Convenience Store News

JAN 2017

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56 Convenience Store News | JANUARY 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM Supplier Forecast Supplying a Positive Outlook Wholesalers and suppliers forecast a good year ahead for the convenience channel T he convenience store industry's suppliers, wholesalers, distributors and brokers are fairly optimistic about 2017. When asked to consider the upcoming year for their particular product category, 81 percent reported a positive outlook, while just 5.5 percent hold a negative outlook, and 13.5 percent say they are neutral. The c-store industry's ability to thrive contributes to their sentiment. Compared to the other retail channels they serve, 86.1 percent view the convenience channel positive- ly, compared to 63.3 percent for grocery, 50 percent for mass merchandisers, and 39.3 percent for drugstores. Numerous factors were cited for the positive out- look: Consumer spending growth was the most named at 27.8 percent, followed by retailer unit expansion (22.2 percent), new product development (19.4 per- cent), and retailer consolidation (13.9 percent). New market trends, new product and foodservice offerings, strong consumer demand, and a change in the presidential administration were other cited rea- sons for optimism. "We have foodservice and retail business. When one gets weaker, the other gets stronger," said one Supplier Forecast Study participant. "Our brand and products are all about customization — a general characteristic popular with today's consumer." Conversely, among the top-listed reasons to be concerned about business conditions in 2017 are eco- nomic instability, cost of regulations, taxes, and raw material costs. Following the presidential election, Supplier Forecast Study participants express mixed feelings about the new Trump administration taking the helm this year. Among the expected positive changes are economic growth, eas- ing of regulations, and lower taxes. One participant hopes to see President Trump "focus on running this country like a business and changing the way politics works for the people, not besides the people;" and making the government "more service focused, lean and productive." Rate conditions in each of the retail channels your company works with: POSITIVE NEUTRAL NEGATIVE Convenience 86.1% 8.3% 5.6% Grocery 63.3% 30.0% 6.7% Mass 50.0% 42.9% 7.1% Drug 39.3% 50.0% 10.7% Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 For your particular product category, how do you view the upcoming year? How does your company view the overall conditions for the U.S. economy in 2017? Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 81.0% 73.0% 13.5% 13.5% 5.5% 13.5%

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