Convenience Store Sales Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels

April 15, 2022
In-store sales reach a record high, although headwinds in labor and turnover continue.

Convenience stores in the U.S. overcame a decline in store count and a pandemic-related dip in transactions to post record sales last year, according to NACS (National Assn. of Convenience Stores).

Total in-store sales increased to a record $277.9 billion in 2021, according to newly released NACS State of the Industry data. "Customers [are] continuing to rely on their local convenience store to fulfill their shopping needs," the association said.

The record sales came despite a 1.5% decline in the number of convenience stores, which totaled 148,026 stores at the start of 2022. Those in-store figures do not include fuel sales (which were $427.8 billion last year). NACS did not break out food and beverage sales, which traditionally are a huge percentage of the total.

The average in-store basket size increased 6.3% in 2021 to $7.59 and has grown 22.4% over the past two years, making up for a 6.9% decrease in in-store transactions since 2019.