C-store operators bullish on industry

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C-store operators bullish on industry

By Louisa Hallett - 09/25/2018
The latest data from NACS shows that the nation's C-Store operators are optimistic about their business prospects and the state of the U.S. economy.

The latest data from National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) shows that the nation's C-Store operators are optimistic about their business prospects and the state of the U.S. economy.

Nearly three in four (72 percent) convenience retailers said in-store sales increased over the first nine months of 2018 compared to the same time last year, and more than half (52 percent) said their fuel sales increased compared to last year, according to a nationwide survey of U.S. convenience store owners conducted by NACS, the trade association that represents the convenience retailing industry. Only 9 percent of retailers said that in-store sales declined and only 20 percent said fuels sales declined.

The strong sales so far in 2018 is pushing retailer optimism higher. All three retailer optimism measures that NACS tracks are at record highs: 87 percent are optimistic about their business prospects for the next quarter, 87 percent are optimistic about the industry prospects and 85 percent are optimistic about the overall economy’s prospects.

However, there also are some challenges that retailers expressed, notably more competition, especially from dollar stores, according to Richard Abel (Fastrip Food Stores in Bakersfield, Cali.) and new regulations related to wages and tobacco in New Jersey according to Martin Gallagher, who heads up Martin J. Gallagher Inc. (Montvale, NJ). And while the weather largely led to sales growth over the summer months, it wasn’t uniform throughout the country.