CSP Magazine

A C-Store Retailers' Guide to the Economy

WAGE GROWTH

Wage growth at gas stations has outpaced industries paying in the bottom 20% in 2016.

SectorAvg. wageWage growth (ytd)Job growth (ytd)
Top 80%$27.252.4%2.1%
Bottom 20%$14.213.4%2.6%
Gas stations$12.883.9%2.3%
Foodservice and drinking places$13.113.9%3.1%
Food and beverage stores$14.376.4%1.1%

Source: BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics


HIRING PLANS

In a CSP survey, more than 43% of c-store retailers said they plan to hire more employees this year than last. To attract potential employees, most retailers are boosting their  wages.

Do you plan to hire more employees in 2016 than in 2015?

Yes43.1%
No23.6%
Not sure4.1%
About the same29.2%

If you plan to hire more employees, will they be part time or full time?

Equally part time and full time40%
Mostly part time30%
Mostly full time30%

What functions do you need to fill? And which functions are most difficult to fill?

 Need to fillMost difficult to fill
Front-line store employees36.6%46%
Assistant store managers22.5%12%
Store managers21.1%22%
Operations7.0%6%
Office/admin5.6%2%
Category manager4.2%4%
Other3.0%4%
Executive0%4%

How are you improving your attractiveness as an employer?

Raise our starting wage39.4%
Upgrade current benefits17.0%
Add new benefits12.8%
All of the above19.2%
Other11.6%

How does your hourly worker turnover compare to 2015?

About the same53.0%
Much higher19.7%
Somewhat higher18.2%
Somewhat lower6.1%
Much lower3.0%

Source: CSP August 2016 retailer study


THE CONSUMER: A STATUS CHECK

Consumers 18 to 34 are especially optimistic about their financial fortunes, with 62% expecting their personal finances will improve in the coming year.

Compared to two years ago, how has your personal financial situation changed?

Age demographicImprovedWorsenedStayed the same
18-2432%35%33%
25-3448%17%35%
35-4439%22%39%
45-5426%31%43%
55+24%25%41%

In the coming year, how do you think your personal financial situation will change?

Age demographicImproveWorsenStay the same
18-2463%12%25%
25-3461%11%28%
35-4452%12%36%
45-5446%15%39%
55+24%23%53%

Source: Technomic Consumer Brand Metrics

In the coming year, how do you think the economy will change?


GAS SAVINGS: WHERE DID THEY GO?

The average middle-income household in the United States saw potential savings of $632 thanks to the 25% drop in gasoline prices in 2015. For the bottom three income quintiles—households earning less than $56,500 per year—this amounted to at least a 1% jump in annual income.

Drop in mean annual gas spending from 2014 to 2015 as fraction of income

IncomeChange
<$30,0001.4%
$30,000-$43,0001.2%
$43,100-$56,5001.0%
$56,600-$80,7000.8%
>$80,7000.4%

How did the average consumer spend their $632 in gas savings?

$214Non-gas goods and services
$155Gasoline
$263Vehicles, durable goods, savings

Source: JPMorgan Chase Institute

How did their spending at c-stores change?

Stayed the same59%
Increased30%
Decreased11%

Source: Technomic Consumer Brand Metrics


LOW GAS PRICES: THE STREET VIEW

Nearly two-thirds of c-store retailers polled by CSP saw an effect on their sales thanks to low gas prices, with the biggest boost inside the store.

Have lower gasoline prices affected your sales?

Yes65.3%
No28.0%
Don't know6.7%

What has been the result of lower gasoline prices?

Store sales are up42.5%
Fuel sales are up35.9%
Customers are trading up to more premium brands17.0%
Fuel sales are down2.8%
Store sales are down1.9%

Source: CSP August 2016 retailer study; could choose more than one option

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