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November was a merry month

– Will December keep up?

As we wait for new announcements from the government and potential new Covid related restrictions, we take a look at how C-stores have fared over the past few months.

At the start of the pandemic, the average sales in C-stores increased dramatically, prompted by movement restrictions and supermarket shortages following consumer panic buying. Since then, sales have remained high in comparison to the previous 12 months.

Stores that provided a lifeline for their customers during the emergency have most likely become their lifetime supplier, reflected in continued high sales. Although November basket spend was 4.3% down, total footfall increased +4.1% compared with November 2020. Shoppers are buying less, but more often, compared to the lockdown time where they visited less often but bought more while they were there.
Average Sales Per Month
Average Footfall Per Month

21 months on from the start of the pandemic, C-stores are not only still ahead of pre-pandemic performance, but year-on-year figures are also positive. Average sales per store last month increased by 0.1% compared to November 2020, and by 15.6% compared to November 2019.

In the latest 3 months, average sales per store have increased by 2.1% compared to the same period last year. These figures are based on EPOS sales from over 3500 stores which, in the latest 12 month period covered 320 million transactions.

If restrictions do return it’s possible that C-stores will once again be providing for the needs of the country.

The looming threat of strike action jeopardises the ability of some large supermarkets to keep stores supplied and open, it seems that customers might once again be relying on their corner store to provide Christmas essentials. Be ready to be Merry!

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