A Mixed Bag

In-store merchandise categories see plenty of ups and downs in 2011

With convenience stores carrying such a diverse mix of in-store merchandise, there are certain to be highlights and lowlights among the segments. Last year, that was no different.

On a per-store basis, health and beauty care items — led by electronic cigarettes and energy shots — posted the largest sales increase of 4.4 percent, compared to the prior year. Ice cream and frozen novelties also had a solid year, perhaps due to the warmer-than-average winter nationwide.

On the other side of the ledger, though, edible grocery sales declined at convenience stores by 1.1 percent in 2011. General merchandise sales also suffered a small loss.

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