Evening Commute Proves Popular With C-Store Shoppers
HOUSTON -- Pinpointing the busiest time for a convenience store may not be that easy, but research does show that "super heavy users" tend to visit more during the morning and evening commutes. In addition, moderate and light users can be found during the evening commute.
The NPD Group's Convenience Store Monitor, which tracks the buying behavior of more than 51,000 c-store consumers in the United States, defines super users as those consumers who visit a convenience store 22 times a month on average. Heavy users visit an average 9.6 times a month, moderate users five times a month and light users 1.9 times a month.
As for what they are buying, according to the report, super heavy users tend to purchase coffee, carbonated soft drinks, and newspapers or magazines in the morning and are more likely to purchase cigarettes or tobacco products, lottery tickets, and alcoholic beverages in the evening.
In addition, Convenience Store Monitor reports that a quarter of heavy c-store consumers stop by a location during the evening commute while one in five visit during the morning commute. These shoppers are more likely to buy sweet snacks in the morning, and cigarettes and alcoholic beverages in the evening. In addition, the evening commute reigns popular with moderate and light convenience store shoppers, with light shoppers more likely than average to buy frozen/slushy drinks and water during that timeframe.
"The amount of traffic and dollars attributed to higher frequency groups continues to distinguish their importance to the industry as a whole," said David Portalatin, convenience store analyst at NPD. "However, opportunities exist to convert light and moderate to more visits and food and snack purchases."