Looking for a List of the 100 Top Selling Items at Convenence Stores
November 1, 2014 7:03 PM   Subscribe

We have a bit of empty commercial space so we are looking to put in a "mini convenience store." I am looking for a list of the top selling "shelf stable" convenience store items, i.e., items that don't need refrigeration. I'm looking for a list of very SPECIFIC items, not just, for example "candy." Thanks!
posted by jack.brodey to Shopping (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Rolling Paper
posted by 724A at 7:07 PM on November 1, 2014

gum, cigarettes, drinks like pop or vitamin water or gatorade, chocolate bars, aspirin, windshield wiper fluid, nuts, lottery tickets, lighters.

This list might help.
posted by hepta at 7:25 PM on November 1, 2014

There is a section on consumer insights over at Convenience Store Magazine. Might be a good place to start.
posted by xingcat at 7:34 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Original poster here. Sorry, should have added that our space is pedestrian traffic only. So, no windshield wiper fluid, items like that. Also, I'm looking for a very SPECIFIC list. One would think that such a thing existed online, but if so, I haven't been able to find it...
posted by jack.brodey at 7:41 PM on November 1, 2014

I frequent convenience stores in my free time. mostly between the hours of 3-10 am so what I offer may be limited to "morning people". But without fail, here are what is bought EVERY DAY that I see:

Energy drinks: Monster and Redbull are more popular (also 5 hour energy shots)
Convenience food: Nature valley granola bars, Power bars, packs of nuts, If you have a refrigerator then definately stock up on bananas and apples as well as preboiled eggs.
Medical: Alka seltzer, packs of bayer asprin/tylenol, antacid

Hope this helped.
posted by tahu363 at 7:49 PM on November 1, 2014

I'd have thought it would be considered "commercial in confidence" and you wouldn't find it easily."

If you can't, take photos of convenience stores in your area. The possible margin on each item will determine the value of stocking it.

(High markup or high turnover... emergency items are always the best. Tampons, band aids , sugar, instant noodles, nappies/diapers, condoms , batteries etc.)
posted by taff at 7:52 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

If there's a campground with five miles of you please carry bug spray and AfterBite. Please.
posted by _Mona_ at 8:05 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

Original poster: Our space is in a very urban area (fairly upscale shopping/business district). Pedestrians only.
posted by jack.brodey at 8:12 PM on November 1, 2014

Where are you located? I used to manage a small late night grocery in the Midwest and might be able to make distributor-specific suggestions, depending.

In general, nonperishable things that were hits at my store included:
- Small bags of chips
- Shelf-stable single-servings of Indian food
- Small bags of nuts and dried fruit from a local distributor
- Condoms, aspirin, and stamps
- Flavored toothpicks
- Ritter Sport
- Shelf-stable milk (and chocolate milk) juiceboxes
posted by bubukaba at 8:43 PM on November 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


posted by small_ruminant at 8:43 PM on November 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

batteries, including ones for hearing aids and calculators.
posted by small_ruminant at 8:44 PM on November 1, 2014

A few thoughts: My husband managed a family-owned chain of lobby shops when we first graduated from school. I'd suggest connecting with a wholesaler for at least your first stock-up and let them guide you based on what sells for their other customers. Then, over time, you can determine if you can buy certain items cheaper elsewhere. Mr. Darling ended up doing about half from Costco and half from the wholesaler at the end.

You'll want drink coolers, in which case you might want to contact one or both of the soda distributors (probably both, since people have strong brand preference). They will often provide a cooler as part of their business arrangements.

You should also decide if you want to provide coffee and hot water for tea, which sells well but needs a plumbed-in water line and also requires staff upkeep. My husband's stores had popcorn poppers - it sold like crazy and had a great profit margin but was a huge PITA.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:11 AM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Just read your intro again and saw this: convenience store items, i.e., items that don't need refrigeration

You're really going to need cold drinks.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:55 AM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Your wholesalers/vendors will recommend products which turn best. Seconding that you need to stock cold drinks. Coolers are usually provided by Coke/Pepsi, though there are likely some terms to agree to (not stocking other companies products etc).

You are going to have to balance depth with breadth of assortment - which will have you make different selections than a simple 100 best products list which will over index in the most popular categories, and which will reflect sales at much larger stores. Said differently, assortments don't scale proportionately.
posted by walkinginsunshine at 5:44 AM on November 2, 2014

The Hot 100 (pdf), The top retailer-requested products of the year from Convenience Store Products. Not sure if it's all shelf-stable, but it's a start for you.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:23 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

« Older How to get rid of a feeling of imminent doom.   |   I temporarily fixed a computer issue, but I don't... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.