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Convenience Stores Go Digital To Boost Their Sales—Report

The convenience stores of America are attempting to get rid of their old reputation of just being gas stations that serve food stuff like hot dogs.

Monday witnessed 7-Eleven announce that it would begin to deliver to certain “hot spots,” such as selected public locations, beaches and parks via its one year-old delivery app called 7-Now. This move from 7-Eleven resembles the launch of beach delivery by Domino’s last year. It marks the latest attempt of prominent convenience chains trying to reshape their businesses to survive in this digital era.

Different chains like QuikTrip, Wawa and 7-Eleven are modernizing stores by addition of online delivery as well as offers of meal kits and craft beers to attract customers.

Catherine Lang oversees this industry in Kantar and feels that this will be a monumental switch from historical expectations. It is more than your average dose of soda and salty snacks and a can of soda. According to Lang, this move will broaden her choices as she will have the freedom to grab a meal while she returns from work, along with a private-label bottle of wine.

Traditional market players can be seen responding to such consumer competition and trends. Shoppers visiting convenience stores are usually younger, with more diversity than the average population. Further, about one-third of the Millennial do their shopping at a convenience store at least one time a week, as per Kantar data. According to analysts, younger customers who are time-strapped are gradually beginning to demand healthier foods.

Target and Dollar General also plan to target urban consumers with the help of small, new stores. On the other hand, Kroger is partnering with Walgreens for testing mini-sections of “Kroger Express” at certain Walgreens locations. Also, grocers like Whole Foods and Hy-Vee are experimenting with convenience-style layouts. Customers will be benefitted because of the increased competition in this segment.

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