C-store Spending Gets a Boost From Federal Stimulus Checks

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C-store Spending Gets a Boost From Federal Stimulus Checks

04/28/2020
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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A week after consumers reported a decrease in spending at convenience stores, the channel is getting a boost.

According to the latest weekly report from NACS and PDI on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer insights, spending at c-stores rose during the third week of April compared to the week prior. A notable uptick was seen on April 15 — the date millions of Americans received federal stimulus payments.

While overall spend and trips are still down compared to one year ago, there are signs of improvement, as the decline in year-over-year spend further slowed from a 12.1-percent decline for the week ended April 12 to a 5-percent decline for the week ended April 19.

This is primarily because trips are not down as much, going from a 28.7 percent decline for the week ended April 12 to a 24.3 percent decline for the week ended April 19, according to the findings.

Additionally, spend increased 25.5 percent for the week ended April 19 vs. a 23.1-percent rise the previous week. A marked shift in performance began April 15 as Economic Impact Payments started arriving in consumers' bank accounts via direct deposit.

On April 15, dollars were up 3.9 percent, spend was up 31.3 percent and trips were down 20.9 percent year over year.

Week-over-week improvements occurred nearly across the board, with alcohol and other tobacco products outperforming other categories overall. Lottery and gaming performed best in terms of year-over-year gains.

The report found that weekly averages included: 3,693 weekly per store transactions; $36,288 weekly average per store dollars; and $9.83 weekly average basket dollar amount.

Powered by PDI Insights Cloud, the report provides consumer trip and basket-level data and analysis. The full report is available here.