In today’s fast-paced society, convenience stores are at the forefront of the on-the-go food trend. Influenced by shifts in consumer lifestyles, on-the-go convenient stores cater to a growing demographic of busy professionals and people in general with fast-paced lives. No matter where you live or work, there’s a good chance you have a convenience store somewhere nearby. For many people, they need only to walk down to the corner to take advantage of all their local c-store has to offer. When you’re on a road trip, c-stores are near the highway, providing the perfect pit stop for travelers who need to refill their gas tanks or buy something to eat or drink.
Even in an age where big box stores seem to dominate the marketplace, convenience stores continue to compete because they offer some unique advantages that big box stores simply can’t replicate. It’s no secret that people today greatly value convenience especially with the hustle and bustle of work and other day-to-day activities. In one relatively small, easy-to-navigate store, probably close by your home or workplace, you can quickly check off your shopping list for household items, grab a cup of coffee or a sandwich, purchase lottery tickets and, in many c-stores, refill the gas tank on your car. With such diverse offerings in one convenient location, it’s no wonder that c-store continue to draw customers.
It’s easy to see why convenience stores are popular, but why do they continue to pop up in more and more locations across the country? The steady growth of c-stores in recent years may be due in part to a rise in the average American’s disposable income. Reports and statistical data indicate that disposable income in the U.S. hit an-all time high toward the end of 2018. Generally speaking, the more disposable income people have, the more they are willing to pay extra for products at their local convenience store as opposed to a big box store down the street. The growth can also be attributed to the way many convenience stores have adapted to an ever-evolving market. This industry has certainly experienced some changes, some of which may present challenges to c-store owners. But successful convenience stores are turning these challenges into opportunities and are continuing to succeed and even multiply their locations.
Shopping at big box stores is time consuming and customers generally take a longer time to check out, which can be an inconvenience. This is where convenience stores such as Grand7th comes into play and saturate the marketplace. The assortment of products offered by c-stores instills competition among other players in the consumer products market. The need for convenient stores remains an important part of the marketplace and mainly due to the demand customers have for an on-the-go experience.
Here are some advantages of a convenience store:
- They are a natural destination retail location
Convenience stores are placed in locations that are convenient for local customers. They are a natural destination point for the neighborhood in which they are located. If someone requires a couple of items that doesn’t justify a trip to the local grocery store, then a trip to the local convenience store down the street makes more sense.
- It provides an economic boost to the community
Convenience stores have stable revenue streams because of the nature of their business. People stop by these stores because they are convenient, having what they need to get through their day. Many locations offer gasoline for sale as well, along with propane or kerosene, which generates more local economic activity. Convenience stores provide employment opportunities, business ownership opportunities, and are relatively recession-proof in most locations.
- It doesn’t cost much to start a convenience store
The cost to start a convenience store business may require at times, a substantial investment to jumpstart the operation, in some cases it may cost over $1 million, it is also possible to start a store for around $10,000 in the United States depending on the location and size of the store.
- Convenience stores are not bound by local pricing needs
The benefit of a convenience store, from an ownership perspective, is that pricing is independent of recommended systems. Most customers are willing to pay a little more for the convenience of being able to purchase a wanted item close to home. Convenience stores can also provide an outpost for travelers, which allows for higher pricing because providing access to needed items saves time for the traveler, which is valuable to them. Even if there are multiple stores with a 5-mile radius, a convenience store will generate a loyal following, which creates income for the owner.
- Franchises are often available
About 40% of the convenience stores operating in the United States are connected to a franchise opportunity. That equates to almost 60,000 convenience store locations. Although the cost of purchasing a franchise is similar to the cost of purchasing an established store, the actual costs are much lower than if you were creating your own brand. Most franchise owners become profitable faster than independent owners, and there is internal training and support offered by the franchising company.
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