Convenience store

Updated: 2006-10-19 15:17

A convenience store is a small store or shop, generally accessible or local. They are often located alongside busy roads, or at gas/petrol stations. This can take the form of gas stations supplementing their income with retail outlets, or convenience stores adding gas to the list of goods on offer. Railway stations also often have a convenience store.

Goods on offer
Sometimes abbreviated to c-store, various types exist, for example; liquor stores (off-licences - offies), mini-markets (mini-marts) or party stores. Typically junk food (candy, ice-cream, soft drinks), lottery tickets, newspapers and magazines are sold. Unless the outlet is a liquor store, the range of alcohol beverages is likely to be limited (i.e. beer and wine) or non-existent. Varying degrees of food supplies are usually available, from household products, to prepackaged foods like sandwiches and frozen burritos. Motoring items such as motor oil, maps and car kit may be sold. Often toiletries and other hygiene products are stocked,as well as pantyhose and contraception. Some of these stores also sell money orders and wire transfer services.

In some countries, convenience stores usually have a hot food counter, with chicken pieces, breakfast food and many other items. Often there is an in-store bakery - throughout Europe these now sell fresh French bread (or similar). A process of freezing part-baked bread allows easy shipment (often from France) and baking in-store. A delicatessen counter is also popular, offering custom-made sandwiches and baguettes. Some stores have a self-service microwave oven for heating purchased food.

Convenience stores may be combined with other services, such as a train station ticket counter or a post office counter.

Differences from supermarkets
Size is the main difference, although larger newer convenience stores have quite a broad range of items. Prices in a convenience store are typically higher than at a supermarket, mass merchandise store, or auto supply store. In the United States, the stores will sometimes be the only stores and services near an interstate highway exit where drivers can buy any kind of food or drink for miles. Most of the profit margin from these stores comes from beer, liquor, and cigarettes.


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