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Number of U.S. Convenience Stores Increases for Second Consecutive Year

Small operators of 10 stores or less continue to make up the bulk of the industry across the country.
Convenience store interior

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The U.S. convenience store industry added more locations to its retail footprint for the second consecutive year.

There are currently 152,396 convenience stores operating in the United States, a 1.5% increase from last year's store count, according to the 2024 NACS/NIQ Convenience Industry Store Count.

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Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuels purchased by consumers in the United States, according to NACS. The c-store census shows that as of now, 120,061 c-stores sell fuels, itself a 1.2% increase over the 118,678 stores that did so in 2023.

Overall, six out of the last 10 years experienced growth in the convenience retail channel.

The bulk of convenience stores comes from small, "A-sized" retailers who only operate between one to 10 stores and the majority of whom consist of only a single location. Second are "E-sized" operators with more than 500 stores.

  • Store Size                Store Count         Allocation
  • A (1-10 stores)         96,156                  63.1% of stores
  • B (11-50 stores)        9,157                    6.0%
  • C (51-200 stores)      9,033                    5.9%
  • D (201-500 stores)    5,186                    3.4%
  • E (501+ stores)         32,864                  21.6%

Nearly every state increased its store count including Texas, which continues to have the most convenience stores (16,304 stores), or more than one in 10 stores in the United States. After losing 53 stores in 2023, California added 177 back to its store count. Only seven states saw a reduction in their store count: Alaska, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont.

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While the convenience store industry grew its retail presence in local communities throughout the country, other brick-and-mortar channels had more varied experiences:

  • Channel                         2024          2023           % Change
  • Convenience                 152,396       150,174        1.5%
  • C-stores with fuels        120,061      118,678        1.2%
  • Fuels kiosks                   13,065        13,346           -2.2%
  • Grocery                          45,047        45,380          -0.7%
  • Drug                              39,752        40,008          -0.6%
  • Dollar                            38,435         37,067          3.7%

With the U.S. population at an estimated 336 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is one convenience store per every 2,204 people.

The 2024 NACS/NIQ Convenience Industry Store Count is based on stores in operation as of Dec. 31, 2023.

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