C-store model a big challenge with gas prices

We all have clients, prospects or partners looking at convenience stores as a great venue for ad-based screen networks.

1 – There’s a ton of them

2 – They have lots of repeat customers

3 – The store designs are fairly uniform, making installs easier.

But … they also come with a lot of challenges, notably how people are in and out of there in seconds, not minutes. And with fewer people smoking (and in more and more places, cigarettes hidden away like naughty magazines), the volume of people coming in is dwindling.

Now  there’s word the price of a gallon of gas is hitting the c-stores, as well.

Reports MediaPost:

As many as one third of all consumers are now buying most of their gasoline at alternative retailers-better known to consumers as supercenters, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs, according to a new survey from TNS Retail Forward. That’s up from 22% just three years ago.

And while these alternative gasoline retailers now capture an estimated 13% of U.S. gas sales, the company predicts that figure will rise to 16% by 2012.

“Fewer shoppers filling their tanks at convenience stores mean fewer shoppers filling their stomachs with higher-margin goods inside the store,” the Columbus, Ohio-based retail consulting company says. “Sky rocketing gasoline prices also leave little change in shoppers’ pockets for in-store purchases.”

Consumers are looking to save money on gas anyway they can, “and the alternative players’ cents-off promotions are very attractive,” it finds. “As a result, we expect more shoppers to take advantage of the increasing number of fuel-reward programs.” And these stores offer the additional incentive of one-stop shopping, which means consumers don’t have to burn fuel to buy fuel.

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