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The Heat Is On

As the weather heats up a 110-degree heat index is predicted here in New York City as I write this — convenience store retailers should be swimming in a wave of robust sales of everything from ice-cold beer and soft drinks, to frozen beverages, bulk ice, bottled water and sports drinks.

After a difficult winter and AWOL spring across most of the country, the hot summer sun is the perfect tonic to revitalize what has been a sluggish first half of the year for many retailers.

According to the 2019 Convenience Store News Midyear Report Card, most of the major Nielsen/NACS defined c-store product categories experienced flat to negative sales growth over the first six months of 2019.

There were some notable exceptions in subcategories, such as imported and super premium beer, novelty and seasonal candy, subgeneric private label cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vapor products, energy drinks, enhanced bottled water and tortilla chips.

However, overall sales and volume growth based on figures from Nielsen’s C-store Track for the period ended June 30 were lackluster at best. (Foodservice sales are excluded because Nielsen doesn’t track the prepared food and hot, cold and frozen dispensed beverages categories.)

In conversations we’ve had with retailers, though, it appears business is picking up across the board as more consumers are hitting the road, enjoying outdoor activities and stopping at their favorite convenience store to fill up and refresh. This is an important time for c-store retailers to regain the momentum and aggressively grow their sales across the store.

It’s also an important time for the entire industry, as retailers, suppliers and distributors get ready to travel to Atlanta for the 2019 NACS Show. As you set your agenda for this year’s show, take note of two important CSNews events happening there.

On Monday evening, Oct. 1, we are hosting our fourth-annual Technology Leadership Dinner and Roundtable. This year’s guest speaker is Greg Parker, CEO of Savannah, Ga.-based Parker’s Convenience, who was recently named by CSNews as one of the 50 Most Influential People in C-store History.

And on Tuesday evening, Oct. 2, we will proudly host the sixth-annual Top Women in Convenience Awards Gala at the Omni Hotel. Please join us to honor our 2019 Women of the Year — Sarah Bibbs of Eby-Brown, Deb Hall Lefevre of Alimentation Couche-Tard/Circle K, Jayne Rice of Yesway, JoAnn Saverino of Saverino & Associates, and Rebecca Troutman of 7-Eleven as well as 37 other top women at this year’s event.

For more information or to attend either of the aforementioned events, please contact me at [email protected].

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