Convenience store sales, made in-store, rose to a record $204 billion in 2013, but increased hiring drove down pretax profits, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
In-store sales have grown over the last decade, driven by the desire for on-the-go food and beverages, according to NACS. Sales in 2013 were lead by a 2.4% growth in foodservice, and fuel sales were up 0.9% to 132,029 gallons per store per month.
In spite of the growth, pretax profits fell from $7.2 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion in 2013. The biggest increase in costs came from increased wages and payroll taxes due to the greater number of employees. Hiring increased by 19.5%, a function of the industry continuing to embrace foodservice, which requires more labor to manage, said NACS.
Foodservice, including prepared and commissary food, and hot, cold and dispensed beverages, accounted for 18% of c-store sales.
In 2013, the number of c-stores increased by 1.4%. They account for 34.3% of all retail outlets in the U.S., according to Nielsen.
“Our industry members demonstrate that convenience and fuel retailing continues to grow, despite economic and retail environment challenges,” said NACS chairman Brad Call, in a statement. “These numbers show that we continue to meet the needs of our diverse consumers throughout the United States.”
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