NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey Key Findings
- 77 percent expect in-store sales to increase this summer compared to last year
- 46 percent expect their fuel sales to increase compared to last summer
- 61 percent expect to see energy drink sales increase
- 49 percent expect an increase in bottled water sales
- 48 percent expect an increase in beer sales
At Otter Creek Country Stores, in Hiawatha, Iowa, Don Burd said he expects strong summer sales because his store has "the best food, cleanest stores and most courteous staff in the area."
According to the survey respondents, fresh food and healthy options will be central to growing sales during the summer months. Notably, 56 percent said sandwiches and meals will drive sales growth and 35 percent cited healthy packaged snacks.
Fresh foods will drive summer sales at the Eaton Marathon in Graton, Ohio, operated by Armbruster Energy, while hot foods are expected to lead sales at Wood's Food Center in Venice, Fla., according to NACS.
Beverages also will be an important part of the mix in growing sales; 61 percent expect to see energy drink sales increase, 49 percent expect an increase in bottled water sales and 48 percent expect an increase in beer sales.
Retailers also are optimistic on a broader economic level, the survey found.
Approximately three in four retailers are optimistic about the economy (74 percent) and the convenience store industry (77 percent).
Retailers are even more positive about their own business; 83 percent said they are optimistic about their own business prospects over the second quarter of 2018, a strong 10-point increase from a year ago.
The quarterly NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey tracks retailer sentiment related to their businesses, the industry and the economy as a whole. A total of 77 member companies, representing a cumulative 1,917 stores, participated in the April survey.