As for the 2021 outlook, suppliers are more optimistic than pessimistic about the their sales in the convenience retailing channel for the first quarter (41 percent vs. 36 percent), and the their optimism grows significantly for the ensuing three quarters, peaking at 83 percent of suppliers expressing optimism about fourth-quarter sales, compared to only 5 percent who are pessimistic.
The NACS Supplier Member Pulse Survey was fielded Jan. 27-Feb. 5 by NACS Research and complements six-plus years of Retailer Pulse Surveys. A total of 109 companies participated.
The survey's findings are somewhat in line with the 2021 Convenience Store News Forecast Study. Although only 54 percent of convenience channel suppliers said they have a positive view on the U.S. economy for the year ahead, suppliers are more bullish about the convenience channel than any of the other retail channels they serve. Specifically, 71 percent rate business conditions in the convenience channel positively, placing it ahead of grocery (62 percent), mass merchandisers (47 percent), dollar stores (46 percent), and drugstores (43 percent).