Regional SOI Data 2016: Southeast and Central

Unlikely pairing finds common ground in fuel and foodservice

By 
Melissa Vonder Haar, Freelance Writer

Why pair the Southeast and Central regions? Bob Swanson, NACS’ director of research and statistics, admits they make an odd couple: “It made sense to put the Northeast and Midwest together, it made sense to put the West and Southwest together … so we were left with the Southeast and Central.”

Yet Swanson and his panel—which included Steve Spinks of Greenville, S.C.-based The Spinx Co., Jeff Wrobel of La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip, Tony Battaglia of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc. and Tim Jones of Deerfield, Ill.-based Mondelez International—managed to find some similarities between the two diverse regions.

Both regions grew foodservice sales by double digits last year, and both regions more than doubled NACS’ national average of motor fuel gallons sold.

Such stats should come as welcome news for retailers such as Wrobel: “We concentrate on foods and fuel, so it’s good to see these growing above the national average.”


SOUTHEAST

Key Sales Figures

Declines in fuel sales (which included a 5.9% decrease in fuel gross-profit dollars) are “explained by 2014’s historic fuel numbers” in the Southeast, which have not been easy to repeat, Spinks said. “The good news is, we’re growing inside sales at a very healthy rate,” he said.

Per store per month National Southeast PCYA* Southeast Index
Total all sales $491,003 $471,750 (19.8%) 96
Fuel sales $353,347 $343,676 (27.3%) 97
-Motor fuels gallons sold 147,508 152,314 4.6% 103
-Average selling price $2.40 $2.26 (30.5%) 94
Inside sales $156,411 $129,943 9.3% 83
Transactions 44,282 50,506 1.7% 114

Top 10 Merchandise Categories in Sales

“It’s not shocking,” Spinks said of the categories where his region overindexed. “In the South, we like our beer and OTP. I’m not so sure about the health and beauty thing.”

In gross-profit dollars, the Southeast region overindexed in beer, packaged beverages, candy, sweet snacks, health and beauty. “It’s encouraging to see those noncigarette categories picking up steam,” he said.

Per store per month National PCYA* Southeast Southeast index PCYA*
Cigarettes $50,357 3.4% $40,199 80 4.6%
Beer $14,838 3.6% $19,092 129 2.1%
Packaged beverages $23,877 7.5% $18,953 79 7.5%
OTP $7,547 6.8% $8,518 113 4.4%
Salty snacks $7,155 8.9% $5,520 77 6.3%
Candy $4,552 4.6% $4,393 97 4.5%
Sweet snacks $2,889 7.8% $2,868 99 6.0%
Milk $3,043 (4.0%) $2,425 80 (11.5%)
Health and beauty $1,487 6.2% $2,098 141 5.8%
Alternative snacks $3,514 12.9% $2,085 59 12.9%
Total merchandise $124,001 4.8% $111,678 90 9.0%

Foodservice Gross-Profit Dollars

Spinks put a positive spin on his region’s lower-than-average prepared-food sales : “The fact is we are so far behind the national average means there’s a huge opportunity. We do underindex in prepared food, but we are growing fast.”

Prepared foods National PCYA* Southeast Southeast index PCYA*
Prepared food $16,818 5.6% $8,771 52 11.5%
Commissary $1,594 14.7% $607 38 17.7%
Hot dispensed $3,817 0.0% $1,452 38 1.4%
Cold dispensed $2,438 8.1% $1,164 48 14.1%
Frozen dispensed $314 (14.9%) $472 150 7.8%
Total foodservice $17,349 5.9% $7,784 45 10.9%

Source: CSX LLC | * Percent change from a year ago

Continued: Central United States

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