Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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20 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 COVER STORY A CoNveNieNCe Store NewS for the SiNgle Store owNer StAFF REpoRt M y, what a difference a year makes. Last year, as the conve- nience store industry's single- store owners welcomed the start of 2015, they did so with a great deal of optimism. Not one of the independent retail- ers surveyed by Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner and flagship publication Convenience Store News believed their total store sales (in-store and motor fuels combined) would decrease in 2015 vs. 2014, and more than eight in 10 expected their store's sales to increase year over year. Fast-forward to this year and the industry's single-store operators are greeting the start of 2016 with a decidedly different outlook — one tinged with a fair amount of worry and doubt. Only two-thirds of the single-store owners polled this time around expect their total store sales to in- crease in 2016 vs. 2015. While still the majority, this year's figure represents a nearly 17-percentage-point drop in the number of optimistic owners. Instead, a quarter of single-store operators expect their store's sales to stay the same this year (up about 8 percentage points). And, unlike last year, there is a group of single-store owners this year who antici- pate their store's sales will decline (8.3 percent of those surveyed). The industry's chain operators (two or more stores) are far more optimistic about the opportunity 2016 holds. Nearly 90 percent of chain retailers sur- veyed expect to see increased sales. Only 3.7 percent of chain retailers anticipate a decline, and 7.4 percent expect status quo. Naturally, the question is: What's got single-store retailers so down about the new year? It seems the answer is increasing costs negatively affecting the profitability of their business. "Costs keep increasing and we have no choice but to follow — insurance rates, EMV issues inside Retailer forecast for 2016 total store sales Increase Decrease Stay the same 66.7% 8.3% 25.0% Motor fuel and in-store combined Source: Single Store Owner Retailer Forecast Study, 2016 Net change: 3.3% What will have the biggest impact on sales and profitability for your convenience store in 2016? Motor fuel prices 50.0% Health care costs/regulations 41.7% Labor issues 41.7% Healthy eating trends 35.6% Tobacco and e-cigarette regulations 33.3% Mobile commerce/marketing 25.0% Competition 18.3% Demographic changes 16.7% Emerging technologies 8.3% Multiple responses accepted Source: Single Store Owner Retailer Forecast Study, 2016 Feeling the Increasing costs have single-store owners less optimistic about the year ahead Pressure

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