If you’re wondering if a convenience store is a still good business to buy, consider the word ‘convenience’ and how this is still very much in high demand. Yet, retail has changed over the years and so has the meaning of convenience. While there are still many advantages to buying a convenience store, competition can be stiff and technology can be a big game-changer.
Convenience Stores are In Demand and Offer More Than Convenience
With the growing popularity of Amazon and other online retailers, many would-be entrepreneurs wonder if a convenience store is worth buying. In fact, according to the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, the industry’s store count has increased by 63 percent in the last three decades. America thrives on convenience – especially when it’s fast, easy and local.
Convenience stores have a lot to offer their community. They’re a one-stop place where consumers can fill up their gas tank, grab a sandwich and be in and out in a matter of minutes. They have unmatched speed in transactions, offer a wide variety of merchandise, including grab-and-go food service. Convenience stores are open extended hours and are located in almost every neighborhood.
Convenience Stores are Investing Big in New Technology
If you’re considering buying a convenience store, many of them are now leveraging technology to compete with both giant retailers and online stores. According to a recent technology study by CSNews, nearly 50 percent of respondents said they plan to add new equipment and replace technology. Over the last few years, they’ve been busy remodeling stores, adding new foodservice ordering kiosks, and new preparation and display equipment.
Additionally, numerous convenience stores have been leveraging social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to engage with customers. Using social media, convenience stores are able to create an open dialogue with customers. They can gain valuable information from customers, such as what they want to see in their store and what they can do to improve their service. If a customer says they are going somewhere else for a specific product, then a store owner can consider stocking it.
High Tech Bodegas Won’t Kill Convenience Stores
Earlier this year, two former Google employees made headlines when they announced a new startup idea called Bodega. Similar to vending machines, these unmanned pantry boxes are meant to be installed in various establishments, including gyms, dorm buildings, offices and apartment complexes, so people could get snacks and various toiletries with ease. Sounds like it could this could be the end of your local convenience store, right?
Wrong. A high tech Bodega is a far cry from your local convenience store. In fact, it’s more similar to a vending machine than a convenience store, but app based with a wider selection of items. It cannot offer the human factor of a local convenience store, a place where you can ask the clerk for a few quick-picks on Powerball night or pick up a pint of your favorite ice cream and a few gallons of gas. Many speculate Bodega will fail, that it will not be able to keep up with the complicated logistics or the labor costs involved with restocking merchandise.
Buying a convenience store business can offer many possibilities. Even in today’s high tech world, it’s a much needed neighborhood mainstay. If you’re considering buying a convenience store, take a look at these convenience store businesses for sale on BizBuySell.