New Study: US Women Afraid to Shop Alone at Convenience Stores

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Women do not visit convenience stores as frequently as men, which, according to new data released in TrendSource’s 2018 Convenience Store Industry Report, is likely due to concerns about safety.

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“There is definitely an opportunity there for c-store operators to emphasize safety, both in practice and in their messaging."

TrendSource's 2018 Convenience Store Industry Report—which offers a broad and focused analysis of convenience store consumers, their priorities, pain points, and paths to purchase—shows that 64% of men visit convenience stores at least once a week compared to 55% of women. Why the difference? One word: safety.

Consider that 80% of women rate safety as “very” or “extremely important” when selecting a convenience store vs. only 53% of men. Women are more receptive to the prospect of convenience store delivery (+2%), and in this light it is not too hard to understand why: they get the convenience of the store from the safety of their home. This presents both hurdle and opportunity for c-store operators.

“There is definitely an opportunity there for c-store operators to emphasize safety, both in practice and in their messaging. If people don’t feel safe somewhere, they aren’t going to shop there,” noted TrendSource’s Director of Consulting and Client Services Evencia Leite.

Despite women’s relative likelihood to order convenience store delivery, respondents in general were not enthused about the prospect: 36.6% of respondents were “not at all interested” in the concept and an additional 26.4% were only “slightly interested.”

“For all the talk of omnichannel and delivery, this hasn’t really trickled down to the c-store market.” Leite noted. “Operators should continue to monitor this situation, however, as grocery and other retail delivery may eat into their market if consumers migrate convenience store purchases to these digital channels.”

The report additionally offers advanced cluster analysis (k-means) of four archetypal consumer profiles: the Value Shopper, the Convenience Seeker, the Price Checker, and the Healthy Shopper. Grouping consumers not based on demographic segmentations but instead on their priorities and pain points gives operators insights into how to best target their most frequent and ideal shoppers.

Which shoppers will be receptive to an elevated convenience store experience including craft beer, fresh and nutritious food, and curbside pickup? How do rural, suburban and urban consumers’ priorities differ, and how do generation and income shape individual markets? To find the answers to these and even more questions, download the full report.

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Aaron Amerling
TrendSource, Inc.
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