Last year marked another record year for the convenience store channel. Although other channels might be closing stores in response to eCommerce trends, convenience store chains are expanding their brick-and-mortar presence. The number of U.S. convenience stores grew to a record of 154,958 stores as of Dec. 31, 2017, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Alexandria, Va. This accounts for 34.4 percent of the brick-and-mortar stores tracked by New York-based Nielsen, NACS reports. Dollar stores are the only channel that operate more brick-and-mortar locations, it adds.
“Our continued store growth suggests that the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s core offer of convenience continues to resonate with customers,” said Chris Rapanick, director of business development at NACS, in a statement. “Convenience stores are the destination of choice for the 160 million customers who frequent their community convenience store each day to refresh and refuel, whether it’s to grab a quick snack and a beverage, or a fresh-prepared meal.”