More consumers turning to drug, convenience stores for groceries

WASHINGTON Sources across the country, and in the capital city, have reported that more consumers are shopping at their local convenience stores, such as 7-Eleven, and such drug stores as CVS, to buy grocery staples. In many U.S. regions the ease of location and sometimes better prices are enticing more people to buy everything from canned beans and soups to quarts of milk and fresh fruit—even pancake syrup—at local drug and convenience stores.

In its latest annual report, CVS showed that general merchandise sales—into which grocery sales are folded—accounted for 15 percent of its business. While the drug store chain does not market itself as a grocery store, management does hand-select items according to neighborhood. And, in response to growing demand, CVS has made efforts to expand its selection of staple food items, such as bread and milk, sources have reported.

In many places, reports have stated, the move to convenience and drug shopping for groceries is largely a result of simply having more locations in an area. In the Washington, D.C. region, for example, the Washington Post reported that there were 416 7-Elevens and 190 CVS stores in an area where only 32 Whole Foods grocery stores operated.

The Washington Post over the weekend reported on one 7-Eleven franchise owner in Arlington, Va., who was responding to the trend by stocking his store with basic cooking items such as cooking oil, salt and sugar, to match the demand. More people were coming in for chips, crackers, gallons of milk and budget beers, the Post observed.

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