In the second quarter of 2023, U.S. inflation continued to slow, as did price-per-unit increases in the convenience and multi-outlet channels. The convenience channel benefited, with channel buyers (+2.2%) and trips (+1.1%) showing year-over-year growth, led by higher-income shoppers. Channel YOY dollar sales growth even outpaced multi-outlet retailers for the first quarter since 2021.
Circana’s new report, “The Convenience Store Landscape Q2 2023,” explores the latest trends in the convenience channel and how they compare to the broader MULO landscape. It also shares the top opportunities that c-store retailers should explore to support additional growth.
- Convenience dollar share of MULO+C was 18.5% in Q2 2023, slightly up YOY (18.4% in Q2 2023), and significantly up from the previous quarter (16.8% in Q1 2023).
- Convenience channel dollar share of MULO+C for the two-week Memorial Day holiday period (18.9%) was higher than any 2022 summer holiday.
- The convenience channel outperformed MULO in all top sales categories in Q2 2023, including cigarettes (-1.9% YOY for convenience channel vs. -6.7% for MULO) and beer (+5.3% vs. -1.3%).
- C-stores should include ready-to-drink cocktails in their alcohol assortment to align with trending customer preferences.
- They should monitor foodservice developments in the convenience and QSR channels to identify gaps and opportunities.
- To ensure they are keeping pace in the e-commerce retail space, c-stores should investigate digital-ordering enhancements.