SAN FRANCISCO — The lessons from the the coronavirus pandemic are wide-reaching and likely to change convenience retailing—and all retail—forever, according to the latest analysis from data firm Skupos.
“Convenience stores should lean into their businesses’ strengths, be transparent about store operations (i.e., sanitation and safety) and identify new growth opportunities in order to gain customer loyalty and grow revenue post-pandemic,” the company said in its latest blog post, the last in a weekly series of store sales data reviews.
“Starting with the U.S. national health emergency declaration six weeks ago, overall revenue from fuel and in-store purchases has decreased,” Skupos said. “That being said, we have seen spending increase slightly over the past three weeks, perhaps with the arrival of stimulus checks or as consumers start to mobilize again.”
As Skupos wraps up its weekly series, its analytics team offered the following insights from its data through the end of April ...
At the Pump
With nationwide stay-at-home orders and decreasing oil prices, average weekly fuel revenue per store decreased significantly, declining by 42% from the week of March 15 to April 26. This represents an average decrease of 11.6% per week per store.
Average in-store revenue declined by 14.2% from the week of March 15 to April 26, which represents a 3.2% per week decline. In-store revenue did not take as big of a hit as fuel revenue as convenience stores continued to provide essential services to their customers.
Gasoline prices continued to fall through the end of April, and gas purchases per store went with them as consumers sheltered at home.
“Looking specifically at the critical weeks after the U.S. national health emergency announcement on March 13, the average number of gallons of gasoline purchased had dropped by 15% by the week ending April 26,” Skupos reported, “declining at a rate of 4.7% per week over the course of the six-week period.”
Skupos data shows the greatest decline came in New Jersey, where gasoline sales were down 53%.
In the first week of April, only a dozen states had average gas prices of $2 or higher, “signaling a pricing strategy based on demand,” Skupos said. “As stay-at-home restrictions begin to lift and demand for gasoline increases, we’ll most likely see prices (and revenue) begin to rebound as well.”
Diesel fuel sales followed a similar trend to gasoline during the six weeks of the pandemic, according to Skupos.
“The average number of gallons of diesel purchased dropped by 10.8% by the week ending April 26, declining at a rate of 2.1% per week over the course of the six-week period,” Skupos said. However, other data suggests both diesel and gasoline volumes may be leveling off, “with expected increases over the months of May, June and July.”
Skupos also reported that AB InBev and Molson Coors transactions spiked over the course of a three-week period following the enactment of many states’ stay-at-home orders the week of March 22.
“As states begin to relax their policies, we’ve seen a slight dip,” Skupos reported. “However, overall average weekly transactions per store have remained fairly stable during the period between March 15 to April 26.
“While we’ve seen a variety of products spike and drop throughout this time frame, it’s safe to say that alcohol will continue to be a stable source of revenue for store owners.”
In an exclusive partnership with Skupos, CSP Daily News is reporting the data firm's pandemic-related insights on a weekly basis. Click here to review all the insights.
San Francisco-based Skupos drives revenue growth and operational efficiency across all segments of the retail industry through the collection of billions of transactions every year. More than 13,000 primarily small, independent chains across the United States rely on Skupos’ platform to provide actionable insights that enable brands, distributors and retailers to increase sales volume and employee productivity.