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How the C-Store Is Becoming the Neighborhood Hub

When someone says “convenient store” or “c-store” some people think of a very small store, often connected to a gas station, filled with snacks and beverages.  Many people frequent c-stores for their junk food fixes or grab-and-go meals.  However, many business owners are redefining the c-store by making the most of their space and location and giving consumers a broader variety of reasons to come to their store.  Now, with the right approach and effort, c-store owners can turn their store into the “neighborhood hub”.

Groceries

There are 23.5 million Americans who have a difficult time accessing a full-sized grocery store.  For many of these people, a convenience store can act as a main source for food.  Unfortunately, most convenience stores aren’t stocked with everything a family might need to maintain a balanced healthy diet.  Some store owners are taking the initiative to offer more grocery items like fruits, vegetables, and even deli meats to help draw more consumers in for needs, rather than impulse purchases.

Supporting Local Business

A lot of convenience stores are taking advantage of the growing consumer demand for products from local companies.  Convenience stores are in the ideal position to allow local farmers and other businesses the opportunity to distribute their products.  By showing their support for fellow local business owners, c-store owners show that they are supporting their community, which is a great selling point with consumers.

Community Events

C-stores have become great locations for not only charity events, but also for farmers’ markets, flea markets, entertainment, and more.  By hosting events on their property, c-store owners show community members that they value their business and are invested in making a positive impact in the area.  Events are also a great way to attract new customers who may not have shopped at the c-store before.

Banking Alternatives

Unbanked and underbanked consumers make up about 27% of the United States.  This population of consumers faces many challenges due to their cash-heavy lifestyle, poor or lack of credit, and low income level.  C-stores are now becoming a resource for these consumers, who are often left without ways to make the most of their money.  By adding services like an ATM, check cashing, bill pay, and prepaid cards store owners have added a great deal of value to their business. Now, consumers can visit the same local c-store for their usual snacks and to take care of their responsibilities, added convenience that many appreciate.

A Place to Hang Out

Some c-store owners are transforming their businesses and making their store a place where consumers can spend more time.  With amenities like comfortable seating, Wi Fi, and even TVs, c-store owners are bringing more customers into their store and keeping them there for a longer time.  These new c-stores are redefining convenience by allowing consumers to enjoy their favorite snack, foodservice meal, or beverage in a comfortable environment if they have some extra time.  In some neighborhoods, c-stores that welcome sit-down patrons are becoming a substitute for the standard coffee shop or book store that is often crowded and doesn’t offer much variety.

 

in Building Your Business, goEBT News