Retailers can use the general merchandise category to generate interest and surprise customers.
Picture a c-store with displays near the front entrance that change with the seasons. In the winter, stocking hats, ice scrapers and hand warmers hug the front window. In the summer, sunglasses, sun hats and sunscreen beckon shoppers to stock up and stay cool in the heat. Items that change with the seasons have seen growth within the general merchandise category, according to Jayme Gough, NACS research analyst. “However, overall general merchandise sales are way down as needs for COVID-specific safety products like sanitizer, gloves and masks continue to decrease.”