The convenience store takes its name from its purpose and the products normally carried in stock. A convenience store can be a stand-alone store but is often part of a gas station, making it convenient for customers to purchase items while filling their vehicles with gas. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce, small convenience stores should ideally stock 2,800 to 3,200 items in as many as to 400 categories.
Eggs and Dairy Products
Many convenience stores stock basic dairy items, such as milk, butter. cottage cheese, sour cream and other cheese products. There will not typically be a wide range of brands on hand. Milk sizes will likely include pint, half-gallon and gallon sizes. Cheese products are often shredded. Eggs are also found in many convenience stores. Some convenience stores will also carry half and half or heavy cream.
Many convenience stores carry a range of over-the-counter medications that include aspirin, cough medicine, lip balm, sinus medication and throat lozenges. Sizes of these products vary. Sometimes there will be single doses of aspirin or other pain-relief medications available at the counter, but the store also may carry large sizes.
Dry and Canned Goods
Most convenience stores carry a range of bread products, including loaves of bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, and dinner rolls. There will typically be one or two brands on hand at most. Limited canned goods, such as soup, common vegetables, canned meat, chili and stew may also be found on convenience store shelves. Dry good items include limited bagged pasta and beans. Pickles, relish, catsup, mustard and mayonnaise are also stocked on convenience store shelves.
According to the Illinois Department of Commerce, "Convenience stores generally do not stock fresh meats or produce when located in a community with an independent grocer." This includes steaks, chops and chicken. You are more likely to find a wide range of lunch meats that include bologna, ham, pickle loaf and salami. Some convenience stores may also carry summer sausage products as well.
Convenience stores will typically carry juices, cold and warm soda, coffee and energy drinks, and a range of alcoholic beverages that include several brands of beer and wine, if permitted by state and local laws.
Sweets and Snacks
Many convenience stores devote an entire section of the store to a range of candy products, both in single servings and bulk, chips, dried meat snacks, chewing gum canned puddings and sweet cakes. You will also find a variety of nuts as well. Some convenience stores may offer prepared sandwiches, pickles, nachos, fountain drinks and snacks designed to appeal to customers who visit the store hungry.
Tobacco products, batteries, foam coolers, plastic gas cans, flashlights, candles, windshield cleaners and cleaning fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil are some of the additional items that may be found in a convenience store because they are products consumers may need in an emergency or impulsively purchase because they happen to be in the store.