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NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store chains enjoyed a banner 2014 in the motor fuels category and the good, profitable times have continued into this year, according to the exclusive 2015 Convenience Store News Motor Fuels Study.
Following a 2014 that was one of the best in recent years in terms of fuel margins, most forecourt metrics were up again in the first half of this year. The greatest gain could be found in fuel profit margin, which increased a stellar 10.2 percent year over year to $7.3 billion at c-store chains.
Motor fuel profit in cents per gallon for the first half of this year was also strong, ticking up by a penny per gallon — a rise of 7 percent — to 20 cents per gallon.
When comparing the first half of 2015 to the first half of 2014, a major difference in the fuel environment is price. Prices at the pump at convenience store chains averaged $2.46 per gallon in the first half of 2015, a whopping $1.06-per-gallon decrease compared to the same period last year. The average price only dipped by 5 cents per gallon when comparing the first half of 2014 to the same period in 2013.
These lower pump prices helped gallon volume at c-store chains increase by 3.1 percent in the first half of the year. In addition, 77.5 percent of c-store chain retailers said gallons sold per transaction either increased or stayed the same in 2015’s first half.
Lower gas prices did cause one negative effect, however. Overall, c-store chains sold $89.8 billion worth of fuel in 2015’s first half, a 28-percent decrease compared to the $124.6 billion sold in the first half of 2014.
Convenience Store News fielded this study to convenience store retailers in August. A total of 101 responses were received; only retailers who currently have motor fuel programs at their stores were included. Additional sales and volume information was obtained from the U.S. Department of Energy. This report only includes the results for c-store chain operators (those with two or more stores).
For more results from the 2015 Motor Fuels Study, including the types of fuels c-store chains are selling, look in the October issue of Convenience Store News.