percentage of retailers optimistic about the overall U.S. economy for the first quarter.

Some Concerns Loom in 2018
Competition for the convenience store customer is the top concern of retailers heading into 2018, with nearly half (46%) saying that they expect to continue competing with other channels and other convenience and fuel retailers (45%).

Labor is another major concern, cited by 45% of retailers, such as finding and recruiting top talent in the market. To address the issue, retailers say that are recruiting employees from non-traditional labor pools including retirees, disabled workers and military veterans.

“For the right kind of person, it is a fun job. Interacting with customers is enjoyable as our business attracts a lot of repeat customers whom they see every day,”

said John Clark with Alpine Mart (Stowe, VT).

Regulation and legislation that could potentially harm their operations is also a concern, cited by 42% of retailers, especially those doing business in California.

The quarterly NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey tracks retailer sentiment related to their businesses, the industry and the economy. A total of 103 member companies participated in the December 2017 survey.

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 Call: 518 633 4111 x 108 for more details
Insight Retail Software Website – we have lots of info here!

2018 Is Knocking on the Door

December 26, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close we take a minute to say thank you to our many loyal customers for your business.  We send you best wishes for a happy new year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular success.

 

 

May 2018 be the year that all dreams come true.

` The Team at Insight Retail Software

 

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Doing that one thing that makes your store better than the rest and lets your customers know that you care.

November 14, 2017

I was speaking to Imad Khalil from Kelly’s Fuel Mart in Melvindale, Michigan about the Scan Data Service that we provide for Altria and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Incentive Programs.  Imad was wondering if the service was right for his business but after speaking with our team of experts he knew this program was key to staying competitive in his area and that is something that he takes very seriously.

I enjoyed visiting with Mr. Khalil where I learned more about his business and what he does to provide a great service to his customers.  He explained that his latest customer service feature was the addition of U-Glove’s at each pump station.  “U-Glove?” I asked.  I was so interested to hear more because I can’t stand to have the smell of gas on my hands.  He explained that each pump is equipped with a dispenser of plastic gloves that are provided at no cost to the consumer.  These disposable gloves offer a clean and germ free experience for the customer.  “I LOVE IT!” I said, “Can I share this on my blog?  Tell me more!!”  He said there is a cost to the merchant for providing this service but he believes that these little things make a big difference to his customers.  [I know I would drive out of my way and pay a few pennies more per gallon to have a nice clean environment.  Not to mention saving a manicure.]  Even if the gloves aren’t used, I believe that just offering this service shows that Imad cares about his customers.  I am certain that Moms with a carload of kids would greatly appreciate having gloves since they aren’t always able to go inside and wash their hands.

So – Good job Kelly’s Fuel Mart and thanks for being an Insight Retail Software Scan Data Customer!  We appreciate your business.

U-Glove


Imad is also participating in InsightRS Scan Data Program that keeps him competitive in his tobacco market.

Tobacco Scan Data Program For

Altria and RJ Reynolds

Your Key To Higher Tobacco Profits

Altria’s PM USA 2017 Retail Leaders Program and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program offer incentive money to retailers who submit transaction-level scan data (“Scan Data”) from their Point of Sale on a daily basis. Inclusion in the program also entitles you to offer multi-pack and loyalty discounts.

If you sell cigarettes you need to be on this program!

We help you compete with the big guys.

http://www.insightrs.com/scandataservices

Call Chris Floyd for more information:  518.633.4111 x 108

 


InsightRS sends our prayers to Puerto Rico

September 28, 2017

Map of Puerto Rico

Our hearts go out to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico as they face their current crisis.

Stay strong Puerto Rico.

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From Nacs Online:

JONES ACT WAIVER ISSUED FOR PUERTO RICO

September 28, 2017

​NEW YORK – CNBC​ reports that Trump administration has issued a Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico

 

Early this morning, in recognition of the severe impacts on Puerto Rico from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke approved a waiver of the federal Jones Act. The decision follows yesterday’s request from the governor of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of Defense’s determination that a waiver is in the interest of national defense. The waiver will be in effect for 10 days after signature and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

“This waiver will ensure that over the next ten days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico. It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” said Acting Secretary Duke.

The Jones Act prohibits the transportation of cargo between points in the U.S., either directly or via a foreign port, or for any part of the transportation, in any vessel other than a vessel that has a coastwise endorsement (e.g. a vessel that is built in and owned by persons who are citizens of the United States). The last Jones Act waiver was issued earlier this month, for petroleum products to be delivered for relief assistance in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Irma.


Congrats to Touch Dynamic – An Awesome InsightRS Vendor

September 6, 2017

We are so happy to see this new facility!  Good Job Guys!  Touch Dynamic All-in-one Terminals are working great for our Tobacco Store installs with our InsightRS Scan Data Service.

Touch Dynamic Headquarters

Irvington, NJ- August 23, 2017 – Touch Dynamic, a leading manufacturer in all-in-one POS systems, small form factor PCs, rugged tablets and POS peripherals, has moved to a new facility in South Plainfield, New Jersey.

Touch Dynamic’s rapid growth has caused the hardware manufacturer to expand beyond the capacity of its location in Irvington, New Jersey. The new space located at 121 Corporate Boulevard in South Plainfield boasts double the amount of warehouse and office space.

The new 36,000 square foot facility also has extra space for visiting sales team members and other personnel when they are working at the facility. Multiple conference rooms are available to accommodate simultaneous team meetings. The new parking lot is triple the size of the lot in Irvington, perfect for hosting guests and Touch Dynamic team growth. Touch Dynamic has also updated its phone system to a new, state-of-the-art communication system and the production floor has been customized with an ESD (Electric Static Discharge) compliant floor.

“This has been an excellent move for the company,” said Craig Paritz, President of Touch Dynamic. “With more production space for product integration, more office space for staff, and in a great location, we will be able to continue to grow and serve the channel as effectively as possible.”

To learn more about Touch Dynamic and its products, visit http://www.touchdynamic.com.

About Touch Dynamic

Founded in August of 2001, Touch Dynamic is an ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturer of all-in-one touch terminals, small form factor PCs, touch screen monitors and mobile POS devices for a variety of industries. We understand the demands on our channel partners and provide unique products and additional value-added services to help them meet the specific needs of their customers. For more information, visit www.touchdynamic.com

Touch Dynamic Website – Click Here

Insight Retail Software Website

 

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And just like that, summer is over.

September 1, 2017

Scan Data for Altria September

Back to school, football season and the wonderful beauty of fall.

So now that vacations and summer travel is over it’s time to sign up for our Scan Data Service.  Give us a call today! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for tobacco incentive money.

Call Chris at:  518-633-4111 x 108

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