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Navigating Change within the Convenience Store Industry

The annual National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) State of the Industry Summit (SOI) traveled to The Windy City this spring, and we’re recapping a few highlights to assist with benchmarking practices among retailers.


Key Takeaways:

  • According to inside sales figures presented at SOI, tobacco; beer and other tobacco products (OTP), such as chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, represent three of the top-four in-store sales items requiring proof of identification to complete purchase.
  • Although cigarettes remained the top-selling in-store category by dollar sales, averaging $54,249 per month per store in 2018, volume decreased by nearly 3 percent, as compared to 2017.
  • Sales of e-cigarettes increased in 2018 an estimated 24 percent, from where they were in 2017.
  • Beer sales significantly grew in 2018, compared to other convenience store goods, including food service, packaged beverages and candy, but they too faced a decline, albeit minor, as millennials continually reach for wine or liquors over beer.

Despite the minor changes reported at SOI among cigarette sales figures, the growth of OTP and beer margins reinforce the notion that appropriate sale transactions of age-sensitive products remains a necessity. At The BARs Program, we recommend deploying program tactics monthly, while rotating between visit-types to ensure compliance among store employees. Ironically, we discussed the trend of increased e-cigarette and vaping product stings in our last blog, E-Cigarette, Vaping Product Stings Seek to Ensure Limited Access Among Youth ( These details, coupled with key takeaways from SOI, reveal there’s a direct correlation between increased sales figures and the growing volume of related stings.


Learn more about the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) State of the Industry Summit. If your convenience store location or national chain is in need of a proven, comprehensive compliance-training platform, commit to contacting The BARS Program at or call 1-877-540-5500. Together, we’ll get your business on track to beating government-backed stings, while triumphantly staying up with industry trends and evolutions.



CSP: SOI 2019: In-Store Sales, NACS preliminary data

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