The Number of Convenience Stores in the U.S. Continues to Grow

The U.S. convenience store industry has added more retail locations to the c-store universe for the second consecutive year, reported the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

There are 152,396 convenience stores operating in the United States. A 1.5% increase over last year’s store count of 150,174, according to the 2024 NACS/NIQ Convenience Industry Store Count.

These stores are estimated to sell 80% of the fuels consumers purchase in the United States. The recently released store census shows 120,061 convenience stores selling fuels, up 1.2% from 118,678 stores in 2023.

In the last decade, six of four years experienced growth in the convenience retail channel:

2024 — 152,396 (+1.5%)2019 — 153,237 (-1.1%)
2023 — 150,174 (+1.5%)2018 — 154,958 (+0.3%)
2022 — 148,026 (-1.5%)2017 — 154,535 (+0.2%)
2021 — 150,274 (-1.6%)2016 — 154,195 (+0.9%)
2020 — 152,720 (-0.3%)2015 — 152,794 (+0.9%)

Related Article: The Barcode Celebrates 50 Years of Successful Reading

The Number of Convenience Store Operators

The bulk of C-stores comes from “A-sized” (1-10 stores) operators at 96,156 locations (63.1% of total C-stores). Of these, 91,799 are single-store operators, up slightly from 90,423 stores in 2023. Second are “E-sized” operators with more than 500 stores.

Store SizeStore CountAllocation
A (1-10 stores)96,15663.1% of stores
B (11-50 stores)9,1576.0%
C (51-200 stores)9,0335.9%
D (201-500 stores)5,1863.4%
E (501+ stores)32,86421.6%

Nearly every state increased its store count. Texas continues to have the most convenience stores (16,304 stores), or more than 1 in 10 stores in the United States.

After losing 53 stores in 2023, California added 177 to its store count. Only seven states saw a reduction in their store count: Alaska, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont.
While the C-store industry grew its retail presence in local communities throughout the United States, other brick-and-mortar channels had a different experience:

Channel20242023    % Change
C-stores selling fuels120,061118,6781.2%
Fuels kiosks13,06513,346-2.2%

With the U.S. population at an estimated 336 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is one convenience store per every 2,204 people.

The 2024 NACS/NIQ Convenience Industry Store Count is based on operating stores as of December 31, 2023.