Companies in this industry operate retail locations that primarily sell fuel, groceries, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Major US companies include 7-Eleven (the North American subsidiary of Seven-Eleven Japan); Circle K (a division of Canada-based Couche-Tard); Love's; and Wawa.
Consumer and commercial driving trends drive demand. The profitability of individual stores depends on competitive pricing, effective merchandising, and the ability to secure high-traffic locations. Large companies have advantages in purchasing and finance. Small companies can compete effectively by acquiring superior locations or offering specialized merchandise or services. The industry is fragmented: the top 50 US companies account for about 40% of industry sales. Single-store operators predominate, accounting for more than 60% of all convenience stores, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
Products, Operations & Technology
Fuel accounts for about 75% of US sales; other sources of revenue include groceries, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Fuel includes regular, mid-grade, and premium unleaded gasoline, as well as diesel fuel. Convenience stores with no fuel sales generate about 50% of sales from groceries and 15% from tobacco products. Groceries include soft drinks, candy, snacks, and dairy products. Stores may also sell meals or lottery tickets. Ancillary services may include money orders and check cashing.