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    NPD: Product Selection Drives Frequent C-store Shoppers

    Key consumer segment makes double number of purchases.

    HOUSTON -- Convenience store shoppers cited product selection as a reason for choosing the store they most recently shopped more in the 12 months ending November 2009 than in the previous year, according to The NPD Group.

    "Product selection" buyers make up just more than 20 percent of the c-store buyer population, but they make double the number of purchases per month than the average c-store shopper and spend more per purchase than the average shopper, according to NPD's Convenience Store Monitor, which tracks the consumer purchasing behavior of more than 49,000 c-store shoppers in the United States.

    "I believe the reason we see an uptick in product selection as motivator is that the c-store consumer is now more focused on convenience and value rather than just price," said David Portalatin, industry analyst for NPD's automotive aftermarket unit. "Convenience is what gets a consumer to a c-store, but they need to find the product brands they like when they get there."

    In addition to product selection, consumers cite friendly employees, value or price of products, overall store appearance, hours of operation, a clean, bright store and a variety of services as reasons for choosing a c-store.

    "Product selection shoppers spend 10.7 percent more per purchase occasion than the average shopper," said Portalatin. "Measuring the value these consumers contribute to the bottom line, and uncovering how to attract these choosy buyers will better position brands and operators to grow this loyal, important consumer group."

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