Spoiled Sales

Got milk? Based on declining sales, it appears the answer was ?no? for a number of convenience store shoppers last year. Per-store sales of fluid milk products dunked 8.4 percent compared to the previous year when sales were flat at just 0.3-percent growth in the category.

Flavored milk took the biggest year-over-year hit, declining 23 percent in per-store sales, followed by skim/nonfat milk (down 13.2 percent) and 1-percent milk (down 10.2 percent). The only milk segment, in fact, to see any growth was all other fluid milk products.

The milk category, though, was not alone in seeing spoiled sales throughout 2013. Ice cream and frozen novelties, and health and beauty care (HBC) also posted declines, while the edible grocery and general merchandise categories just barely eked out increases in per-store sales.

In general merchandise, seasonal items had a stellar year, posting a 17.6-percent increase, but this was offset by a 41.8-percent loss in telecomm hardware and a 39.3-percent loss in film/photo. Both these segments are victims of evolving and advancing technology.

A counterbalance was seen in HBC as well, as the cosmetics segment grew 12.4 percent, but was largely offset by an 11.4-percent drop in sales of energy shots, liquid vitamins and supplements. Overall, the HBC category saw sales decline 3.2 percent per store.

Meanwhile, ice cream and frozen novelties suffered from a 14-percent loss in sales of frozen yogurt/sherbet/sorbet, ending the year with a 2.2-percent overall dip. Edible grocery was hurt by a 4.5-percent decline in packaged bread, resulting in a negligible 0.1-percent total increase.

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