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Convenience Stores: Keep the Core; Appeal to More

Convenience Stores: Keep the Core; Appeal to More

IRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. This report provides insights into current and emerging challenges and opportunities within the convenience store marketplace and imparts guidance on how to compete in this evolving environment with strategies that will deliver ongoing growth for convenience store banners, categories and brands.

May/June 2013

IRI Times & TrendsThe convenience store channel is undergoing a bit of a metamorphosis.  Competition is heating up, and convenience stores find themselves increasingly pitted against other channels, particularly dollar and drug channels, for share of spending in this area.

Two major sources of revenue and trip behavior for convenience stores, gasoline and cigarettes, are facing challenges, including high prices, increased taxes, and, for cigarettes, changes in consumer lifestyle.  These challenges, in turn, have brought both challenge and opportunity to convenience store marketers vis-à-vis in-store purchase behavior. 

The channel is also being forced to adapt to meet a growing market for healthier living, or else risk being left behind.  And, explored in a number of recent IRI studies, including New Product Pacesetters and State of the Snack Industry, eating occasions have and will continue to blur as consumers look to fuel up without slowing down.


The convenience store channel is experiencing above-average growth, supported by increasing store count and a business model that is well suited to address consumers’ on-the-go lifestyles. But, like other channels, convenience stores are struggling against an increasingly intense competitive landscape.  The channel also faces a number of other challenges and opportunities, many of which are closely tied to evolving consumer lifestyles.

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Outdoor advertising is a powerful, yet under-leveraged, quiver in convenience store marketers’ arsenals. Analysis of outside advertising of key convenience channel categories reveals that product growth rate is twice as high when outdoor causal advertising is used compared to when it absent. Yet, even during peak months, outdoor advertising represents less than 5% of convenience store all commodity value (ACV).

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See the complete report in the "Convenience Stores: Keep the Core; Appeal to More" pdf.