Convenience Stores grow and reach $195 billion sales!

In-store convenience store sales grew 2.4%, reaching a record $195.0 billion. Combined with $486.9 billion in motor fuels sales, total convenience store sales in 2011 were $681.9 billion, or one out of every 22 dollars of the overall $15.04 trillion U.S. gross domestic product. In Spanish-speaking areas of the U.S., convenience stores are oftentimes called a “bodega”, which literally means “warehouse” in Spanish.

The first chain convenience store in the United States was opened in Dallas, Texas in 1927 by the Southland Ice Company, which eventually became 7-Eleven, the largest convenience store chain. In 1939, a dairy owner named J.J. Lawson started a store at his dairy plant near Akron, Ohio, to sell his milk. The Lawson’s Milk Company grew to a chain of stores, primarily in Ohio. Circle K, another large company-owned convenience store chain, was founded in 1951. Since that time many different convenience store brands have developed, and their stores may either be corporate-owned or franchises.

The items offered for sale tend to be similar despite store brand, and almost always include milk, bread, soft drinks, cigarettes, phone cards, coffee, slushees, candy bars, Twinkies, Slim Jims, hot dogs, ice cream, candy, gum, lip balm, chips, pretzels, popcorn, beef jerky, doughnuts, maps, magazines, newspapers, small toys, car supplies, feminine hygiene products, cat food, dog food, and toilet paper. Other less common items include sandwiches, pizza, and frozen foods. Nearly all convenience stores also have an automated teller machine (ATM), though other banking services are usually not available. State lottery tickets are also available at these stores.   Read more:

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