retail news in context, analysis with attitude

A new study released by convenience store trade association NACS says that “nearly two in three Americans (64%) say they live within 5 minutes of a convenience store,” and “86% of Americans in rural communities say they are within 10 minutes of a store.” Leading to the conclusion that “convenient locations and fast service are what consumers say convenience stores provide best in an increasingly competitive retail landscape.”

In other words, in the battle for the last mile, convenience stores already seem to have an enviable position from which to compete … if they’re able to take advantage of it.

Some additional study results:

• “Half of all consumers (45 percent) say they are in and out of the store with a purchase in 3 minutes or less.”

• Consumers select “convenience stores over fast-food restaurants as the shortest wait times in lines by a 2-to-1 margin (35 percent vs. 18 percent).”

Here’s one that should get your attention:

• The study says that “92 percent of respondents saying they’d be interested in using automatic check-out technologies, and 67 percent saying they’d like to try same-day grocery delivery. Sixty-seven percent of survey respondents said they’d like to pick up their online shopping orders (for example, Amazon or eBay) at a physical c-store location.”

The study is being released in advance of the annual NACS Show, scheduled for Las Vegas, October 7-10. 
KC's View:
I’m fascinated by this, especially because I’m doing a session at the NACS Show entitled, “The Long & Winding Last Mile: Solving The C-Store Delivery Conundrum.” It scheduled for Monday, October 8 at 8 am, and will consist not just of me talking about delivery in the current competitive climate, but also a panel discussion with folks with a variety of delivery experiences. It should be illuminating and, I think it’ll also be fun … and I hope that MNB readers attending the show will stop by and say hello.

I’m also going to be doing a NACS podcast later in the day … talking about technology in general and, I suspect, Amazon in particular. I hope you’ll stop by for that, too.