Throughout the history of c-stores, retailers have continuously re-invented their businesses to meet major demographic, societal and cultural changes. When a network of regional and interstate roads was built in the 50s in the U.S., c-store owners chose to be situated along those roads.

In the 60s, people across Europe and the U.S. started to migrate to suburban areas as there was more space, bringing c-stores to the suburbs as well. In the same decade, convenience stores began staying open 24 hours a day to support the working suburban families, meeting the needs of people working late night or early morning shifts.

In the 70s, c-stores started selling fuel as self-service at the pump, responding to an increased need for fuel on-the-go as more people now owned a car and drove longer ranges.

Embracing Global Urbanization and Demographic Changes 

Today, convenience stores are once again undergoing a certain evolution due to digitization, demographics, and a rise in urbanization. They have become an integral part of modern urban living, providing a vital solution for the fast-paced lifestyles of city dwellers.

Urban living often entails hectic schedules and limited time for shopping. Convenience stores have evolved to cater to these urban lifestyles, providing an extensive selection of products that align with changing consumer preferences. From fresh produce to ready-to-eat meals, convenience stores offer a variety of options to accommodate different dietary choices and preferences.

Over the past 50 years the share of the world’s population living in urban areas has risen from 37% to 56%. While this rise has been a global phenomenon, the sharpest increase has come from emerging markets and developing economies, where the share of the urban population nearly doubled from 27% to 52%, due to both rural-urban migration and rapid population growth in urban areas.

In 10 years, the global population will look very differently from how it looks today. The UN predicts the world population to reach 8.6 billion by 2030 and almost 10 billion by 2050. Overall, the world population is ageing fast, and the middle class is growing. People will be increasingly living in urban areas, with an estimate of 68% of all people living in urban areas by 2050.

Also, single-adult households increased by 29.6 % throughout 2009 to 2022, often reflecting on the amount of time available, thus increasing demand for multi-service hubs that offer a one-stop-shop not only for quick shopping, but an array of additional services which increase efficiency.

A world of opportunity  

Urbanization and population density have played a significant role in the growth of convenience stores.

With more people living in cities and densely populated areas, convenience stores have strategically positioned themselves to be easily accessible, serving as neighborhood hubs for everyday needs.

Retailers operating in urban areas are actively embracing a customer-centric approach that aligns with the latest trends, encompassing last-mile logistics and delivery, advanced mobility solutions, participation in the sharing economy, and providing a diverse range of energy services.  

While evolution is a required step, these global trends open an array of business opportunities for the retail fuel market – with digitization at the core of managing it all. 

Assuring a smooth customer journey

The Passport X Cloud-Based Retail Fuel Solution is a versatile platform that helps business evolve and meet the changing retail fuel environment – across the forecourt and into the c-store. 

Customers expect a seamless experience – regardless of the device or communication channel. With the Passport X retail fuel cloud-based platform, you can create a unified and personalized, customer journey across multiple channels.  

Passport X POS: An easy-to-use online/offline POS that manages all types of sales and works on any modern hardware.

Passport X Self-Checkout: A solution that provides a frictionless shopping experience, while generating higher revenues. It assures safe in-store, fuel, and restaurant payments.

Passport X HOS/BOS: Amulti-tenant cloud for central management of any type of retail fuel network, specific stations, or stores.

Passport X Analytics: A flexible self-service tool that monitors site data and creates impactful dashboards to highlight business insights, identify trends, and discover opportunities.

Reach out to learn more about how to suit your business to changing global trends.