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NEW YORK -- A new report by a Delhi, India-based research firm said that South Asians dominate the convenience store industry in the United States, owning 50,000 to 70,000 of the industry's total store count. That figure would put South Asian ownership in the c-store industry at between 34 percent and 48 percent of all stores.
The RNCOS report, "US Convenience Stores: A Market Analysis," says that strong customer demand for convenient shopping experience has fueled the growth in this sector and has taken it into the league of most dynamically growing sectors in the entire retail market. C-stores have carved their niche for themselves in the grocery supply chain, serving top-up shopping necessities to supplement the supermarket shops.
In news published by the Indo Asian Service, Satya Shaw, President, Asian American Convenience Store Association (AACSA), estimated that South Asians own around 70,000 c-stores, giving out more than $100 billion as revenues.
As reported first by CSNews Online last week, the number of convenience stores in the U.S. grew 3.2 percent last year, to 145,119 stores, as of Dec. 31, 2006, according to TDLinx, a service of The Nielsen Co., which is also the parent company of Convenience Store News. This count is based on the official definition of a c-store endorsed by NACS, the Association of Convenience and Petroleum Retailing, and used by Convenience Store News in its annual Industry Report and Forecast Study.
Tariq Khan, chairman, National Coalition of Associations, 7-Eleven Franchisees, said that South Asians own over 50 pecent of the chain's franchised stores. In California alone, out of the 1,200 7-Eleven stores, around 600 to 700 stores are held by South Asians, according to the report.
"With all the bankruptcies in the '90s of convenience stores, I think Indians and Pakistanis are the reason the companies survived because we came in and bought those stores," Khan told the Indo Asian News Service.
On the question of why South Asians are entering in this sector, Khan said, "In this business you don't need experience -- the prices are on the merchandise. You don't even have to know much English. This business is also recession-proof because every morning people need the newspaper, bread, milk, coffee and cigarettes".
The research report also discusses the total market size of the U.S. retail industry, state-wise growth of c-stores in U.S., how existing technology is improving the operational efficiency in this sector, technological advancements to improve the operations, and major players in the industry.