The U.S. convenience store count increased to 151,282 stores as of Dec.31, 2013, a 1.4% increase (2,062 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2014 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.
The link between fuels and convenience retailing continues to grow. Overall, 83.7% of convenience stores (126,658 total) sell motor fuels, a 2.7% increase (3,369 stores) over 2013. The growth of convenience stores selling motor fuels is double the overall growth in the industry, as fuel retailers add convenience operations and convenience retailers add fueling operations.
Convenience stores account for 34.3% of all retail outlets in the U.S., according to Nielsen, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including drug stores (41,378 stores), supermarket/supercenter (37,459 stores) and dollar stores (24,853 stores).
“Today’s time-starved consumers need quick and convenient access to food, fuel and beverages. No other retail channel comes close to filling these needs than America’s convenience stores, which is why our industry continues to grow, innovate and support their communities and their customers’ busy lifestyles,” said NACS Chairman Brad Call, vice president of adventure culture at North Salt Lake City, Utah-based Maverik Inc.
The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 62.8% of all convenience stores (95,056 stores total).
Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count with 15,191 stores, up from 14,920 in 2013. The rest of the top 10 states for convenience stores are California (11,188), Florida (9,737), New York (8,154), Georgia (6,750), North Carolina (6,272), Ohio (5,452), Michigan, (4,903), Illinois (4,607) and Virginia (4,512).
The convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1983, the store count was 80,900 stores, at year-end 1993 the store count was 98,400 stores and at year-end 2003 the store count was 132,659 stores.
Nielsen calculations are based in part on data reported by Nielsen for the period ended Dec. 31, 2013, through its TDLinx service for retail channels. Nielsen determines its convenience store count using the store definition that requires stores to include a broad merchandise mix, extended hours of operation and a minimum of 500 stock-keeping units (SKUs), among other factors.