Convenience Stores on the Fast Track

Convenience Stores on the Fast Track – As Americans have become more time-constrained, convenience stores (C-stores) have become a beacon in the retail sector. Part grocery store, part food-service outlet and frequently part gas station, C-stores — whether local mini-marts or interstate drive-thrus — offer something for everyone. And consumers are taking notice. An increasing number are turning to C-stores for their purchases, growing the C-store business to a projected $52.8 billion in 20101. Moreover, the


industry appears to be poised for continued growth. In the next five years, C-store revenues in the United States are projected to increase by an average annual rate of 3.9 percent and reach $63.9 billion by 20152. But the C-store business is complex, fast-moving and rife with challenges such as shifting consumer preferences; intensifying competition from mass retailers; volatile gas prices; multiple legal and
regulatory compliance obligations; around-the-clock staffing and operations; and growing consolidation of stores and chains. Consumer demands and tastes change frequently, calling for innovation across an extensive range of products and services. New products and operational changes can be expensive to implement and — if new products, processes or systems are implemented poorly — can undermine the very profitability and growth that they are intended to deliver. C-stores must also be able to maintain strong communication between employees at the point of sale (POS) and upper management personnel, who must disseminate insights and implement best practices throughout the network of stores. It’s a tall order, and not all C-stores fare equally well in the face of these challenges. – Source: Grant Thornton LLP

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