We sat down with the editors of Convenience Store Decisions to discuss trends that will be shaping the future of U.S. convenience stores. Zandi Brehmer, head of client innovation at global research firm Euromonitor International, joined the conversation. Emerson commissioned Euromonitor to identify trends through 2025.
Focus on the customer
Retailers in this space are obviously concerned with convenience, but we are seeing an increased interest in cultivating customer relationships. Shifting the focus on the consumers from the checkout to when they enter a store may generate a big payoff. Modern technological systems such as wireless sensors in c-stores can potentially free up staff to focus on higher-value customer interactions. As these solutions become more prevalent, convenience stores can become more nimble to address the changing needs of their customer base.
Driven by a digital revolution and rapidly changing consumer expectations, convenience operators are turning to new strategies to stay competitive. As product offerings are becoming more interchangeable, the shopping experience is a differentiator for retailers. Recent studies show that 78% of millennials would rather spend money on a desirable experience than on goods.
Supply chain management
Finally, better inventory management will likely distinguish convenience store operations in the future. Not only does new technology enable retailers to track inventory, but to learn who’s buying what.