You Are Known by the Company You Keep

The contacts and friends you make in this industry can become lifelong confidants. This one’s personal. As the saying goes, this is not my first rodeo, but amazingly I’ve come through with very few of life’s saddle sores. Now in my 40th year in the industry, I’ve worked for some amazing people, learned many valuable

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Multiculturalism in the Marketplace

With the election of the nation’s first African-American president, the time is right to get a better understanding of our consumer base to make sure we’re meeting their needs. Things have been quite difficult for most Americans this holiday season. There have been thousands upon thousands of job layoffs, though the retail sector has weathered

Appreciate Your Antique Assets

A great source of dedication and experience, seniors can excel throughout the entire organization. Surfing through the TV channels recently, I paused to watch a few minutes of the popular Antiques Road Show program. I was amazed at the value we place on antiques in this country, how they appreciate with time. Indeed, the older

Engaging the Future

Retailers must embrace the many new opportunities offered in the tobacco category.   The current and future tobacco category will present new challenges that retailers will need to embrace if they are to succeed. As each convenience store retailer looks at the future of their tobacco business, there is one thing that is certain and

Talent Management

Embracing the differences that minority candidates offer can help stores attract new customers.   I recently received a thin, white letter with the logo of my employer on it. While I have received many letters and packages from my employer, the thinnest of them all is, for me, the most important of them all. That’s

Bad Times Make for Good Habits

  Making the tough choices on employees and operations can be difficult, but well worth it in the end.     I read a great quote attributed to John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, which said, “The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem, but whether it is

Sticky Choices

Having a tough time deciding which gums and mints to carry? You’re not alone. The amazing number and diversity of new entries in this important category have most convenience store retailers second-guessing the wisdom of their choices. From energy boosts to dietary supplements, gum and mints are now available in a wide variety of formats

Did You Know…

» The first patent for chewing gum was issued in 1869 to Ohio dentist William F. Semple. » In the early 1900s, William Wrigley Jr. was one of the first people to promote a brand to consumers through advertising. His spearmint gum quickly became a best seller. » During World War II, U.S. military personnel

Multiculturalism in the Marketplace…No Myth in C-Stores

A lack of mentors is affecting the advancement of women and minorities to executive positions. Even with the strain of oil prices and the reduction of in-store sales, convenience stores are a booming industry. But it has some work to do to continue reaching a profitable, untapped demographic: women. Women are a full 50% of

The Strategic Role of Chief Diversity Officers

There’s a place at the table in the evolving convenience store industry. By Tonya Brown The issue of diversity and inclusion in corporate America has been a topic of conversation for a long time. First, the issues around the table were about achieving diversity. Then the role of inclusion came to be and the issue

Communication: Not Always a Hard and Fast Rule

Leaders need to modify their thinking and actions in order to truly unleash the human spirit in their store managers. By Tonya Brown Over the last 11 months, I have seen four District Managers (DM) take reign. Now of course, given that this is the retail industry, it was hardly a surprise. They came and

The Store Manager Psyche

The business of inclusion is as important as what’s sold on the shelves. Tonya Brown One might think that the convenience store industry is a microcosm of diversity. One would have to admit that the industry, at least from the lower operations level, would fit this mold. After all, the DNA at the lower level

Convenience Industry Study Outlined at All Candy Expo

Three industry associations are partnering on a groundbreaking research effort to identify more effective and profitable opportunities in confections. Details of the study, which was spearheaded by The Hershey Co. and Eby-Brown, were announced at a press conference at the All Candy Expo Wednesday in Chicago. The study is intended to help generate increased sales

Steppin’ into Spring and Springing into Summerby Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

I recently read a great quote attributed to a one time door-to-door sales person and lately more recognizable as founder of the billion-dollar company that bears her name, Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay Ash said, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as

Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive!by Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive! Staying Alive is both the title of an old disco tune, as well as a description of the challenge that today’s c-store operators face. C-store growth in numbers as well as quality continues unabated. I certainly don’t have all the answers about staying relevant, but I have some very interesting

Industry Takes Action Against Native Americans in N.Y.

For more than 20 years New York governors refused to protect legitimate convenience store owners from the tax-free sales of gasoline and tobacco by Native Americans. Now they’ll have to answer for their inaction. New York State Assemblyman David Townsend joined convenience store operators in New York in announcing legal action to compel the Spitzer

Negotiation Practices for Small C-Store Chainsby Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

The sweet science of obtaining a better deal than was offered! To compete with the big chains more effectively, you’ve got to be able to buy better, which is obviously much more difficult for a smaller chain, even more so for the single store operator. But in reality it’s much easier than you might think

Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

Anyone who’s ever tried to satisfy an urge to snack with a bag of salty chips knows that you have to have a drink to do it right.  That, of course, is the basis of cross-marketing: linking the desire for one product to a perceived need for another—and offering customers cost-saving deals that combine their

Making a Mountain Out Of — Fountain by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions

In my usual rush, I found myself in a long, but swiftly moving line at a fast-food restaurant recently. Having nothing better to do, I did a little observing and confirmed what I really already knew, but had just never taken the time to place in proper perspective.More…

Top Shelf by CSD Editor John Lofstock

Welcome! After many, many hours of research and development and countless hours in organizational meetings, we are proud to launch the redesigned CSDecisions.com. To say developing this site was a team effort would be an understatement. This site is the culmination of the wonderful combined efforts of CSD’s staff editors and the brilliance of our

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