Confidence Game

Report on small-business market shows 18% looking to buy c-stores

Jennifer Bulat, Group Director of Editorial Production, CSP

BizBuySell c-store

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The confidence of small-business buyers and sellers is on its way up. And that confidence is making potential buyers look toward the convenience industry. According to a new report by online marketplace BizBuySell, 18% of prospective buyers are considering buying a convenience store.

"With confidence levels up and both sides ready to come to the table to make a deal, the number of small-business transactions in the United States can be expected to accelerate in the coming months," the report said.

The improving economy is also prompting buyers and sellers to believe that a deal can be closed quickly. The report showed 78% of buyers think they could seal a deal within a year, and 70% of sellers expected to shed their businesses within a year.

To that end, 88% of prospective buyers say they are in the market to pick up a small business within the next year or two, the report said.

This attitude is shared by at least one well-known convenience retailer, who is bullish on buying.

"With interest rates still relatively low and the economy rebounding, now is an ideal time for growth," said Greg Parker, president and CEO of the Savannah, Ga.-based Parker's c-store chain, in a recent story in CSP magazine. (For more from Parker and his own plans for growth, see the October issue of CSP.)

While nearly two-thirds of buyers (61%) surveyed believe properties for sale are overvalued, 80% say they feel they could reach an acceptable price in the deal. On the other side of the transaction, 65% of sellers believe they could get a price that would meet their expectations.

Aside from convenience stores, 25% of buyers say they are pondering buying a restaurant, and 18% say they are considering the purchase of an Internet business. Also, when it comes to purchasing franchises, prospective buyers lean toward existing franchise locations (34%) vs. new locations (25%).

Sam Francisco-based BizBuySell is a leading online business-for-sale marketplace. It currently has an inventory of approximately 40,000 businesses for sale and more than 910,000 monthly visits, it said. BizBuySell also has one of the largest databases of sale comparables for recently sold businesses and one of the industry's leading franchise directories. BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and in 2012 became a division of CoStar Group Inc., a leading commercial real-estate leading provider of information and analytic services.

By Jennifer Bulat, Group Director of Editorial Production, CSP
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