Convenience stores

Convenience Stores Could Thrive in 2022 – If They Do This 1 Thing

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a miserable year for many retailers, but not for convenience stores. As essential retailers, these stores were generally allowed to remain open while other businesses had to close. This lack of disruption allowed convenience store sales to increase by 1.5% in 2020.

The outlook for convenience stores is even brighter in 2021. As of September, 74% of convenience stores expect 2021 year-end store sales to exceed 2020 numbers, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores. Only 11% expect their 2021 sales to fall below year-end 2020 sales.

But still, like other retailers, convenience stores face some challenges. Hiring challenges are at the top of the list, although this is not unique to convenience stores, but rather a general problem in the job market in general.

Image store: Getty Images.

However, in the coming months, certain factors could converge and make convenience stores less, shall we say, convenient. For one thing, the weather is getting colder, and in a time when so many people can work remotely, some may balk at the idea of ​​picking up and leaving the house when it’s so easy to get groceries delivered. and other essentials at their doorstep.

Additionally, things have gotten noticeably worse on the COVID-19 front. At this point, cases are skyrocketing nationwide and the emergence of the omicron variant could set the stage for a very dangerous winter. Since convenience stores do not offer the same spacious aisles and distance as larger supermarkets, some customers may choose to stay away due to health concerns.

That’s why convenience stores really need to be strategic as we head into 2022. And one move from them could be a solid sales year.

Follow consumer trends

Many consumers have started ordering groceries and goods online during the pandemic. And if convenience stores want to stay competitive, they’ll have to prepare to offer that same option in the new year.

Of course, this will require an investment – either in staff, equipment or partnerships with delivery companies. And to be clear, teaming up with delivery services could significantly reduce convenience store profits. But it may be a necessary step to take at a time when consumers may be less motivated to leave home and shop in person.

As a secondary offering, convenience stores may consider increasing curbside pickup services. Although this does not offer the same level of convenience as delivering goods to customers’ homes, it is a good way to address health and safety concerns.

A solid revenue stream for commercial owners

At a time when many retailers left and right were closing, convenience stores provided a stable source of income for business owners. And if they play their cards right, they’ll buy themselves a lot of stamina in the new year.

That said, convenience stores could see their revenues decline in early 2022 as companies delay plans to reopen offices and send office workers back to working remotely. Offering delivery services could be essential to their survival, so it’s something real estate investors will no doubt want to see more of in the coming year.