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Restaurant Reopenings May Be Having Adverse Impact on C-stores


ALEXANDIRA, Va. — Trips to convenience stores are gradually increasing as state lockdowns ease, but consumers aren't spending as much as they did just a few weeks ago.

For the week ended June 14, trips for lottery/gaming, foodservice and commissary increased, but beer and wine trips — while still well above last year — eased. Reopenings of restaurants may be having an adverse impact on c-stores, slowing down off-premise consumption of alcohol. Trips for cigarettes and other tobacco products also fell, according to the latest weekly report from PDI and NACS on how COVID-19 is impacting consumer behavior.

Beer spend softened year over budget from 12.9 percent to 15.1 percent for the week ended June 7. Non-alcoholic packaged beverages also continued its growth both in sales (10.5 percent year over year) and trips (1.3 percent) for the week ended June 14.

Other insights for the week ended June 14 show:

  • The weekday morning rush is still lagging but making a slow comeback, with trips during the 7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. daypart still at about 90 percent of their pre-COVID levels.
  • Dollar sales growth fell slightly from the week ended June 7 (8 percent vs. 8.8 percent).
  • Basket spend increased year over year from the week ended June 7 (19.9 vs. 21.5 percent).
  • A big decline was seen in store services spend year over year (16.6 percent vs. 29.1 percent for the week ended June 7), which is expected following the start of the month.
  • Trips continued to improve over the prior three weeks: -9.9 percent year over year vs. -10.4 percent for the week ended June 7; -13.4 percent for the week ended May 31; and -13.5 percent for the week ended May 24.
  • Two categories hit hard during the pandemic, foodservice and commissary trips, increased year over year for the week ended June 7: -25.3 percent and -12.1 percent vs. -27.5 percent and -19.6 percent, respectively. These categories continue to weigh on store trip performance overall.

Powered by PDI Insights Cloud, the PDI and NACS report provides consumer trip and basket-level data and analysis from 5,500 mid- to large-size convenience retail sites across all key geographic locations. The full report is available here.

Going forward, PDI and NACS will release this report bi-weekly.

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