C-Stores Prospering Despite Downturn

The convenience store market is growing faster than any other retail format. That was the message delivered by a leading chain at a major investment conference last week.


Susser Holdings Corp. CFO Mary Sullivan spoke with attendees at the Burkenroad Investment Conference in New Orleans about how c-stores are profiting as the rest of the retail industry “supersizes itself,” The Times-Picayune reported.


Susser Holdings Corp. operates a chain of more than 500 convenience stores in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.


It’s no secret big-box retailers are getting bigger, and consumers are turning to c-stores, which they see as an increasingly easy solution to their needs. The convenience store business is resilient and weathering the current recession well, partly because of the type of products convenience stores offer.


“Fuel, beer, cigarettes, a cold drink on a hot day. Those probably aren’t the first things you’re going to cut out when you’re in a recession,” Sullivan told conference attendees. While fuel accounts for 30% of profits at c-stores, products sold inside the stores represent 70% of Susser’s profit.


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