Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are much like that of shops which open long hours and mostly located at petrol stations.

The products they sell are generally staple groceries, snacks, and sometimes gasoline. Various other products they include ice-creams, soft drinks, sandwiches, motor oil, maps and car kits are also sold.

Some stores provide breakfast items such as sandwiches, chicken pieces and microwave for heating purchased food. At some places these stores also provide the services like ticket counters and post office counter.

As these stores contain variety of items but as compared to the supermarkets the selection of items is very less and also the prices of these stores are much higher than that of supermarkets. Mostly shopkeepers gain the profit by selling the products like beer, cigarette, and liquor. In some countries these stores open for 24 hours.

Nowadays most of the countries have these stores. Mostly the chains of these stores are in United States, Canada, Tokyo, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.

The first chain of these stores opened in United States in Dallas, Texas in 1927 which later became 7-Eleven. These stores contain the products like milk, bread, coffee, cigarettes, soft drinks, hot dogs, ice-creams, candy, popcorns, toys, feminine hygiene products, lottery tickets. Some stores also sell gasoline.

Sale of alcoholic items varies from state to state because of the laws. These stores are always at the points of robbers so in some parts of United States staff of these stores has to work under the bulletproof window even during daytime. But in night shifts only one man is there to handle all the transactions and as all these transactions are in cash so many stores have installed security cameras or have small police substation to avoid robbery.

Convenience store equipments: The equipments in these stores include three-compartment sink with galvanized open frame base, rock a grill bun warmer having one drawer with thermostatic control of 200 c and it is made up of stainless steel, dispensing rack which is of stationary design with adjustable feet.

Convenience store industry: According to National association of convenience store there are 119751 convenience stores.

Following are the highlights of convenience store industry:

    1. There are approximately 59864 single store operators.
    2. The percent of these stores which are franchised is nearly about 9.2.
    3. Nearly 76.1 percent of the stores sell motor fuels.
    4. Texas convenience store is at number one position among all.

In spite of high interest rates the convenience industry grew day-by-day. Whether the store is a single store operation or a company of thousand people the advantage of this store is that people can easily access food products, cash, petroleum and necessary item.

Convenience store design: There are different types of stores with different sizes and different products offerings. Small stores are called mini-convenience stores and big stores are called hyper-convenience stores with variety of products and food service.

The format of the stores plays an important role in today's industry. As the requirements for the product packaging, promotion and distribution is seen by the product suppliers so he should aware of the format variations of the stores. Also the designing of equipments and systems should be done in a way that they can be easily fitted in the store formats.

Now let us discuss the six convenience store formats in detail:

1. Kiosk: This format of the store can be formed under the area less than 800 square feet and can be mostly found at pumps. This type of store sells the items like tobacco, snacks, beverages but the sales is about ten percent of revenues.

2. Mini convenience store: This store is usually found at the pumps under the area 800 to 1200 square feet in size and is popular in selling gasoline. In these stores grocery selection is very thin and the parking is only at pumps. These stores generally open from 18 to 24 hours.

3. Limited selection convenience store: These stores are found in 1500 to 2200 square feet and both gasoline and other items are equally important for selling. Simple food items like hot dogs, popcorn and grocery items are also sold in these stores.

4. Traditional convenience store: These stores are about 2400 to 2500 in size and contain the products like bakery, snack food, tobacco, grocery, dairy, beauty aid, confectionary, and sometimes frozen meat. These stores open 24 hours per day.

5. Expanded convenience store: This type of format can be formed under 2800 to 3600 square feet in size so that it can contain more shelves for grocery items or a room for fast food which helps in attracting not only the kids but senior citizens also.

6.Hyper convenience store: This type of format can be formed under the 4000 to 5000 square feet in size which is moreover like a supermarket. Such stores offer variations in food items, restaurant, and pharmacy. In these stores the number of employees is in a very large number.

So, convenient stores must have he following features:

    1. The size of the store will be less than 5000 square feet.
    2. The store should be located at such a place where parking is easy.
    3. Store should open for 24 hours, 7 days a week.
    4. This store must include items like grocery, beverages, and tobacco.