Putting the 'Christmas' Into 'C'-Store

Consumers to increase their holiday shopping at convenience stores

Convenience store Christmas

"Lottery tickets are always a popular stocking stuffer or office gift, and with the current Mega Millions jackpot now at $400 million we are definitely seeing an increase in sales for what could potentially be an amazing holiday gift," said Lenard.

C-stores also will be a popular destination for those planning holiday parties. One in five consumers (21%) say that they will be shopping more often at c-stores to pick up items like wine, beer and snacks that they need for parties that they are attending or hosting. More than one in three consumers age 18 to 34 say that they will be buying more items from c-stores for parties this holiday season, with 39% stocking up for parties that they are hosting and 37% buying items for parties that they are attending.

"Convenience stores serve more than half of the U.S. population--160 million customers--on a daily basis. They offer consumers that quick and hassle-free break from holiday shopping, and consumers are increasingly taking advantage of this convenience as part of their shopping experience," said Lenard. "Younger consumers, in particular, are filling their one-stop shopping needs by filling up their cars, grabbing a snack or gift and getting what they need to quickly get on their way."

And c-stores are a place where consumers are planning to get more cash to continue their shopping sprees--22% of consumers say that they will be visiting ATMs at c-stores more often this holiday season.

The consumer results are from a nationwide survey commissioned by NACS and conducted by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates LLC. For this survey, 801 consumers were surveyed from Dec. 3-5, 2013. The NACS retailer survey was conducted Dec. 3-10 and is based on responses from 128 member companies.

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 149,000 stores across the country, posted $700 billion in total sales in 2012, of which $501 billion were motor fuels sales. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.