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C-stores can take advantage of holiday spending this March.

C-stores find a pot of gold during St. Patrick’s Day

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

From parades and pub crawls, to dying the Chicago River green, St. Patrick’s Day is a major day of celebration for many Americans. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported that 61% of consumers planned to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in 2023, with spending projected to reach $6.9 billion. These numbers were on the rise from 2022, and the consumer spending for the upcoming 2024 holiday is no different. C-stores are in a unique position to take advantage of holiday spending.

Younger consumers are twice as  likely to choose convenience options, such as delivery or shopping at c-stores, compared to older consumers, who prefer grocery stores, according to Numerator. That means c-stores can take advantage of the preference for more convenient options. Offering last-minute party supplies, such as disposable table-wear and snack food, is a huge opportunity for retailers. Additionally, convenience stores can charge more for these items than larger grocery retailers because of the convenient options.

According to WalletHub, March 17th is the number one day for beer drinking, meaning retailers that sell beer have huge opportunities to sell to consumers looking to stock up. Beverages is the second most planned category of purchase for consumers on St. Patrick’s Day, falling behind only food.

Another way to take advantage of increased beverage sales for St. Patrick’s Day is to offer Irish beers, such as Guiness and Smithwick’s. According to Business Insider, Irish beer Guiness is served 819% more often on St. Patrick’s Day than any other day of the year. Local craft breweries may also be offering holiday themed beers that retailers are able to stock on their shelves. However, the beer category sees an overall boost in sales, according to Supermarket News, so any beer offerings will likely sell better in the month of March.

Though beer sales are a big opportunity for St. Patrick’s Day, not every store will be able to sell alcohol. Some stores may be prohibited from alcohol sales due to state or local laws. However, retailers in these states can take advantage of holiday spending in other ways. In 2023, the average American spent approximately $43.22 on St. Patrick’s Day related items. These items can include food and party supplies that are normally in stock, but also includes specialty items designed just for the holiday.

According to NACS Magazine, Stewart’s Shops, a 250-store chain of c-stores in New York and Vermont, saw huge sales from a limited-time-only mint milkshake around St. Patrick’s Day. Offering holiday-themed food items, or even candy or other packaged food items catered to the holiday will see a boost in sales. Specialty clothing and accessories, such as tee-shirts or plastic shamrock necklaces, also present an opportunity for retailers looking to capitalize on the holiday.

C-stores are uniquely positioned to make extra revenue around the holidays. More minor holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, present opportunities as well. Offering specialty holiday merchandise, limited-time-offer prepared foods, and different party supplies makes St. Patrick’s Day a success for c-stores.

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