Nobody can predict the c-store industry’s future, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to try.

This is a time of year when a lot of convenience store industry retrospectives get written, but this week we’re going to do the opposite, and take a look into the future. Or should we say, potential future, because if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past year or so, it’s that you can never truly be certain what is going to happen next.

Still, it’s interesting (and fun!) to try.

One thing we do know is that the industry’s come through one of the most unpredictable periods in its history and has managed to stay strong, grow, and improve consumer perception. Operators have made it through by incorporating new procedures while adapting elements of retail merchandise models from other channels that work. That resiliency bodes well for the industry’s future health, so let’s take a look at some of the commentary we’ve found regarding the c-store outlook for 2022.

  • NCR, POS provider and much, much more, weighs in, via Convenience Store News, on future retail trends, with an emphasis on technological developments.
  • IRI, a data analytics and market research company that maintains a laser-like focus on the c-store industry, offers seven strategies for CPG Growth in 2022. (CPG stands for “Consumer Packaged Goods” in IRI parlance, core offerings of a c-store’s inventory mix.)
  • Speaking of CPGs, this article from C-Store Decisions examines expected confectionery trends for the next year.
  • The private financial advice blog, the Motley Fool, comments on the 2022 outlook for the industry from an investment perspective.
  • C-stores are petroleum retailers by any other name, and though merchandise, not fuel, dominates consumer perceptions about the channel, the gas pump still provides a consistent stream of revenue which price fluctuations impact. Here’s GasBuddy’s take on what we can expect from fuel prices going forward into 2022.

We hope 2021 was a good year for you, and that the best is yet to come. Here’s wishing everyone a happy new year, from all of us at SSCS.