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10 Surprising Facts About Convenience Stores

Updated on February 24, 2013

The Convenience of Convenience Stores

Convenience stores are pretty...well, convenient. They are so prevalent, in fact, that we probably take them highly for granted. With that in mind, I thought it would be worthwhile to look at some of the stats relating to convenience stores. Some of the facts here may actually surprise you.

(Photo Source: Wikipedia.org.)

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Fact #1: Convenience Store Coffee

Convenience stores sell an average of 11 million cups of coffee every day. 11 Million! In conjunction with that, they also sell, on a daily basis, millions of danishes, donuts, muffins, etc.

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Fact #2: Convenience Store Purchases

Approximately $1 out of every $23 dollars spent in America is spent at convenience stores. That's the equivalent of about $1.7 billion dollars daily. (With those kinds of numbers, it almost makes you want to buy a franchise.)

Fact #3: Convenience Store Customer Visits

The average convenience store visit takes roughly 3.5 minutes. By comparison, the average customer visit at a grocery store takes 41 minutes.

Fact #4: Convenience Store Design

You may have noticed that convenience stores often appear very similar in in terms of layout. It may actually surprise you to know that this is completely intentional, as convenience are generally designed to have 3 zones:

Decompression Zone

This is basically the entry of the store. The intent is simply to allow the consumer to see the entire store in not much more than a glance.

Impulse Zone

This zone is comprised of the things that customers are exposed to upon entering and exiting the store. For instance, the coffee, sandwiches, etc. that are up front. Needless to say, the hope is that you'll buy certain things on impulse that you may not have

Destination Zone

This area is basically the periphery of the store. It's for customers who are looking for something specific (e.g., a carton of milk or beverages). These are deliberately placed at the back of the store so that customers are forced to pass through other areas (and by other products).

Source:  Wikipedia.org; Original uploader: Anthony
Source: Wikipedia.org; Original uploader: Anthony

Fact #5: Name Origins of 7 Eleven, Wawa, and Circle K

7 Eleven

The name of 7 Eleven convenience stores is derived from their original hours of operation: 7am - 11pm. It is the largest operator, franchisor and licensor of cenvenience stores in the world.

Wawa Food Markets

The Wawa convenience store chain grew out of Wawa Dairy Farms, and gets its name from Wawa, Pennsylvania - the location of both the company's corporate headerquarters and its first milk plant. It is the largest convenience store chain in greater Philadelphia and the 3rd-largest food retailer in that region.

Circle K

Circle K got it's name when Fred Hervey bought 3 Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas in 1951. Hervey, who would later serve two terms as mayor of El Paso, changed the name to Circle K. It has the second-largest number of convenience stores (after 7 Eleven) in the U.S.

(Photo Source: Original Uploader - Anthony at en.wikipedia.)

Fact #6: Convenience Store Population

There are 144,000 convenience stores in the United States. Most are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. They account for $28 billion in annual transactions.

Fact #7: Beer Sales

Convenience stores sell a whopping 2 billion gallons of beer every year - approximately one-third of all beer sold in America. (I fact, beer accounts for 10% of in-store sales.)

Poll on Convenience Stores

When was the last time you visited a convenience store?

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Fact #8: Gasoline Sales

Two-thirds of convenience store sales are made at the gas pump. Moreover, convenience stores account for 80% of all U.S. gas sales.

(Photo Source: Original Uploader - Aaron Lawrence at en.wikipedia.)

Fact #9: Variety of Products

The average inventory of a convenience store includes roughly 5,000 individual products!

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Fact #10: Slurpees!

The 7 Eleven chain has sold over 6 billion (yes, billion with a "b") since 1966. Slurpees account for $170 million in sales each year.

(Photo Source: Original Uploader - Nehrams2020 at en.wikipedia.)

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    • profile image

      halloweenprops 4 years ago

      I learnt a few new things about convenience stores here. Thanks.

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      I sure take convenience stores for granted. This was a fun read.

    • profile image

      cmadden 4 years ago

      Some surprising stats here!

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Wow, you always have a unique approach and style when creating lenses. Your creativity in promoting and sharing some stats and comprehensive details of information of different convenient stores is amazing. I'm appreciative of these convenient stores, because being in a military, we always used to get based in remote areas, and these stores were the only ones we could go to within 15 minute-drive. So I am grateful, and appreciative of the convenience and accessibility that these stores have been providing us for so many years now. Huge help! Thanks for this great lens, my friend! I enjoyed it very much! God bless you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      There are lots of interesting facts in this lens, but the most surprising to me is that one out of every twenty-three dollars is spent in a convenience store. Amazing! Enjoyed your lens.

    • spikeyflower profile image

      spikeyflower 5 years ago

      I love the convenience store next to my apartment, I call it "downstairs kitchen" because I live almost above it. I don't like to keep snack foods in the house, so I walk over there occasionally to get a soda or chips. Also, I have gotten really sick in the middle of the night and run over there to get medicine. The owners are really nice.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      ...believe it or not, food shopping at big supermarkets is only until saturday. sunday, everything is closed because of the church. blessings.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      our convenient stores are located next to the gas stations.

    • profile image

      momsfunny 5 years ago

      These are interesting.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting stats about convenience stores. They can be very convenient. Off late, the debate if alcoholic beverages should be sold in convenience stores has come to the forefront. I think if it can be managed responsibly, why not.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      I didn't even know there was this much to know about convenience stores. My first job was at a neighborhood corner store, which I remember fondly.

    • OrlandoTipster profile image

      OrlandoTipster 5 years ago

      Wawa just opened in Orlando.

      Hoping to one day hit the powerball bought at one of these stores

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 5 years ago

      Some interesting facts about convenience stores.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      @TolovajWordsmith: I agree!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Astonishing facts about convenience stores. I don't visit them often because I found their prices are higher than in supermarkets, but they surely are convenient:)

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      love these facts- thanks for the info.I think I was responsible for a large percentage of the beer sales myself!

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      I think I have contribute quite a lot in the 7 Eleven's Slurpees. I like to have a cup of it when the weather is hot.

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Until I started reading this lens I did not realize that I do buy gas at convenience stores often enough, but only go inside to buy something maybe 2-3 times a month. Another outside the store activity- Redbox. So, I go to the convenience store 2-3 times a week, but my credit card keeps from having to go inside.

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      FashionMommy 5 years ago

      Interesting lens. I enjoyed reading these facts.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Interesting facts.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 5 years ago

      Great and interesting facts lens...JMO...Buying Gas and beer don't mix...Yes everything is strategically planned...what is where is for a purpose.

      d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! That is a lot of interesting factoids! Cool!

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      What a fun lens with some very interesting sales information!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very interesting topic. Stuff I never thought of. Cool lens.

    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 5 years ago

      Don't forget to stop by your local 7 Eleven and pick up a free Slurpee on 7/11 - it's a tradition in our family!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      Ok I have to admit it, I know about this a bit. My parents owned a convienence store and we did put the milk in the back. And yes, a large soda only costs about 5 cents. Small stores have to pay a larger price on products if they are not bought in bigger quantities, so they have to make up the difference somewhere. They only made about 5 cents off a gallon of gas.

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      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Cute facts! Blessed!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      nice info!

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Love the subject of your lens!