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Retail Industry Updates

As Travel Increases, So Will Revenue at Convenience Stores, Report Says

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7-Eleven is the largest convenience store chain in the U.S. (iStock/Roman Tiraspolsky)

While revenue in the U.S. convenience store industry declined 5.3% in 2020 because of rapid declines in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, market researcher IBISWorld expects revenue to grow 6% in 2021 as the vaccine rollout continues.

Convenience store sales suffered because their foot traffic sharply declined in 2020 as a result of a decrease in domestic travel caused by the pandemic. But IBISWorld expects traffic and profits to largely return to pre-pandemic levels sometime this year when consumers, who postponed their travel in 2020 and stayed at home to minimize outside contact, will likely rebook their vacations later in 2021, which will boost foot traffic in cities as well as revenue at convenience stores.

IBISWorld noted that convenience stores have become more popular destinations for food and drink items the past several years as more Americans experienced a decline in leisure time. In reaction to the increased demand, convenience stores became even more convenient. Not only did chains open even more stores, they expanded into new markets and readily adapted to changing consumer tastes to increase sales, IBISWorld said. Among the changes is a significant increase in the amount of prepared and healthy food offerings made available to consumers.

Irving, Texas-based 7-Eleven is the largest convenience store chain in the U.S. with a total of 9,419 locations. 

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