One of Charles Darwin’s most influential ideas related to evolution is that the essential skill for survival is neither size nor speed, but rather the ability to adapt and change. It’s a lesson that shouldn’t be lost on convenience store operators, especially in times of constant innovation.
In the current marketplace, retailers face significant challenges to what used to be their unique strengths. Competition is increasing, especially from other small formats and from retailers experimenting with checkout-free payments, curbside delivery and more. In addition, consumer behaviors are shifting, with greater reliance on alternative fuels and ridesharing services that limit shoppers’ need to visit a c-store to refuel.
Lastly, standards of convenience are changing, in terms of how consumers shop and which products they choose.
The impact of these changes is a vastly altered marketplace in which convenience store operators need to evolve or risk losing relevance. This crucial topic is fleshed out on page 22 of Embracing Modern Convenience: Responding to Shopper Needs, the newest report from the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council. The report examines the changing environment and shares ideas for how to improve consumer satisfaction. Download the report for free at www.ccrrc.org.