C-store Industry Demonstrates Strong Future



While the brick-and-mortar storefront evolves to reaffirm its role in the Amazon-led "convenience economy," there’s one cash-driven segment of retailing that understood consumers’ on-demand shopping needs decades before Amazon made its first sale: the convenience store.  

One portent of a promising future for the convenience store industry is that the number of c-stores has increased by 63 percent over the last three decades, according to the 2017 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.  And within the retail universe, convenience stores account for more than one third of all retail outlets in the United States.

Another sign of strong prospects for the c-store is the recent record-breaking attendance at the industry’s primary annual gathering – the NACS Show, staged this fall in Chicago with an attendance of 24,940 - a 7 percent increase over last year’s show
NACS 2017 McCormick Place Chicago
Cardtronics was at the NACS show, too, because to us, the “c” in c-store also stands for “cash.” Our 2017 Health of Cash Study found that cash usage has a clear leadership position at convenience stores – 59 percent of c-store customers use cash to pay for items.

Convenience and other retail store owners also like receiving that cash, and many prefer it over other payment types, according to the July 2017 “Payment Acceptance in a Complex Environment:  Banks, Watch Out” survey by Mercator Advisory Group.  This survey of 450 small businesses found that 31 percent of those with physical locations – such as c-stores – are more likely to prefer customers to use cash. 

“Cash is seen as convenient because it is accessible to all, has no acceptance fees, and avoids the risk of accepting a bad check or bad credit card,” the Mercator report said. “Cash is considered easy to handle, safe with no chance of denial later and quicker, since the transaction is completed instantly rather than waiting for payment to clear.”

What’s one of the best ways to steer customers to use cash? Provide an in-store ATM, and participate in the Allpoint surcharge-free ATM network.  And that’s where Cardtronics comes in, and the reason for our attendance at NACS Show 2017.
Cardtronics Booth at NACS 2017
Visitors to the Cardtronics booth were invited to “Discover the Difference” that a Cardtronics-powered program offers, which for convenience stores and other retailers comes in two distinct arrangements.   Typically better suited to the large retailer with many locations, the first is the turnkey arrangement, in which we do everything to place and manage the ATM.  The second, of which there are several flavors, is popular with single-store owners and small chains, many of whom prefer to own the ATM gear.  In this arrangement, the merchant takes on stocking the ATM with cash and performing simple maintenance tasks.  

To learn more about what we offer to convenience store and other retailers of all sizes, click here or make an inquiry here

And congratulations to NACS for a successful 2017 show and a sincere “Thank You!” to all those show attendees who took the time to stop by our booth.

Brian Haynes
Director – Retail Marketing 

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