As c-store operators look to the year ahead, what do they see?
No doubt many see an ongoing challenge in convincing price-conscious consumers to come into their stores to buy snacks, drinks and meals. Although inflation has been slowing down recently, the cumulative effect of so many months of paying high prices has pushed shoppers to seek better deals and new ways of relieving pressure on their wallets.
C-store operators are also rightly concerned about continued labor challenges, escalating demand for new technology and the need to stand out among competitors, including restaurants and dollar stores, that are moving assertively to secure consumer loyalty.
But the year ahead also carries plenty of promise. Options like self checkout are remaking how shoppers interact with stores, while personalized technology is opening up new frontiers in shopper loyalty. Manufacturers have innovative new products on tap. And in retail media, c-store chains see a tantalizing new way to boost their profit margins.
Over the past few weeks, C-Store Dive has examined the industry developments that promise to significantly impact operators this year. Our “Top Trends” piece is informed by conversations with leading retail experts. We’ve also taken a look at some of the ways c-store designs are evolving, and at what’s ahead — in ways both good and bad — for the fast-growing retail media sector in 2023.
You’ll find a selection stories below that look ahead to the opportunities and challenges facing c-stores in 2023. Thanks for reading!