A beer cooler in a store

C-store Trips Bounce Back Post-Labor Day Holiday

A beverage consumer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — One month past the official end of summer, convenience store trips are starting to tick back up.

According to the latest biweekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior, morning rush and basket spend are holding relatively stable at about 85 percent of prior year's trips and up 20 percent in basket spend compared with the same time period last year.

Convenience stores saw a boost in dollar sales, up 4.8 percent year over year, during the two-week period ended Sept. 27, slightly below levels seen at the end of July and the end of August.

The market findings also show dollar sales continue to be above 2019, despite c-store trips remaining "well below" the prior year, NACS Daily reported.

Trips overall stood at -12.6 percent for the two-week period ended Sept. 27 vs. -12.8 percent for the two-week period ended Sept. 13, according to the report.

Looking at in-store categories, beer and packaged beverages drove sales growth for the week ended Sept. 27. Beer trips have remained in positive territory, and the packaged beverages category, which fell into the red ahead of Labor Day, is still in the red but improved in the latest two-week period.

Specifically, dollar sales were up 13.7 percent year over year in the beer category and up 5.9 percent in the packaged beverages category for the latest one-week period.

Conversely, foodservice, and hot and cold dispensed beverages continue to depress trips and dollar sales compared with the year-ago period. However, those categories are slowly improving.

By daypart, trips during the 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. weekday morning daypart improved to 84 percent of prior-year trips for the week ended Sept. 27 vs. 80 percent of prior-year trips for the week ended Aug. 30.  

Trips during the lunchtime/early afternoon and late afternoon/evening dayparts stood at 88 percent and 87 percent of prior-year trips, respectively, NACS reported.

For a summary of the report, which is powered by PDI Insights Cloud, click here.