Weekday trip gains were all but wiped out last month.

It was just this January that c-stores delivered quite promising dollar sales growth. In fact, it was even more growth than they experienced following the ‘Big Dip’ of Q2 2020. But all that changed in February. So, what happened? January’s temporary, lottery-driven sales high began to normalize. That, combined with severe weather in February, significantly impacted many U.S. markets. Take a look at these highlights from this month’s consumer behavior report:

  • February dollar sales were at 0% versus a year ago, resulting from an unusual decline in trips of nearly -16% amid already lagging trips.
  • Sliding trips impacted almost all categories, particularly lottery, but packaged beverage, candy, foodservice, and salty snacks all lost ground.
  • Beer and e-cigarettes both experienced counter-trends, perhaps as c-store shoppers were stocking up in anticipation of the weather, coupled with higher-priced entries to the market.
  • Weekday trip gains seen in January were all but wiped out, ending at below 90% of last year’s trips. The Morning Rush daypart is showing no signs of catching up yet.

Overall, there are good indications these highs and lows were unusual, as trips began bouncing back during the last week in February. Be sure to download this month’s full report to get even more consumer behavior insights.

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