NACS Releases State of the Industry Report

Higher operating expenses outweigh industry profits for second consecutive year

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- NACS has released its State of the Industry Report of 2017 Data, a benchmarking tool for the U.S. convenience and fuel retailing industry.

Published since 1972, the NACS State of the Industry Report provides industry information to help industry stakeholders maximize their company’s growth and profitability. The report highlights categories of finance, store operations, merchandising and fuel sales. The data is analyzed and presented in a comparative performance quartile format based on store operating profit, which allows retailers to benchmark and improve their own operations by understanding the drivers of key performance metrics.

Per the NACS State of the Industry Report, the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s total sales reached $601.1 billion in 2017, a 9.3% year-over-year increase. Inside sales generated 1.7% growth at $237 billion, while fuel sales grew 14.9%. Motor fuels experienced a rare combination of increased gallon volume (1.9%) and a considerable rise in retail fuel prices (12.8%). The result was total motor fuels sales of $364.1 billion, the largest amount since 2014.

Amid positive total sales figures in 2017, a challenging labor market and increased retail fuel prices resulted in a second consecutive year in which the growth of direct operating expenses outpaced that of inside gross-profit dollars. Growth of direct-store operating expenses was driven mainly by wage and benefits increases, along with rising card processing fees, per the report.

Purchasers of the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2017 Data also may purchase the Data Archive (previously called the Fact Book), a companion to the report available in a downloadable Excel file format. Now in its 31st addition, the Data Archive provides a detailed statistical account of industry data over the past several years—or in some cases, decades—as well as a historical recap of the industry and key definitions and events that have shaped it. The Data Archive contains more than 450 spreadsheets of industry history, including per store sales, profits and expenses; industry sales and profits; category data; and fuel operations.

The NACS State of the Industry Report of 2017 Data and Data Archive are available to NACS member companies (order number 40022087) for $299 ($849 regular price). Additional copies of the NACS State of the Industry Report of 2017 Data (order number 40022090) are available for $60. The Report/Data Archive package also is available as an electronic PDF (order number 40222074) to NACS members for $599 ($1,199 regular price).

NACS advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. The U.S. convenience-store industry, with more than 154,000 stores nationwide selling fuel, food and merchandise, serves 160 million customers daily—half of the U.S. population—and has sales that are 10.8% of total U.S. retail and foodservice sales. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.

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