National Retail Solutions, Inc. reported today that its network of over 12,000 independent small format convenience stores, liquor stores, and bodegas experienced a 9.4% growth in dollars sales and a 5.0% increase in baskets for the Thursday – Monday Labor Day weekend vs. YAGO in same stores scanning.
Non-Alcoholic Beverages enjoyed a 14.4% increase in dollars and a 7.1% increase in baskets – with 34% of all transactions between September 2nd and September 6th 2021 including a Non-Alcoholic Beverage item.
Alcohol sales also showed growth, even as on-premise establishments return to pre-pandemic activity:
- Spirits $ sales ↑ 9.4% and baskets ↑ 9.3%
- Wine $ sales ↑ 4.2% and baskets ↑ 3.3%
- Beer/FMB/Cider $ sales ↑ 2.8% and baskets ↑ 1.0%
Shoppers were not just drinking more. They were also snacking more, as Salty Snacks, Candy/Gum/Mints, Sweet Snacks and Cookies & Crackers all experienced double-digit growth in both dollar sales and baskets.
Tobacco baskets were flat while dollar sales were up 8.3%, an increase that is largely a result of multiple price increases over the last year.
Not all categories realized growth, however, with Tobacco Alternatives (Vape) and Beverage Mixers suffering the most notable declines with both categories in 20% fewer baskets Labor Day 2021 vs 2020 and experiencing dollar sales losses of 15.4% and 17.0% respectively.
But overall, with both traffic and all commodity dollar sales up significantly, the strong Labor Day performance across the NRS Network continues to hold promise for the Independent Merchant as we refine our new normal.