Convenience Store News

MAR 2017

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26 Convenience Store News | MARCH 2017 | WWW.CSNEWS.COM SMALL OPERATOR pronounced among frequent convenience store shop- pers (those who shop at a c-store daily or weekly). Within this group, 74 percent of frequent shoppers who favor small operators rated their usual c-store as excellent/very good at customer service. Only 65.2 per- cent of frequent shoppers who favor chains gave their store such a rating. Other demographic groups showing a marked difference in customer-service rating between small- operator shoppers and chain shoppers are females, and respondents with no children in the household. Within both of these groups, small-operator shoppers gave a more favorable customer-service rating to their usual c-store than chain shoppers did. Also in the good news column for small operators, they earn a higher rating on convenience, but by a very slim margin: 84.5 percent of those who shop at small operators rated their store as excellent/very good on convenience, one point higher than chain shoppers at 83.5 percent. The bad news for small operators, however, is that customer service and convenience are the only attri- butes where they win out. Conversely, more chain shoppers than small-operator shoppers rate their usual c-store as excellent/very good in the areas of variety of products offered, price, quality of prepared food, and fun to shop. The two attributes where small operators lag chains most are variety of products offered, and quality of prepared food. Among female shoppers especially, there is a notice- able difference between small-operator shoppers and chain shoppers in rating their usual store's variety of products. About 62 percent of female chain shop- pers rated their store as excellent/very good in variety offered. This figure dropped to only 47 percent among female small-operator shoppers. CSN c-stores overall than women — appear to slightly favor shopping at chains vs. small operators (58.6 percent vs. 56.1 percent, respectively). The reverse is true for women (41.6 percent of whom shop at c-stores). Females are slightly more drawn to small operators than chains (43.9 percent vs. 41.4 percent). Frequent convenience store shoppers — those in c-stores on a daily or weekly basis — are more likely to shop at chains (64.7 percent) than small operators (61.9 percent). Infrequent shoppers — those in c-stores less than once a week — are more likely to be found at small-operator stores when they do visit (38.1 percent, vs. 35.3 percent typically shopping at chains). THE APPEAL In the good news column for small operators, they win out on customer service. Respondents were given a list of attributes and asked to rate the store they typically shop at on those attributes. In the area of customer service, 66.5 per- cent of those who shop at small operators rated their usual store as excellent/very good. This compares to 61.5 percent of chain shoppers who said the same about their usual c-store's customer service. The difference in customer-service rating between small-operator shoppers and chain shoppers is most The Attribute of Convenience Among small-operator shoppers, 84.5 percent rate their usual convenience store as excellent/ very good on the attribute of convenience. RESPONDENTS WHO TYPICALLY SHOP: SMALL OPERATOR CHAIN LOCATION Convenience 84.5% 83.5% Customer service 66.5% 61.5% Variety of products offered 48.4% 56.9% Price 45.8% 49.4% Quality of prepared food 41.9% 47.6% Fun to shop 34.8% 37.8% Percent who rated the c-store they typically shop as excellent/very good on each attribute Source: Convenience Store News Market Research, 2017 RATINGS OF C-STORE TYPICALLY SHOPPED

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