Retailers should focus on communicating value to their customers.
What can retailers and suppliers do to adapt to changing consumer behavior?

There’s a long-standing adage that says history repeats itself, which has me wondering whether that will be true with C-stores in the post-pandemic era, and the emerging “New Normal.”

It appears that consumers—once again—are experiencing systemic broad-based price increases across stores and channels. Although the root cause of those increases may be different, consumers are clearly noticing the rising prices—and C-stores are not exempt.

If history will be repeating itself, it’s likely that shoppers will adjust their behavior and sustain those changes well beyond the immediate future, resulting in adverse effects on sales. Consumers are typically resilient and find ways to stretch their wallets over time, but it’s not always easy. So, what does that mean for C-stores?

For retailers and suppliers alike, this serves as an opportunity to over-communicate value, even in a time of rising prices. This means focusing on loyalty programs, relevant offers and promotions, and product varieties that deliver superior value.

Think about offering “smaller-sized” choices to accommodate tighter budgets or bundling categories matched to specific dayparts (such as breakfast or lunch). Another option is offering small meals or heavier snacks for a “hold-me-over” option in the afternoon. All of these are good examples of a consumer-centric approach to delivering greater value to your customers.

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