C-Stores Give Time Back to Consumers

But shoppers avoid c-stores if they believe selection of goods limited, study says

DENVER -- The yearlong shopper experience study, "The Checkout," currently underway by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research has revealed a rise in consumers seeking convenience over value. Data shows a shift in consumer mindset from shopping around to save money to spending more money in order to save time.

"There has been an 8% rise in consumers who are willing to spend more money at convenience stores if it makes their lives a little easier," said Craig Elston, senior vice president of Integer. "The majority of shoppers surveyed want to get in and out of the store as [image-nocss] quickly as possible, and convenience stores often give time back to the consumer to do other things."

Data indicates that consumers will seek out a convenience store chain they can trust, one that provides outstanding customer service, and most importantly, has a clean, well-lit store environment. Shoppers will avoid convenience stores for safety concerns, poor quality staff, unwelcoming store environment and an unattractive store appearance. The No. 1 reason shoppers avoid convenience stores is they believe the selection of goods is limited.

"Our data shows us that convenience stores have an opportunity to draw a larger number of shoppers if they focus on a few of the fundamental factors, " said Randy Wahl, executive vice president, M/A/R/C. "For example, providing a clean store environment would lead to a more pleasant shopping experience with hopes that more people will consider shopping in convenience stores to save time."

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer's blogwww.ShopperCulture.com or M/A/R/C's web site www.MARCresearch.com/thecheckout.

The Integer Group, Denver, is a promotional and retail marketing agencies and a member of the TBWA Marketing Services portfolio. It resides at the intersection of branding and selling and creates strategic marketing solutions for clients in categories that include beverage, packaged goods, telecommunications, fast food, home and shelter and power sports.

Omnicom Group Inc., New York, is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom's branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other specialty communications services to more than 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

M/A/R/C Research, Irving, Texas, is a brand development firm dedicated to helping clients create, evaluate and strengthen their brands. Its teams design and execute traditional and online solutions; its core competency is measuring attitudes and behaviors to accurately explain and predict market share, revenue and bottom-line impact of a client's actions. It helps clients address consumer, channel and B2B marketing issues to launch better products and services, attract and retain valuable customers and build stronger brands.