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C-stores Expected to See Continued In-Store Sales Gains

BARRINGTON, Ill. -- Convenience stores enjoyed food and grocery in-store sales growth of 2.2 percent last year thanks to the channel's emphasis on accessibility and appealing promotions, according to Willard Bishop LLC's newest The Future of Food Retailing Report.

The c-store industry will continue to see in-store sales gains through 2017, the research firm predicted. C-stores with gas stations are projected to see their in-store sales increase 3.5 percent annually through 2017. Meanwhile, c-stores without gas will enjoy a 1.9-percent annual increase over the next five years, Willard Bishop stated.

Among all food retailers, c-stores claimed a 14.9-percent dollar share of overall in-store sales in 2012. That figure will improve to 16 percent by 2017, the report revealed. Broken down further, c-stores with gas stations accounted for 12.7-percent dollar share last year. That figure is also expected to increase to 13.8 percent by 2017.

Overall, food-related in-store sales at convenience stores reached $199 billion in 2012, according to Willard Bishop.

"With the U.S. economy starting to pick up, consumers are increasingly interested in fresh foods and online shopping," the report stated. "Natural, organic and fresh foods are in demand, and retailers that can deliver them are poised for success."

Not surprisingly, traditional grocery outlets continue to lead the way when it comes to in-store food sales. Grocers comprised a 46.5-percent dollar share last year, with their sales reaching $561 billion. However, Willard Bishop predicts that traditional grocery outlet dollar share will fall to 44.9 percent by 2017, primarily due to c-store sales growth.

Each year since 1983, Barrington, Ill.-based Willard Bishop LLC has published its annual The Future of Food Retailing Report, which reports and projects market share and sales data for the retail food industry.

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