NEW YORK — Despite the growing popularity of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retail is still going strong.
Citing data from the National Retail Federation (NRF), Newsweek pointed out that total retail sales are expected to grow between 6 percent and 8 percent this year to $4.86 trillion, and most of those sales will take place in physical stores. According to the NRF, e-commerce sales peaked at 19 percent of total retail sales in April 2020 and are now about 15 percent.
Recognizing that consumers still value the in-person shopping experience, the news outlet partnered with Statista to create the 2022 America's Best Retailers rankings. Five convenience store retailers were among the ranks.
Those retailers are:
- Wawa Inc., Wawa, Pa.
- Sheetz Inc., Altoona, Pa.
- Thorntons, Lexington, Ky.
- QuikTrip Corp., Tulsa, Okla.
- Pilot Flying J, Knoxville, Tenn.
Newsweek recognized three of the c-store players for their loyalty programs earlier this year. Wawa Rewards, QT Rewards, and My Sheetz Rewardz captured spots on the news outlet's America's Best Loyalty Programs 2022, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
Several c-store operators have also been recognized by Forbes, landing on several of the magazine's coveted annual lists. Sheetz (No. 183) and QuikTrip (No. 188) joined La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. (No. 78) on the Forbes America’s Best Employers list among large employers.
Sheetz, QuikTrip and El Dorado, Ark-based Murphy USA Inc. also earned spots on the Forbes 2022 America's Best Employers for Diversity list. Sheetz landed at the No. 278 spot, QuikTrip captured the No. 401, and Murphy USA No. 451.
Newsweek's 2022 America's Best Retailers rankings were identified from the results of an independent survey of more than 10,000 U.S. customers who have shopped at the retailers in-person in the past three years. In total, more than 150,000 evaluations were collected. The awarded retailers each received on average 100 evaluations from customers.
The survey was conducted on retailers in 39 categories, providing results for a broad-spectrum of customer experiences in traditional retail. For each category, only retailers present in at least two census regions have been included in the list (with exceptions for retailers with 600 or more locations).
The survey ran from February to March 2022. The final assessment and rankings are based on the likelihood of survey participants recommending the retailer to friends and family (50 percent of the final score) and five evaluation criteria (also 50 percent of the final score). The evaluation criteria were weighted according to the importance survey participants put on them.
The five evaluation criteria are:
- Products: measures the quality, price, range and variety of products offered in-store.
- Customer Service: measures the friendliness, helpfulness and availability of employees in-store.
- Atmosphere: measures the general atmosphere, lighting/illumination, music, cleanliness of stores.
- Accessibility: measures the parking availability, store hours, convenience of store location.
- Shop Layout: measures the order that products are displayed, aisle size, product-presentation, mannequins, store size.