July was a relatively good month for independent c-stores compared to June. Some key 2019 figures are, however, still significantly lower than 2018, as shown in the table below.
Average sales improved by +1.6% over the previous month due to increased footfall which was up by +3.1% vs June. Sales of ice-cream jumped by 44.7%, soft drinks by 12.9%, and sales of summer alcohol (beer, cider and RTD high strength premixes) increased by 3.5%. Traditional tobacco (cigarettes and RYO) have not disappointed, and grew by 3.2% vs June.
Year on year, however, footfall remained down by -4.2% and value sales by -0.3% despite increased basket spend (+3.8%) as can be seen in the table below. Factory made cigarettes sales continued to decline but RYO sales increased by +4%. C-store shoppers spent more on cakes, chocolate confectionery and biscuits than a year ago. These important categories put in double digit growth alongside smaller contributors such as electronic cigarettes and tobacco accessories.