Category Snapshot: Cigarettes
NATIONAL REPORT — Cigarettes' performance in the convenience channel was surprisingly good during the 52 weeks that ended Oct. 24, 2015, posting a 3.9-percent increase in dollar sales, according to new data and analysis provided to Convenience Store News by Nielsen. This gain more than made up for the 0.7-percent decrease seen during the previous 52 weeks that ended Oct. 25, 2014.
Independent c-store retailers did even better than chains, posting a 5.2-percent increase in cigarette dollar sales for the same time period. However, independents' growth did not make up for the previous year's 5.3-percent decrease in dollar sales.
At the same time, the food and drug channel saw a 12-percent decrease in cigarette dollar sales.
Unit sales of cigarettes in the c-store market, however, are not keeping pace. Unit growth for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 24 was 1.3 percent for c-store chains and 3.4 percent for independent c-stores, according to Nielsen.
The food and drug channel saw a significant drop in cigarette unit volume, decreasing by 14.6 percent during the same 52-week period.