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    Convenience Stores and Drugs Stores Increasing Share of Shoppers

    How America Shops PULSE survey details how recession is changing shopper mix in stores.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News

    NEW YORK -- It may seem contrary to the frugal shopper mindset during difficult economic times, but research from WSL Strategic Retail’s How America Shops PULSE survey shows convenience stores and drug stores are increasing their share of shoppers during the recession.

    When shoppers can’t afford to stock up, they run out, according to the survey, which also noted supermarkets moved ahead of mass merchandisers in share of shoppers. "C-store growth may seem like a contradiction in an era of price-conscious shoppers, but remember how shoppers are cutting back on groceries and not stocking up on sale items. That leads to running out," said the latest report. "C-store prices may be higher, but if it’s nearby and you save on gas and time, then the trade may be worth it."

    Drug stores are seeing the strongest lift in traffic from middle-aged, middle-income shoppers, who are also likely to be using the stores over a mass merchandiser for quick fill-in shopping.

    The study attributes the gains made by supermarkets to the spending cuts consumers have made in take-out food and eating out, which means more cooking at home with food purchased at the supermarket.

    In addition, the survey found that Internet shopping is up among the affluent.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News, Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner and Hispanic Retail 360 media brands. He has covered retailing for more than 30 years as a reporter, editor and publisher. Previously, he spearheaded the editorial efforts at a variety of business publications focused on mass, drug, grocery and specialty store retailing. Convenience Store News won American Business Media’s Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Issue of the Year in 2008 and 2012. Longo has won numerous other editorial awards over his career and is frequently quoted in the national and local news media on the subjects of retailing and consumer trends.
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