As Retail Leader Pro Chief Analyst Elizabeth Lafontaine noted earlier this year, c-store chains have focused on building followings and modernizing their offerings, offering more food options and creating destination experiences.
“Southern convenience and gas chain Buc-ee’s has cultivated a loyal fan base through social media platforms like TikTok, with consumers going out of their way to visit the experiential stores and try specialty items, such as house-smoked barbeque, jerky, fudge and other snacks,” she said. “Convenience stores aren’t traditionally thought of as experiential retailers, but consumers continue to look for physical stores that make life better and offer entertainment value.”
Other convenience chains are also expanding, as Retail Leader recently reported. Oklahoma chain Jiffy Trip just opened its first out-of-state store in Arkansas. Pennsylvania-based Wawa is planning to double its footprint over the next decade and has announced new stores in several U.S. regions. Much of Wawa's expansion plan includes openings in the Southeast — stores in Alabama and the Florida panhandle. In total, the c-store plans to open 40 stores in the region within the next decade. Other states slated to get Wawa stores include Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Ohio and Indiana.