Pan-Oston Blog

Winning Strategies for C-store Retailers

Posted by Pan Oston on 4/11/17 8:21 AM

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AlixPartners’ 2016 North American convenience store consumer study is the first to take an in-depth look at consumer behavior in the c-store industry. It's findings point to the need for c-stores to master four strategies to succeed in this space: enhancing the execution of foodservice programs, improving the customer experience, building scale, and launching comprehensive enterprise-improvement programs.


What’s in-store for 2017?

  • In-store revenues are up due to a sharper focus on food service, but overall revenue is down because of lower fuel prices.
  • New rivals including traditional food service outlets are shaking up the market for c-stores’ traditional offerings.
  • Trends in fuel prices, tobacco regulations, and healthcare and labor costs present additional challenges. Cigarettes remain an important product for c-stores, with 30% of in-store sales. But in the long term, the category could shrink in size as more states and localities increase the minimum legal age for sales of tobacco products to 21.

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Customers crave both value and variety

  • Many—but not all—c-store customers are loyal to brands. Some may care more about a c-store’s location, merchandise selection, and overall value than its brand.
  • C-stores should compete on value and merchandise selection, coupled with foodservice excellence to win market share. Location, price and food quality are consumers top 3 meal purchase motivators


Grab-and-go: four steps for success this year

  • C-stores should provide foodservice offerings that span all day parts. Consumers view c-store food service primarily for snacking (43.6%), followed by lunch (19.8%), breakfast (16.5%), dinner (10.4%), ad late night (9.7%).
  • Capitalize on digital technologies like mobile loyalty programs and mobile payments. Millenials and generation X are most influenced by loyalty programs, but baby boomers and the silent generation are also influenced.
  • Build scale within certain geographies and DMAs.
  • Deploy savvy cost-management strategies to offset rising operating expenses and safeguard profitability.


From AlixPartners: What convenience stores should know—and do—in 2017.

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Topics: Convenience, c-store, consumer experience, convenience store