How C-store Sales Stats Get a Summertime Boost

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — July 4th weekend is not only a great time for America to celebrate its independence, but for convenience stores to enjoy higher sales at the register.

According to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, beverages and bags of ice will be hot sellers during the holiday weekend, as well as the entire summer.

Store sales from June through August are 4.5-percent higher than the rest of the year, according to NACS. And sales of packaged beverages — soda, water, juices, teas and sports and energy drinks — are 18-percent higher during the hot summer months.

In total, convenience stores account for more than 42 percent of all packaged beverage sales in the country, factoring in all sales from convenience stores, grocery, drug and mass merchandisers, according to Nielsen data.

These additional reasons should make this summer a profitable one for c-stores:

  • Convenience stores sell the majority of beer purchased in the country (59 percent), and beer sales at convenience stores increase 9 percent over the summer months.
  • Throughout the year, Americans are more likely to visit a convenience store to quench a thirst than for any other reason. Nearly half of all convenience store customers said they primarily stopped to purchase a beverage on their most recent visit.
  • Ice sales also are extremely strong during the summer months. Approximately two-thirds of all sales of bagged ice occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, according to the International Packaged Ice Association. Convenience stores are the top destination to purchase bagged ice, selling an estimated 45 percent of all packaged ice purchased, or $1.9 billion overall.
  • C-stores sell $8.8 billion in fountain beverages and another $1.2 billion in frozen dispensed beverages on an annual basis.

“With all of the cold drinks and ice sold at convenience stores, it makes perfect sense that the convenience store industry was founded by an ice company,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives for NACS. “In 1927 the Southland Ice Dock in Dallas, Texas, began selling milk, bread and ice for customers who needed convenience items after the local grocery stores closed at 5 p.m. The ice dock’s extended hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ultimately factored into the company’s new name: 7-Eleven.

“Whether over the Fourth of July weekend or any time this summer, Americans can be sure to quench their thirst with cold drinks and ice at convenience stores,” added Lenard.

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