Decline in Bill Payment Services & Tobacco hit c-store sales
In June average like for like footfall improved slightly (+0.2%) over the previous month but sales were -0.5% down due to lower basket spend. Bill Payment and Tobacco, that together account for over 40% of turnover in some independent c-stores, reduced turnover as sales of both declined in June vs May 2019 (-4.3% and -1.8% respectively). Ice cream (+13.2%), cider (+2.2%) and beer (+0.3%) sales improved as the summer and BBQ season progresses but remain well below the levels seen same time last year (-32.6%, -11.5% and -5.8%) – although we do need to remember that last June was exceptionally high, with England still in the World Cup combined with wonderful summer weather.
Year on year, however, it is factory made cigarettes (FMC) that is the real issue for independent retailers. Cigarettes account for 75% of all Tobacco sales and they’ve been in sharp year on year decline in June (-8.1%) and May (-6.8%) this year.