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Attitudes Toward Convenience Store Shopping - US - April 2011

For the purposes of this report, Mintel uses the National Association of Convenience Stores definition of convenience stores: retail businesses with a primary emphasis placed on providing the public with a convenient location to quickly purchase from a wide array of consumable products (predominantly food and gasoline) and services. Convenience stores have the following characteristics:

  • Building size may vary significantly; however, typically the size will be less than 5,000 square feet
  • Off-street parking and/or convenient pedestrian access
  • Extended hours of operation with many open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Stock of at least 500 stock-keeping units (SKUs)
  • Product mix includes grocery-type items and also items from the following groups: beverages, snacks (including confectionery) and tobacco.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer data
              • Advertising clips
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Frequency, spend highest among the young, males, parents
                        • Primary c-store use drivers are food, gasoline, and restroom use
                          • Purchases vary greatly by demographic group
                            • Females purchase more food and drink items, males focus on a few
                              • Consumers shop at/frequent 7-Eleven, major gas stations
                                • Strong interest in healthier food, financial services
                                  • Image problem number one—inflated prices
                                    • Blacks, Hispanics over-index in shopping c-stores
                                      • Greater engagement between c-stores and their core customers
                                        • Acquisition attempts in fragmented channel
                                        • Insights and Opportunities

                                          • Name brands, store environment key to foodservice
                                            • Ordering a more sophisticated cup of coffee
                                              • Social media for the mobile young consumer
                                                • The convenience store as financial institution
                                                  • The c-store cure for fashion emergencies
                                                    • Prioritize the consumer connection
                                                      • Drive-thru opportunities
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Trend: Experience is All
                                                          • The C-Store Market and Performance

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Top 10 sales categories (excluding fuel): top three control majority
                                                                • Figure 1: Top 10 sales categories sorted by gross margin contribution at c-stores, 2008-09
                                                                • Figure 2: Percent distribution of U.S. in-store convenience store sales (excluding fuel), by segment, 2005-10
                                                                • Figure 3: Fuel sales share in convenience store sales, 2000-10
                                                              • C-store industry store count declines 2007-09
                                                                • Figure 4: C-store industry store count, 2000-09
                                                              • Rate of growth
                                                                • Figure 5: C-store industry store count rate of growth, 2000-09
                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                              • Expecting even more from Millennials, making the best of Boomers
                                                                • Figure 6: Population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                • Figure 7: Population, by generation, 2011
                                                                • Figure 8: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                              • The price of fuel, the cost to convenience stores
                                                                • Figure 9: Personal Consumption Expenditures for Gasoline and the Average Price of Gasoline in the United States
                                                                • Figure 10: Gasoline prices, U.S. city average, January 2005-January 2011
                                                            • Competitive Context

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Growth in larger c-store formats
                                                                  • Casey’s in heavy acquisition mode
                                                                    • 7-Eleven reorganizes with growth in mind
                                                                      • Alimentation Couche-Tard’s food focus
                                                                        • Walmart’s new threats—Express and Campus formats
                                                                          • Additional channel-blurring continues
                                                                          • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Overview
                                                                                  • Proprietary beer, wine
                                                                                    • The Pantry re-launches coffee
                                                                                      • Thorntons’ new store design focuses on customization
                                                                                        • Sheetz continues to reinvent
                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                          • Overview
                                                                                            • Social media marketing emerging
                                                                                              • Mobile Apps
                                                                                                • Facebook
                                                                                                  • Twitter
                                                                                                    • Text messages
                                                                                                      • YouTube
                                                                                                        • Marketing strategy standouts
                                                                                                          • Wawa
                                                                                                            • Maverik Convenience Stores
                                                                                                              • Ad Analysis
                                                                                                                • Chains stress speed, milk, and loyalty in advertising
                                                                                                                  • Figure 11: Kwik Trip, “Couple in kitchen, family comes in and out in fast motion,” TV ad, May 2010
                                                                                                                  • Figure 12: 7-Eleven, “Two male farmers have a milk off,” TV ad, June 2010
                                                                                                                  • Figure 13: Speedway, “Cash flies out from gas pump,” TV ad, November 2010
                                                                                                              • Visit Frequency and Spend at Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Frequency of visits to convenience stores
                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Frequency of visits to convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 15: Frequency of visits to convenience stores, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Frequency of visits to convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: Frequency of visits to convenience stores, by presence of children, December 2010
                                                                                                                  • Spend at convenience stores
                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Spend at convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Spend at convenience stores, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Spend at convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Spend at convenience stores, by presence of children, December 2010
                                                                                                                • Reasons for Visiting Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • The restroom factor
                                                                                                                      • Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores and general attitudes
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by presence of children, December 2010
                                                                                                                    • What Consumers Buy at Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • What consumers buy at convenience stores
                                                                                                                            • Figure 26: What consumers buy at convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 27: What consumers buy at convenience stores, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                            • Figure 28: What consumers buy at convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Food and Drink Purchases at Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Food and drink purchases at convenience stores
                                                                                                                              • Figure 29: Food and drink purchases at convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 30: Food and drink purchases at convenience stores, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 31: Food and drink purchases at convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: Food and drink purchases at convenience stores, by presence of children, December 2010
                                                                                                                          • Convenience Stores That Consumers Shop at/Frequent

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: Convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, December 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Top 10 convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Top 10 convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Top 10 convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                              • Personal usage and frequency
                                                                                                                                • Convenience stores that consumers have recently visited
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Convenience store shopping, by outlet, by age, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Convenience store shopping, by outlet, by household income, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                                                                • Frequency of visits at the top five convenience stores
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Convenience store shopping, by frequency, by age, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Convenience store shopping, by frequency, by household income, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Services and Offerings of Interest

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Services and offerings of interest
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Services and offerings of interest, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Services and offerings of interest, by age, December 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Services and offerings of interest, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                                • Why Consumers Don’t Use Convenience Stores

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Why consumers don’t use convenience stores
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Why consumers don’t use convenience stores, by gender, December 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Why consumers don’t use convenience stores, by household income, December 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Food availability and grocery shopping in minority communities
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Frequency of visits to convenience stores, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Top 10 convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Services and offerings of interest, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Overview
                                                                                                                                                • Items other than gasoline can lead to increased spend
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Spend at convenience stores, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Reasons why consumers visit convenience stores, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: What consumers buy at convenience stores, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Food and drink purchases at convenience stores, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Top 10 convenience stores that consumers shop at/frequent, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Services and offerings of interest, by custom groups, December 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix—Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                  • Consumer—teen usage and frequency
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Convenience store shopping, by outlet, by age and gender, among 12-17 year olds, July 2009-September 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Top 20 c-store companies
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Top 20 convenience store companies, by total store count, July 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                  • 7-Eleven (North America)
                                                                                                                                                  • Association of Convenience Stores
                                                                                                                                                  • BP p.l.c.
                                                                                                                                                  • ConocoPhillips
                                                                                                                                                  • Exxon Mobil Corporation
                                                                                                                                                  • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA)
                                                                                                                                                  • Sheetz, Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Shell Oil Products US
                                                                                                                                                  • Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA)
                                                                                                                                                  • Subway
                                                                                                                                                  • The Bureau of Transportation Statistics
                                                                                                                                                  • U.S. Department of Agriculture

                                                                                                                                                  Attitudes Toward Convenience Store Shopping - US - April 2011

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