C-store Sales Get a Boost During July Fourth Holiday
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — On-the-move consumers helped convenience stores see a boost in sales during the recent Independence Day holiday; however, the momentum wasn't enough to pull trips out of the pandemic-related slumps during the first two weeks of July.
For the two-week period ended July 12, year-over-year dollars were 6.7 percent vs. 6.4 percent for the two weeks ended June 28, but were short of gains in May and June, according to the latest biweekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior.
Basket spend continues to outpace the year-ago period — up about 20 percent — aided by a 26.5 percent one-day increase on July 4. Trips, however, still lag the year-earlier period by about 10 percent, holding back dollar sales growth. The critical morning daypart remains stuck at about 85 percent of year-ago trips.
The packaged beverages category got a boost, largely driven by non-alcoholic drinks, which turned in a strong performance due to consumers out on holiday outings. For the week ended July 5, dollars in the category were up nearly 11 percent year over year compared to a 6.7 percent increase the prior week.
The foodservice category, which has been especially hard hit during the past few months, saw trips improve, but the category's performance still lags well behind overall store trip trends. Meanwhile, beer, cigarettes and other tobacco products — which previously enjoyed lockdown-related stock-up trips this past spring — experienced declines of 2.2 percent, 9.3 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.
Packaged sweet snacks, cold dispensed beverages and frozen dispensed beverages all remain well below year-earlier trips, with declines of 30.6 percent, 27.2 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Additional insights for the period ended July 12 include:
- Dollar sales growth edged higher from the prior two-week period but fell short of June's gains: 6.7 percent vs. 6.4 percent for the two weeks ended June 28 and 6.7 percent vs. 8.4 percent for the two weeks ended June 14.
- Weekly basket spend increased year over year: 20.4 percent for the week ended July 12 vs. 18 percent for the week ended July 5 and 20.4 percent vs. 19.1 percent for the two weeks ended June 28.
- Trips fell from the prior two weeks: -10.5 vs. -11.1 for the two-week period ended June 28.
- Packaged beverages' trips increased year over year: 1.8 percent vs. -0.3 percent for the two weeks ended June 28.
- Foodservice trips remain in the red year over year but are improving: -22.6 percent vs. -25.2 percent for the two weeks ended June 28.
- Beer trips contracted slightly year over year: 2.2 percent vs. 2.9 percent for the two weeks ended June 28).
Powered by PDI Insights Cloud, the PDI and NACS report provides consumer trip and basket-level data and analysis from 5,500 mid- to large-size convenience retail sites across all key geographic locations. The full report is available here.