Oct 17, 2022

The October Skuup - Buyer Beware!

The October Skuup - Buyer Beware!

We sat down with our data analyst, Sid Toriggino, to cover the sweet and spooky trends impacting the convenience retail space.

1. Market Metrics

Data From Skupos: A Network of 15,000 Independent Retailers

market metrics

*YA - Year Ago

Market: Overall trips are down 3.2% from a year ago, and basket sizes are down 1.7% to 2.59 items per basket.

Category: The traditional Tobacco category has continued to decline, now showing a 7.8% year-over-year decline. With the introduction of new products like e-cigarettes, consumer preferences have shifted away from traditional tobacco use.

2. Fuel Prices

Prices rose 3.4% from their lows 3 weeks ago. Recent news from OPEC indicates that fuel prices will likely continue to rise as they cut oil production (Read here for more). Prices are still about 25% below their June peaks, so we can enjoy these relatively low prices while they last.

gas price monitor

3. Gallons per Transaction

Gallons per transaction dropped 12% between January and June. However, as fuel prices began to fall, consumers were quick to increase their per transaction fuel consumption, which is now only 1.8% (or 0.2 gallons) lower than at the start of the year. During periods of volatile fuel prices, consumers tend to fill up less per visit, indicating an awareness that fuel prices might be lower the next time they fill up their vehicles. Given recent steps taken by OPEC to decrease oil production in order to increase fuel prices, this chart can serve as an indicator for how consumers might behave in the coming months should fuel prices return to their highs earlier this year.

gallons pumped transaction monitor

4. It’s More Expensive to Be Single this Year

Single pack prices have increased in virtually every category in convenience. The graph below represents a few of the top categories, showing how single packaged items in those categories increased from last year to this year. Packaged Sweet Snacks is among the categories with the largest price jump, up 17% from $1.48 to $1.73 per item. Consumers often treat this category as a quick and cheap breakfast alternative, often paired with a Hot Dispensed Beverage (a.k.a Coffee).

Here are the changes from the other categories shown above:

Candy: 

+11%, $1.80 → $2.00

Salty Snacks: 

+10%, $2.10 → $2.32

Packaged Beverages: 

+9%, $1.97 → $2.14

Beer: 

+6%, $2.28 → $2.41

5. Hurricane Ian's Impact on C-Stores

In light of recent events caused by Hurricane Ian, the Skupos team wishes a speedy recovery to all those impacted. The chart below represents c-stores in the Skupos network that were affected by the hurricane. Fueling transactions spiked in the red areas on the days leading up to the hurricane. 

Fuel transactions peaked at 515 transactions per store on Saturday, September 24th, which was a 135% increase from the previous Saturday. Then on Wednesday, September 28th, there were only 39 fuel transactions per store (of those that remained open), representing a 85% decrease in daily transactions per store from the previous Wednesday. In the aftermath of the hurricane, fuel transactions per store spiked again and have remained elevated. This was likely due to the minimal amount of stores that were open and operating as many remained without power.

foot traffic c-stores

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