The Future of C-Stores
The convenience store industry has changed a lot in the past few years and will continue to face more changes in the upcoming years. These changes are only going to accelerate as the American Government's transition to electric vehicles becomes more widespread. This shift away from fossil fuels will have a major impact on how we do business, so convenience store owners need to be prepared for anything.
Historically, the c-store industry has had a few key things working in its favor to attract customers. Gasoline was one of the chief drivers – if you had a car, you needed to stop by a 7-11 or a Speedway store a couple of times a week. Another big draw was tobacco sales; c-stores typically dominated this market segment. In recent years though, food service has become increasingly important in driving business. You can now find coffee, sandwiches, chicken, sushi, and pizza at most convenience stores – and that has been good for business.
The rise of electric vehicles will change the landscape of retail stores, especially those without food service. EV owners will not need to make a trip to the gas station, eliminating the need for these shopping occasions. With third-party delivery becoming more widespread and the likes of Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash competing for food sales, customers have instant access to a variety of menus. Anything they want can be delivered in under an hour with just a few taps on their phone.
The growth of environmental consciousness amongst customers is an exciting development. It presents new opportunities for businesses to be profitable, but also requires them to adapt their offerings to meet the needs of this new generation. Customers are now more interested in becoming more eco-friendly and having a positive impact on the environment. As the world increasingly moves towards sustainability, it is becoming more and more important for businesses to find ways to be eco-friendly. For the c-store industry, this means finding products to sell that are necessary, money-saving, and can be recycled or reused. It will be an interesting journey to see how this industry develops and changes in the coming years.