ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Most former retail employees would recommend a job in convenience stores, according to a September NACS survey of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers. Nearly one in five Americans (19%) said they have worked in c-stores, and many reported positive experiences. In fact, 84% of those respondents said their time spent in the industry helped them gain skills for their future career—a key selling point as retailers work to position themselves as employers of choice in a stiff labor market.
Past c-store staffers would especially endorse convenience stores as a first job, according to the survey. The flexible hours are a selling point for 24% of high school workers and 29% enrolled in post-secondary education programs, according to the survey.
Beyond offering employees an entry point into the workforce, c-stores also help workers gain professional experience. The majority of respondents who have worked in the industry said that they learned positive lessons about working with different people and how to run a business.
Former employees also had good things to say about their compensation. About 69% said the job offered wages concurrent with their experience.
However, it’s not just past associates who had positive perceptions of convenience stores. Almost 90% of survey participants who have not held a c-store job said c-stores were a great place for a first job or summer employment. In addition, 74% of consumers said c-stores provide a positive workplace environment for workers who do not pursue a formal education. People outside the industry also said c-stores offer career advancement opportunities. Nearly three out of four respondents say it’s common for c-store workers who are invested in the growth of the company to become managers or own their own store.
“The survey results show that for those who worked in convenience stores, the job offered valuable career skills and character-building experience as well, especially perhaps for those who worked in stores as an early-in-life job,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives for NACS, in a news release. “That’s why working in a convenience store has been a rite of passage for millions of people nationally—a first job for some, an early job for others and a career for still others.”