Strong convenience sales fuel US retailer optimism
By Aidan O’Sullivan - Jun 30th 2017, 15:22
Convenience store sales in the US have grown during the first half of 2017, according to the latest quarterly survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
NACS has reported that retailers are ‘even more optimistic about sales for the second half of the year’. Around 83% of retailers say that they are optimistic about their business prospects over the third quarter of 2017, the highest level recorded in the past eight quarters.
Some 67% of retailers said that in-store sales during the first half of 2017 were higher than the same period last year, compared to only 15% who reported a drop in sales. A majority (51%) also said that fuel sales were higher compared to the first half of 2016, compared to 18% who reported a decline in gas sales.
This surge in retail optimism is due to the continued high levels of consumer confidence, NACS reports. It also attributes convenience stores moving more towards fresh and prepared food as a factor that is driving retail optimism.
Around 47% of retailers said that they are stocking more fresh fruit than they were six months ago, while 35% are stocking more packaged salads, and 29% are stocking more cut fruit and vegetables. Some 45% added more health bars, and 41% added more nuts/trail mix over the past six months.
There is also an increase in the amount of healthy beverages on offer since the beginning of the year, with NACS reporting that 70% of retailers are stocking more nutraceuticals/enhanced water, 60% are stocking more bottled water, and 48% are stocking more low-calorie teas.
These new products are aimed at the younger demographic, which is becoming increasingly aware and concerned about health and well-being.
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