Cover Story: State of the Industry 2014

Stats show strides amid struggling customer base, big-box threat, ebbing foodservice momentum

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP

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A Quick Review of 2013

Preliminary SOI data showed store count up 1.4% over the previous year, coming in at approximately 151,000 locations across the United States. With that slight increase, inside sales were also up a modest 2.4%, which was better than 2012 at 2.2% above 2011 levels. Overall sales—inside and forecourt—were actually down 0.7%, but the shallow dip was most likely due to lower street prices for gasoline. For its survey, NACS used data provided by 200 firms representing 27,000 stores.

Another surprising statistic for NACS officials was the rise in the number of c-store employees, having increased 19.5% last year vs. 0.7% the year before. Officials say this could be a response to the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the industry’s greater use of part-time workers.

Snapshot 2012 2013 % change
Store count 149,220 151,282 1.4%
Inside sales $199.3 billion $204.0 billion 2.4%
Fuel sales $501.0 billion $491.5 billion -1.9%
Total sales $700.3 billion $695.5 billion -0.7%
Pretax profit $7.2 billion $7.1 billion -2.4%
Credit card fees $11.2 billion $11.2 billion -0.4%
Gasoline consumption (barrels/day) 8.70 million 8.75 million 0.6%
Employees 1.84 million 2.20 million 19.5%
Fuel margin (cents per gallon or CPG) 18.1c 18.5c 2.3%
-Net of credit card fees 12.73c 13.17c 3.5%

Sources: Nielsen, U.S. Energy Information Administration, preliminary figures from the NACS State of the Industry Survey of 2013 Data and CSX LLC

Employee Numbers Rise

Convenience stores increased the number of employees they have by 19.5% to 2.2 million in 2013, far more than the 0.7% rise in 2012. NACS officials say retailers are responding to the 2010 Affordable Care Act by bulking up on part-time employees. The industry has seen a 2x increase in part-time employees since 2010.

Year Percent increase in total employees
2012 0.7%
2013 19.5%



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