NATIONAL REPORT — Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation, making it more important than ever for convenience store retailers to understand who they are as shoppers.
According to the exclusive 2018 Convenience Store News Realities of the Aisle study, which polled 492 millennials — 49 percent of them male and 51 percent female — from across the country, 16 percent said they visit a convenience store daily, which is five percentage points higher than any other generational group, and just one percentage point less than the number of millennials who opt to shop ecommerce retailers such as Amazon every day.
Like other generations, when millennials head to c-stores, they are looking to fill up their gas tank and grab a bite to eat. Seventy-three percent purchase gasoline at a c-store once a week, compared to 71 percent of other generations, contradicting the conventional wisdom that millennials as a group are driving less. Many of these trips for gas also include in-store purchases.
This year’s study shows that 61 percent of millennial respondents have purchased prepared food at a c-store in the last month, with sandwiches, pizza and hot dogs proving to be the most popular. However, millennials are more or less split when it comes to whether or not they prefer made-to-order food (45 percent) or prepacked/grab-and-go items (43 percent).
What might surprise c-store retailers is that among the services millennials use at c-stores — from mobile ordering (2 percent) to home delivery (2 percent) to pickup lockers for Amazon and UPS (4 percent) — the most popular service used is an onsite ATM. Forty-one percent of millennials said they use ATMs at c-stores, compared to 25 percent in other generations.
Look in the February issue of Convenience Store News for more findings from our exclusive 2018 Realities of the Aisle consumer study.