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    C-stores Get Passing Grade on Mid-Year Report Card

    Sales are tracking slightly ahead of last year’s pace.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News

    NATIONAL REPORT -- The convenience store industry appears to be on track for a slightly improved performance over last year in both total sales and in-store sales, based on Convenience Store News’ inaugural Mid-Year Report Card.

    Based on mid-year numbers from Nielsen, government data and CSNews’ own research analysis, total c-store sales were up about half a percent for the first six months of this year over the first six months of 2013. That small increase comes on the heels of flat total industry sales in full-year 2013, as previously reported in the CSNews 2014 Industry Report published in June.

    In-store sales (including foodservice) were up 2.3 percent for the first six months of this year vs. the first six months of last year. In-store sales grew by 2.1 percent in full-year 2013, trailing the more robust increase of 4.7 percent seen in 2012.

    Like last year, motor fuel volume was up slightly (1.3 percent) as of the first half of this year, but dollar sales of fuel were essentially flat (down 0.2 percent) as the average sales price per gallon of $3.54 was slightly lower than last year’s $3.55 per gallon.

    CSNews was able to break down convenience industry sales on a regional basis. The South generated the largest increase in total sales for the first six months of this year (up 1.5 percent). It's also the only region to show an increase in dollar sales of motor fuel.

    The West, however, generated the strongest gain for in-store sales (up 3.7 percent for the first six months), followed by the South (2.8 percent) and the Midwest (2.3 percent).

    Nationally, foodservice sales (including prepared food and hot, cold and frozen dispensed beverages) were up an estimated 6.2 percent as of the first half of this year, nearly on pace with last year’s 6.5-percent full year sales gain.

    On a regional basis, the West (up 7.3 percent) and the South (up 7.2 percent) are ringing up the strongest foodservice increases this year, while the Northeast is lagging (up only 3.4 percent through the first half of the year).

    For our full Mid-Year Report Card results, look in the October issue of Convenience Store News.

    By Don Longo, Convenience Store News
    • About Don Longo Don Longo is editorial director of EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News. 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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