Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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28 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 COVER STORY growth for the year. Only a small percentage of single-store owners (10 percent) believe their packaged beverage sales will decrease in 2016, whereas 30 percent of those polled expect to see more of the same. The net sales change forecasted by single stores is a 4.4-percent increase. This is actually less than what our forecast model projects for the year, which is 6.5-percent dollar growth. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stipula- tions, as well as the growing popularity of teas and energy drinks, will affect the packaged beverages segment, single-store retailers cite. In regards to beer/malt beverages, single-store owners are also hopeful about their 2016 sales prospects, but not as optimistic as they are about packaged beverages. The Single Store Owner Forecast Study found 44.4 percent of those polled expect to see beer/malt beverage sales improve. The net sales change forecasted by single-store owners is 3.2 percent. This is almost exactly what our forecast model projects — a 3.1-percent increase in dollar sales per store. Retailers point to craft beer and imports gaining ground as key factors in this category. CANDY Sweet treats are a favorite indulgence for many c-store customers, yet single-store owners feel less rosy about the 2016 growth possibilities of the candy category. Only 33.3 percent expect sales to increase this year, while 58.3 percent expect sales to stay the same. Full-out pessimism is in the minority, as only 8.4 percent believe candy sales will decrease. Independent owners' expectations for this category, which includes chocolate, non-chocolate, gum and mints, are notably less positive than those expressed by c-store chain retailers, of whom 51.9 percent expect candy sales to increase and only 33.3 percent expect sales to stay the same. Single-store operators foresee the launch of new items having the biggest effect on the category in 2016, and they predict the net sales change will be 2.1 percent. By comparison, our forecast model calls for per-store dollar sales growth of 3.6 percent and unit growth of 2 percent. At a glance, chocolate appears to have a tough year ahead with the forecast showing declining unit volume per store at -2.9 percent, still an improve- ment from the estimated 6.2-percent decline of 2015. Dollar sales are expected to remain flat. Non- chocolate candy is expected to do better, although its growth is slowing — unit volume per store is forecasted to increase 7.1 percent this year, with Sixty percent of those surveyed predict their packaged beverage sales will rise in 2016. The c-store industry's independents are almost as optimistic as their chain counterparts, 70.4 percent of whom have a positive outlook on packaged beverage sales Retailer Forecast: Packaged Beverages Sales will increase Sales will decrease Net change: 4.4% Sales will stay the same 60.0% 10.0% 30.0% Source: Single Store Owner Retailer Forecast Study, 2016 Industry Forecast: Candy (% change) 2016 2015 2014 Source: Convenience Store News Industry Forecast Study, 2016 2014 figures are actual; 2015 are estimated based on nine months; 2016 are forecast. 1.4% 6.4% 2.0% 3.9% 3.3% 3.6% 5.2% 4.1% 4.5% Unit Volume per Store Dollar Sales per Store Industry Dollar Sales Industry Forecast: Packaged Beverages (% change) (includes carbonated soft drinks, bottled water, sports drinks, energy and other beverages) 2016 2015 2014 Source: Convenience Store News Industry Forecast Study, 2016 2014 figures are actual; 2015 are estimated based on nine months; 2016 are forecast. 4.6% 4.0% 5.0% 6.6% 6.3% 6.5% 7.9% 7.2% 7.5% Unit Volume per Store Dollar Sales per Store Industry Dollar Sales

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