Outlook Survey 2016: Good to Grow

Even as labor woes, EMV upgrades, a hurricane and a presidential election pressure business conditions, c-store retailers find reasons to smile in 2016

Samantha Oller, Senior Editor/Fuels, CSP

How’s business?

It depends on whom you ask.

For 25% of convenience-store retailers who participated in CSP’s exclusive 2016 Outlook Survey, business is “excellent.”

This is the largest percentage in the 10-year history of the survey, which gauges retailer sentiment for the current year and the one ahead. An additional 48% described business conditions as “good,” meaning nearly three in four respondents were primed to have a truly decent year.

“Sales are up at the pumps and in the store,” said one retailer, who reported consistent, annual growth of 8% over multiple years.

And while c-store sales overall have been strong—with low gas prices and a revived economy providing the engine—for some retailers, growth has depended on factors outside of their control.

Here is a look at the results of our survey for the c-store industry overall and its largest product categories.

Table of Contents

Where We Stand Today

Challenges: Dodging Ball Old and New

Fuel: Looking Beyond Low Prices

Foodservice: The Great Growth Hope

Tobacco: Is Premium’s Luster Fading?

Beverage: Getting Crafty in the Cooler