C-Store Sales Soft At Close of 2016

Higher gas prices could be one factor.

Wells Fargo, citing Nielsen c-store channel data reported that c-store channel sales results were soft for all major categories through the end of 2016.

Dollar sales growth in the U.S. convenience store channel for each major category during the four-week period ending Dec. 31, 2016 were: Cigs -1.9% (+0.3% for 12-weeks; +1.4% for 52-weeks); Beer -2.9% (+1.5% for 12-weeks; +2.3% for 52-weeks); carbonated soft drinks, or CSDs -4.2% (-1.3% for 12-weeks; -1.0% for 52-weeks); Energy -2.0% (+2% for 12-weeks; +3% for 52-weeks); and Salty Snacks +0.1% (+2.2% for 12-weeks; +3.4% for 52-weeks).

“We believe overall softness in the c-store channel can potentially be explained by: (1) lower traffic given the year-end Holiday timing, with this year’s Christmas and New Year Holidays both falling on weekends (which are otherwise large sales days for the channel); and (2) softer spending by the low-end consumer due to higher gas prices and rising health care costs,” said Bonnie Herzog, senior analyst for Wells Fargo.





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