As the convenience retail industry moves into 2024, there are many ideas and trends vying for retailers’ attention.
Will companies focus on the forecourt, where gas demand is expected to dip? At the same time, interest in electric vehicle chargers is declining as adoption of the vehicles has not grown as fast as many predicted.
Companies are focusing more on revamping the insides of their stores. From burgeoning trends in foodservice to dwindling tobacco sales, customer tastes and interests are ever-evolving. On the technology front, some companies will put their time and money into loyalty programs, evolving them beyond the basic, while others aim to make life easier for their customers and employees through app updates, new checkout solutions and more.
Many retailers also remain concerned about the financial troubles of their customers. As inflation closes in on pre-pandemic levels and the labor force sees robust wage growth, there are reasons for optimism about consumer confidence. On the other hand, years of above-average cost increases on even the most basic necessities have many people still guarding their wallets closely.
And the industry as a whole is facing another year where M&A will be front and center. Of particular note are the pressures on family-owned c-stores. Will they hand down the business to their children, or sell to a larger operator as the industry consolidates?
In the first few weeks of the year, C-Store Dive has dug into several topics that experts expect will define the industry this year. Our “Top Trends” story takes a high-level look at a number of important topics like technology consolidation and improved ways to attract employees, while more focused articles look at the impacts of inflation, M&A and changing tastes.
Below are four in-depth stories looking at what experts expect to see as we move through 2024.