Lesson Transcript

Hi Everyone.
Today we will be talking about every day American culture. Specifically, we're gonna talk about convenience stores.
Convenience stores are small retail shops that sell a wide variety of goods. They sell everything from food and drinks, to snacks, accessories, car maintenance tools, and other things.
The united states have over 150,000 convenience stores around the country. The largest is the 7-11 franchise.
America has a huge driving culture and it is very normal to use your car to commute everywhere. This requires American cities and highways to have gas stations everywhere. These stores are usually open 24/7, or 24 hours a day for 7 days a week, for late night drivers to use.
Convenience stores in the United States might not be what you are used to in your own country. These stores are usually paired with gasoline stands, and so you can't usually find a convenience store without a gas pump.
Because of this conveniences stores are often found on major roads sides or highways. They are not usually located in the middle of downtown areas or residential neighborhoods. It is very uncommon to see people walking to go to a convenience store since they are not easy to access without a car. The best way to go to a convenience store in the states is to drive there.
The main source of revenue for conveniences stores in the united states is gasoline. About 96 percent of an average convenience store’s income comes from gasoline sales
While the rest of the revenue comes from the goods sold inside the stores.
You can find a multitude of quick and easy snacks, drinks, and car supplies.
Let's take a look at some of the food you can expect to find at a typical American convenience store.
First of all, you can find a huge section of candy, snacks, and various hot food. People spent 25 million dollars in 2017 on prepared food in convenience stores. But, these snacks are not the most nutritious selection. A lot of the foods offered at convenience stores are aimed for people who need to eat while on the go. Its hard to eat a salad while driving. But a bag of potato chips and energy drink are a perfect combination for making a long late night drive.
While these might not be the healthiest they sure are tasty.
Some classic American convenience store foods that you can always find are slim jim sausages, pre-made cakes and pastries, bags of potato chips, and any candy bar you might want.
There are some things you can only find in convenience stores in America. This includes local favorites like boiled peanuts in the southern parts of America, or freshly delivered Krispy Kreme donuts. Each store also has its own specialty items. 7-11 has its famous Slurpee, and the large chain Wawa is known for its coffee.
While hot foods or full meals are not a major specialty at a convenience store in the USA they are available. These don't have the best reputation though. It is pretty common to find a selection of hotdogs or microwave sandwiches that customers heat up themselves and eat on the go. But the problem with this is that most of the time these food are not food fresh. It is likely that these items have been sitting out all day. There is usually no place to sit down and eat inside a convenience store since the main goal of these shops is to be a quick stop for people driving.
There are other sections you can expect to find in an American convenience store. These include car supplies, accessories, lotto cards,, and the ice cream freezer.
Convenience stores in America accept both credit cards and cash payments. The gas pumps at most convenience stores also accept credit cards directly at the pump. This way customers don't need to even go inside the store to pay. But if you do need to use cash to pay for gas at a convenience store it is common to use the phrase "20 dollars on pump #4" This means that the customer would like to pre-pay 20 dollars of gas at pump number 4. So you can use cash to do this, or you can use a credit card.
So how do American Convenience Stores compare to convenience stores in your country? What's similar, what's different? And is there anything else you'd like to know about American culture? Let us know in the comments.
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