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How Corner Stores Are Crucial in Underserved Communities

SurgePays chart

The perception of neighborhood grocery stores as both a hub and heart of communities – especially underserved communities – was affirmed in a recent survey. According to insights from technology and telecommunications company SurgePays, Inc., an overwhelming 94% of consumers say that their local independent grocery, c-store or bodega is important to their friends and neighbors.

It’s a fairly even split on the degree of importance. About a third (34%) of survey respondents said that nearby indie locations are very important, while another 34% said they are somewhat important and 26% said those retailers are extremely important.

The results speak to the important role of local grocers in underserved neighborhoods. SurgePays, which provides mobile broadband to low-income consumers and works with corner stores to become tech hubs for underbanked areas, enlisted its survey firm to oversample for adults with a household income under $25,000 and without bank accounts or credit cards.

SurgePays’ survey also found that consumers in underbanked and underserved areas are twice as likely to go to a nearby c-store almost every day (14%) compared to the general population. More than a third take part in SNAP. As for what they are buying, the survey revealed that top categories are snack food (71%), coffee/beverages (50%) everyday foods and meals (48%), milk (47%) and lottery tickets (32%).

Shopping is a personal experience for those who frequent corner stores. The poll shows that 37% of customers who patronize nearby independently-owned or operated c-stores say they know the name of their favorite clerk or owner.

Article credit: Progressive Grocer

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