HOUSTON - Convenience store visits remained stable and total channel sales were up in the second quarter of 2012, compared to same quarter year ago, according to The NPD Group.
NPD€™s convenience store research suggests that there were 2.2 billion visits to c-stores during Q2 2012, which was about the same traffic level as in Q2 2011, and aggregate channel sales were up 5.9% quarter-over-quarter.
Visits were up 2% at small and other c-store chains, but were down as much at major oil chain c-stores, according to NPD€™s Convenience Store Monitor, which tracks consumer purchasing behavior of more than 51,000 convenience store shoppers in the United States. Traditional c-stores realized a 1% drop in visits and traffic was flat at conventional convenience stores. Morning c-store traffic to c-stores declined by 4.5%, mid-day traffic increased by 5.5% and visits in the afternoon day part grew by 1.9% in the second quarter.
"Stable is a good place for the c-store channel to be right now given the current state of the economy," said David Portalatin, executive director of industry analysis for NPD€™s convenience store research. "Although the channel appears to be bucking hints of a double-dip recession, consumers are still evaluating purchases for value and necessity and, as a result, c-store retailers and manufacturers will need to offer and promote value."