A convenience store is a small store typically selling soft drinks, lottery tickets, newspapers, candy, ice cream, maps, beer, prepackaged foods like sandwiches and frozen burritoss, shaving cream and other hygiene products. Many gas stations now also operate convenience stores, often converting their service areas from auto repair to retail. In addition, some convenience stores supplement their businesses by operating gas stations, often selling gasoline at lower prices to lure in customers. Train stations also often have a convenience store.
Prices in a convenience store are typically higher than at a supermarket, mass merchandise store (e.g. Wal-Mart), or auto supply store; in the United States, the stores will sometimes be the only stores near an interstate highway exit where drivers can buy any kind of food.
Most of the profit margin from these stores comes from beer, liquor, and cigarettes. Many of these stores in the United States are owned by ethnic Indians, to the degree that an Indian owner of a convenience store has become a stock character (see Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, a character in The Simpsons). In some urban areas, ethnic Koreans are also active in owning convenience stores.
Convenience stores are similar but not identical to Australian milk bars.
List of convenience stores:
- Albert Heijn at train stations in the Netherlands (in addition to normal supermarkets elsewhere)
- Beckers Milk
- Circle K
- Cumberland Farms
- Macs Milk
- Royal Farm
- Wizzle at train stations in the Netherlands, also selling train tickets (they are typically at small stations which have no separate ticket window or counter)