Independent grocers, c-stores, and other specialty retailers are prime pieces in the puzzle of fighting hunger. These retailers are key community pillars that economically support many in their community, especially people like SNAP recipients.
The Future of C-Store Retail
The c-store retail environment has been seemingly ever-changing over the past few years. A big question many convenience store owners may have is, what does the future of c-store retail really look like?
The future of retail in convenience stores is something that can vary widely, but for now, based on consumer insights and trends, we can identify 4 key areas of focus for c-stores for 2023 and beyond, according to C-store News and NACS.
Convenience consistently ranks at the top of the consumer expectations list. COVID-19 made it easy for people to get things delivered to their door or utilize curbside/in-store pickup to cut down on wait time. So, it is no secret that consumers expect this convenience to continue to make their every day lives easier.
2. Fresh Foods
Food sales in c-stores have been growing the past 2 years. More and more consumers expect to be able to grab a bite while they fuel up their car or stop on a road trip. You can read more about the importance of fresh food in c-stores here.
This point plays into the convenience that consumers expect. Customers don’t want to have to make 3-4 stops, so if c-stores can become a food, fuel, and even light grocery stop, they can gain an added competitive edge. Customers can stop for gas on their lunch break, pick-up a sandwich for lunch, and maybe even grab some eggs and milk that they forget to get from the grocery store and need for a recipe.
4. Better technology
Better technology allows for smoother operation which in turn allows for a better customer experience. Speedy payment technology can cut down on wait time at the register and allow you to quickly get everyone through the line and on their way. Optimized technology also allows for easier, automated business practices to save store owners and their employees lots of time.