CHICAGO -- With foot traffic stalling, c-store retailers are doubling down on their stores—whether it’s remodeling them, renewing their focus on in-store sales or expanding highly profitable categories. For 44% of Outlook Survey retailers, that means foodservice is first.
At La Plata, Md.-based Dash In convenience stores, chicken-based items are its biggest seller, led by its flavored chicken wings. Other areas of innovation: signature slider sandwiches that sell for three for $5 in five to seven rotating flavors, and made-to-order quesadillas.
“We’re mixing it up in a couple of categories,” says Mark Samuels, vice president of retail operations for Dash In. He points to the hot and spicy influence for Hispanic customers, and chicken “for Bubba, who is coming in and just wants calories. We kind of want a little bit for everybody.”
What changes will you make to your business model in 2019?
Source: CSP 2018 Outlook Survey
When Outlook Survey respondents were asked which new product or service has been the biggest success of 2018, the most common mention was Juul, the e-cigarette from San Francisco-based Juul Labs. “We’re seeing 50%-plus growth with e-cigarettes this year with Juul coming out,” Samuels says. “We were one of first in the market to sell the product. That’s exploding.”