National Association of Convenience Stores
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The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), founded on August 14, 1961, is an international trade association representing more than 2,100 retail and 1,600 supplier company members. NACS member companies do business in nearly 50 countries worldwide, with the majority of members based in the United States. The association serves the convenience and fuel retailing industry by providing industry knowledge, connections and advocacy to ensure the competitive viability of its members' businesses.
NACS defines a convenience store as a retail business that provides the public with a convenient location to quickly purchase a wide variety of consumable products and services, general food and gasoline. While not a fixed requirement, convenience stores have the following general characteristics:
- Building size of fewer than 5,000 square feet (460 m2).
- Off-street parking and/or convenient pedestrian access.
- Extended hours of operation, with many open 24 hours, seven days a week.
- Offer at least 500 stock keeping units (SKUs).
- Product mix includes a significant mix of tobacco, beverages, snacks, candy and grocery items.
The U.S. convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1985, the store count was 90,900 stores, at year-end 1995 the store count was 101,100 stores and at year-end 2005 the store count was 140,665 stores. The U.S. convenience store industry, with 154,195 stores (as of December 31, 2015) across the country, posted $547.8 billion in total sales in 2015. The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 63.1% of all convenience stores (97,359 stores total). Convenience stores account for 34.2% of retail outlets in the United States. Since 1995, NACS has worked with Nielsen to accurately count and classify businesses in the convenience and fuel retail channel of trade. This store count is based on the convenience store universe, tracked and marketed by Nielsen, and is endorsed by NACS. View a detailed store count fact sheet at nacsonline.com/storecount.
The convenience and fuel retailing industry is extremely diverse, including companies that operate one store to companies that operate thousands. NACS evaluates the effect policies will have on each member—big or small—and the Board of Directors then adopts positions that best represent the interests of the industry was a whole. NACS is the voice of convenience and fuel retailers on Capitol Hill. As an industry that touches so many areas of policy, the association and its members work to defend and protect c-store employees, customers and the industry overall. Here are some of the industry's top issues:
NACS Research develops and disseminates key metrics that provide the convenience and fuel retailing industry with performance benchmarks, as well as information critical to the industry’s advocacy efforts on issues such as payment cards, motor fuels and tobacco. Best known for the NACS State of the Industry enterprise, NACS research initiatives focus on developing actionable insights from a proprietary set of operational, category, financial and shopper data. Customized consulting and research projects can be conducted at an aggregate U.S. market, regional, firm or product level.
For more than 45 years, NACS has produced the most comprehensive review of industry metrics in the NACS State of the Industry Report®—the only benchmarking publication for the U.S. convenience and fuel retailing industry.
Every year, the NACS Show brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals for four days of learning, buying and selling, networking and fun—all designed to help participants grow their bottom line.
As convenience and fuel retailing’s premier industry event, the NACS Show attracts more than 22,000 industry stakeholders from around the world. Buyers and sellers come together to conduct business and learn from one another, all in an environment rich with new ideas and partnerships. The NACS Show is the place to network and connect with convenience and fuel retailing industry peers and experts. The 400,000+ net sq. ft. expo is where attendees discover thousands of the latest products and services that c-stores sell and use every day. The expo is segmented into six categories: Fuel Equipment & Services, Food Equipment & Foodservice Programs, Candy/Snacks, Facility Development & Store Operations, Merchandise and Technology. Each area of the expo gives attendees a one-of-a-kind, hands-on experience that can’t be matched anywhere else.
In addition to new products, the NACS Show education sessions provide attendees with a deep-dive into specific industry topics, issues and opportunities, designed with their challenges and experiences in mind. Education sessions range from specific top-of-mind topics, to level of expertise, to store size specifics. Each session is thoughtfully developed by industry leaders and led by respected industry experts.
NACS events are designed to help strengthen the convenience and fuel retailing industry with relevant and timely topics that include leadership, legislative advocacy, global markets, the newest products and services and targeted educational programs for participants of every business size. NACS events bring together the industry's retailers and suppliers to establish and build connections, exchange ideas and promising practices and thrive.
The award-winning NACS Magazine features thought-provoking and insightful articles that focus on trends, best practices, metrics and advocacy for the convenience and fuel retailing industry. In March 2017, NACS Magazine will celebrate its 15th anniversary.