Shoppers Conserve Costly Gas, Buy Groceries at 7-Eleven, CVS

Convenience and drug stores are siphoning off sales from traditional supermarkets as shoppers look for ways to combine shopping trips to maximize gas expenditures, according to a recent Washington Post article. Entitled, “From Soda and Chips To Grocery Staples,” the Post reported that consumers are stopping at their neighborhood convenience and drug stores for pantry items they usually purchase at supermarkets and sometimes even for dinner components.

The paper noted that at 7-Eleven stores in the Washington, D.C. area, grocery sales were up 2- to 3 percent in July compared to last year. Tom Gerrity, 7-Eleven’s director for processed foods, told the Post that in addition to increased sales in grocery, frozen food sales were up 7 percent and ready-to-eat meals rose 9 percent. He noted that 7-Eleven’s other regions have been charting similar growth, with weekly spikes following paycheck cycles.

Food World, a trade publication, said 7-Eleven is the ninth ranked grocery destination in the Washington area with annual sales of $469 million and a 3.3 percent market share -- ahead of traditional grocery stores Harris Teeter (ranked 10th) and Whole Foods (ranked 11th). Fourth ranked CVS, with $941 million in sales, excluding prescriptions, grabbed a 6.5 percent market share, the Post reported. Top ranked Giant dominates the region with $3.3 billion in sales and 23.2 percent market share. Safeway is second with $2.6 billion in sales and 18.3 percent share of the market.

In the Washington, D.C. area, 7-Eleven has 416 stores, CVS has 190 and Whole Foods and Harris Teeter together have just 32 units.

Wawa, with 30 area locations, recently began offering six dinner menu items for $3.99 each or three for $9.99, the Post reported. Lisa Wollan, Wawa’s head of consumer insights and brand strategy told the paper that the program has been a success and that it has helped present the retailer as a one-stop shopping destination.
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