Lucrative things are afoot at the Circle K: why we (still) pay for convenience

By now, we've heard all the advice about weathering the recession. And by many measures, the message seems to have sunk in: Americans are weaning themselves off their credit cards and increasing the amount of money they save. All this progress is well and good, but it also begs the question: Why on earth are we still hooked on convenience stores?

Convenience stores are known for marking up the products they sell; you're paying, after all, for a quick transaction as well as a product. One would think this would be enough to deter frugal-minded shoppers. But despite the recession, the exact opposite seems to be happening: convenience stores are going gangbusters.