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Outlook Survey 2020: Ready for Recovery

Convenience-store retailers seek closure as a treacherous year winds down

CHICAGO — Convenience-store retailers feel all right about the future. More than half (52%) of c-store operators said they expect their total 2020 sales to be at least somewhat higher than last year’s profits, according to CSP’s latest Outlook Survey. On the contrary, 39% anticipate their 2020 sales to be at least somewhat lower than last year’s, while 8% estimate sales will be about the same. That’s not too shabby during a year in which the U.S. has been ravaged by a global pandemic, political division and social unrest. That’s not to say it’s all sunshine and rainbows in the c-store industry; many retailers remain on their toes, wondering when—or if—conditions will return to normal and what that normal might look like.

How do you anticipate your total 2020 sales will compare to 2019 (including fuel and in-store)?

Despite an unprecedented and challenging year, more than half of c-store retailers expect total 2020 sales will surpass those of the previous 12 months.

Source: 2020 Outlook Survey | Numbers may not add to 100 due to rounding.

“Don’t just wait for everything to return to normal,” says Cameron Watt, CEO of customer experience management company Intouch Insight, Ottawa, Ontario. “We’re in the new normal now. Don’t keep doing what you’ve always done, waiting for it to make sense again.”

CSP’s 2020 Outlook Survey aimed to uncover how convenience-store retailers are feeling about the state of their businesses and industry as 2021 approaches. The survey was conducted between Sept. 9-23 and fielded 74 responses from CSP readers.

Here’s how retailers are feeling about general business conditions, COVID-19, labor, fuel and tobacco as a year from hell comes to a close.

Breaking Down Survey Results

Business Conditions

Pandemic Pain

Labor Aches

Woes at the Pump and Backbar

CSP’s 2020 Outlook Survey conducted between Sept. 9-23 and fielded 74 responses from CSP readers. Click here to visit report landing page.

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