C-store Industry Reacts to Amazon's Convenience Plans

ATLANTA — One week ago, a Wall Street Journal report revealed that Inc. is planning to move into the brick-and-mortar world with the opening of convenience stores and curbside pickup locations. The small stores will reportedly offer produce, meats, milk, and other perishable items.

While traversing the halls of the Georgia World Congress Center on the opening day of the 2016 NACS Show, Convenience Store News editors polled retailers for their thoughts on Amazon’s plans. Here is what they had to say:

What Are Your Thoughts on Amazon Entering the Convenience Channel?

"It's the wave of the future. Anything you pick up online, you talk about Amazon. It’s big. It just depends on how we react to it and what benefits there could be. There's always opportunity."

AJ Gambino
Coastal Area Stores Inc. dba Clyde's Market
Glennville, Ga.


"I'm curious about it. I need to see their plan first before I really have an opinion."

Brad Klassen
South Country Co-op Limited
Medicine Hat, Canada


"Amazon is a challenge for everybody because people can sit at their home with their feet up and order whatever they want. It's a challenge and we have to find our inroads to beating them; to make it convenient for the convenience store at your home. It is a threat — it is a threat for everybody. It was a threat last Black Friday for the big-box stores, and it's going to be a threat for the convenience stores going forward."

David Lewis
Marine Corps Exchange dba U.S. Marine Corps
Camp Pendleton, Calif.


"I think it will be a threat. I'm a U.K.-based retailer, but it's still relevant for us when they start rolling out in the U.K. I run gas stations so I still think we have a pretty important part to play in the marketplace."

Patrick Sewell
Sewell Group
Hull, United Kingdom


"[It] is probably not a threat to us. We are all about convenience on campus. They're there, they're hungry. They eat what's convenient for them."

Jaime Bradford
Utah State University Dining Services
Logan, Utah


"I don't see it as a big threat. We do some stuff with Amazon Lockers at some of [our] sites, and it's a draw. You see where you can take advantage of it in most cases. I'm not sure what their format will be. You always have competition coming into the marketplace and you find ways to either take advantage of it or piggyback on it."

Ron Reger
Kaykel Fueling Convenience
Corona, Calif.


"I don't particularly care for it. It's a tight enough industry, a tight enough market. We don't need a giant like Amazon coming in and changing all the dynamics."

David Mordick
Robinson Oil Corp.
Santa Clara, Calif.