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    2009 Convenience Store News Salary Survey

    C-stores may be "recession-proof," but industry compensation is not.

    While convenience industry salaries in most positions have increased over the past few years, the recession clearly made a mark on total compensation, as bonuses, commissions and other compensation have tumbled, according to the latest Convenience Store News Salary Survey.

    CEOs have taken the largest hit, with total compensation down 3.5 percent over the past three years. While the average salary for this top position increased 3.7 percent since our last study in 2006, bonuses, commissions and additional compensation plummeted 47 percent during this period. As a result, 82.9 percent of total compensation now comes from salary, compared to 77.2 percent in 2006.

    Likewise, presidents saw their total compensation decline 4.2 percent -- the largest drop among all titles surveyed. This decline was due to decreases of 0.9 percent in salary and 18.1 percent in bonus and additional compensation since 2006.

    The news wasn't all bad, though, as total compensation increased for 10 of 14 positions surveyed (not including category manager, which was included for the first time this year). Technology/information and foodservice titles tied for the largest percentage increase in total compensation since 2006, at 4.0 percent each. Declines were noted for CEOs, presidents, general managers and district managers.

    As was true for the 2006 survey, convenience chains in the South offered highest compensation for six titles, including the top four. On the other hand, the Northeast dropped from having the highest pay for eight titles in 2006 down to just four in the current study, while the Midwest now has top pay in three, and the West in two.

    METHODOLOGY
    Questionnaires for the Convenience Store News Salary Survey were sent to convenience chain retailers only (those operating two or more stores). A total of 101 respondents are included in these results. Twenty-three percent operate two to three stores, 25 percent operate four to 10 stores, 30 percent have between 11 and 50 stores and 22 percent represent 51 stores or more.

    Regionally, 34 percent of these chains are headquartered in the South, 26 percent are from the Midwest, 21 percent are from the Northeast and 19 percent are headquartered in the West.

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