It seems all I hear and read is about the death of retail and the Amazon effect. So, what’s growing in retail? As agency for the Michigan Lottery, the answer isn’t surprising. Convenience Stores or C-stores.

C-store in-store sales (merchandise and food service) are the fastest growing sector of the retail industry, with an annual growth rate of around 6 percent and a dramatic 18 percent growth since 2010. C-store sales increased from $190 billion to $600 billion in that period. There are now 154,535 C-stores in the country, with Texas housing the most at 15,671 units. A major contributor to the growth is an increase in fresh and healthier food offerings at c-stores – even Millennials are rolling in to catch a cheap, fresh meal on the fly. Fried foods and hot dogs are being replaced or supplemented with sandwiches, tacos, pizzas and other items made with fresh ingredients, sometimes prepared by hand on site.

A recent C-store survey revealed that 76 percent of female and 68 percent of male customers were attracted by the fresh offerings. Thank you, Retail Design Institute, for this information.

Call me. We’ll do lunch with that Slurpee.

Jamie Michelson, President/CEO