U.S. convenience store count drops

There are 153,237 convenience stores operating in the United States, a 1.1% decline from last year’s record of 154,958 stores, according to the 2019 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. The count is based on stores as of December 31, 2018.

The decrease in stores was fueled by a 2,198-store decline in single-store operators, which still account for 62.3% of all convenience stores (95,445).

A key trend within the U.S. convenience and fuel retailing industry continues to be strong mergers and acquisitions activity, particularly among existing convenience store chains. Like 2017, the industry experienced historically large M&A deals in 2018, but also saw new entrants to the U.S. market from global companies such Euro Garages (UK) and Copec (Chile), for example.

“With one in seven stores getting remodeled every year at a cost of $400,000, that can put pressure on some stores whether to modernize operations or exit the business,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Research Andy Jones, who is president and CEO of Spirit Food Stores Inc.

The number of convenience stores that sell motor fuels decreased 0.5% (554 stores) to 121,998 stores, which is 79.6% of all convenience stores. Overall, convenience stores sell approximately 80% of the motor fuels purchased in the United States.

The U.S. store count has risen 28.3% since 2000. This year marks only the fourth time the U.S. convenience store count has declined during that time.

Source : Petrolplaza.com

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