Chicago — U.S. c-stores’ sales grew 2.4 percent during 2013, reaching $204 billion (excluding motor fuel sales) and setting an annual in-store sales record, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
Overall, c-store sales represent four percent, or one out of every $25, of the entire $17.4 trillion U.S. gross domestic product, the association reports.
Candy and snacks, which are included in center-of-the-store sales results, made up 9.9 percent of sales for the channel. Further, NACS tells Candy & Snack TODAY confectionery sales grew 1.2 percent for the channel, while salty snacks increased seven percent and packaged sweet snacks had 10 percent sales gains.
Although sales reached record levels, store-operating costs outpaced sales and resulted in a decrease in pretax dollars, which fell from $7.2 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion this past year.
The biggest operating cost increase was in wages and payroll taxes as the channel increased employees by nearly 20 percent in 2013. Hiring was a function of the increased focus on foodservice offerings, which accounts for 29 percent of gross profit dollars and grew sales by 2.4 percent in 2013.
NACS Chairman Brad Call, vice-president of c-store chain Maverik Inc., says: “Our industry numbers demonstrate that convenience and fuel retailing continues to grow, despite economic and retail environment challenges. These numbers show that we continue to meet the needs of our diverse consumers throughout the U.S.”