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US retail expert urges the industry to stay ahead of the game

By Joan-Maree Hargreaves

Retail Expert and Analyst, Frank Beard, offered some fascinating insights into the convenience industry at this year’s AACS Convenience Leaders Summit.

As of 2019, there are 153,237 convenience stores across the United States: 93% of Americans live within 10 minutes of a fuel and convenience store and the industry has seen 16 years of record in-store sales growth.

Interestingly, over the last 10 years, the sales contribution from tobacco has declined from 39.8% to 37,75% while the sales contribution from Food Service has grown from 16.02% to 22.6%.

Beard said that there are threats to the industry worth looking at as competition becomes intense. Beard highlighted companies like GoPuff which allow customers to order anything they would normally buy at a convenience store using an app – and it’s delivered within 20 minutes for $1.95 delivery fee.

At the same time, companies such as Yoshi offer home delivered car services. Meanwhile, the company, Filld, will bring fuel to you for a fee.

“Convenience stores have to be on their game because competition is fierce,” he said. “New entrants are targeting the industry and it’s become easier than ever to skip the c-store!”

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