Last week we looked at how restaurants are seeing a renewed recovery, even if the upward trend is smaller than before.
When it comes to convenience stores, the trend is very different. C-stores had a much shallower drop at the start of the pandemic, which amounted to about half that of restaurants. They were helped by the fact that in most states, c-stores were put in the “essential” category, meaning that they could stay open even as other retail companies had to close up shop. Still, with traditional commuting patterns disrupted, c-stores took a bit of a hit.
As we move into fall, we’re seeing a flattening – and even a small decline – in c-store sales. The timing of this change corresponds to those changes in the restaurant industry.
That said, hope remains ahead, as the Federal Reserve Beige Book for September notes that while spending remains below pre-pandemic levels, “Consumer spending continued to pick up, sparked by strong vehicle sales and some improvements in tourism and retail sectors.”