Merchandise Sales Again Top $1 Million Per Store

The convenience industry's resilience, despite the recession, is evidenced by the continued gains in per-store merchandise sales excluding foodsercice, which again top the $1 million mark for the second consecutive year. Merchandise sales for the average store increased 4.3 percent to $1,063,889.

In terms of rank by share of in-store sales, most merchandise categories remained the same from 2008 to 2009. Thanks to price increases and a federal tax hike, cigarettes experienced a gain of nearly 3 percentage points in share. Similarly, the fifth-ranked other tobacco products (OTP) gained slightly to 4.1 percent of in-store sales.

Packaged beverages, meanwhile, saw the biggest slip in share, down 0.7 percent to 11.25 percent, but retained its second-place status across merchandise categories. When adding foodservice into the mix, though, packaged beverages drops to third in inside sales share, as the foodservice category makes up 13 percent of in-store sales.

All other in-store categories (excluding foodservice) saw its percentage share of in-store sales remain flat or decrease slightly. Rounding out the top three in-store sellers is beer/malt beverages, which saw a scant 0.4-percent dip in inside sales to 10.3 percent, followed by edible grocery at No. 4, with 5.3 percent of in-store sales.

Average store sales dropped for 11 of the 18 merchandise categories. Fluid milk products suffered the largest drop at a 13.8-percent decline, while the smallest decrease was seen in ice cream and frozen novelties at 1.4 percent.

Conversely, it was a good year for cigarettes and health and beauty care, which both saw double-digit increases in average in-store sales of 14.4 percent and 17.8 percent, respectively. OTP followed with a 9.4-percent bump in average sales.
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