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There is Life After QuikTrip

When you have to compete against the best in the retail industry, follow best practices to maintain your market share. By Jim Callahan More than a year ago, I received a frantic call from a client informing me that QuikTrip had just been granted a building permit for a new store to be built in

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Make Foodservice Your Q Factor

The convenience store and petroleum industry is as dynamic and diverse as it has ever been. I have been fortunate to have a front row view of the industry’s evolution through the years, first as a young child learning the automotive and fuel industry at my father’s stations in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., then as an

Vertically Integrating Your Brand Message

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc. The concept of vertically integrating your brand message is clearly not new. Companies for years have embraced the concept that if you are going to communicate a brand message, it is best to communicate that same brand message throughout all customer touch points. The

Chasing The Shiny, New (Marketing) Object

By John Matthews is the founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. I admit I like technology. I was one of the first adopters to laptops, mobile phones and social media. I remember joining LinkedIn when it had 3 million users – not the 200 million like it does today. Technology is a blessing

DavidHochman

The Future is Here & Now: Cloud-Based Mobile POS Solutions (and Free Waffles)

By David Hochman, owner of DJH Marketing Communications I recently had the opportunity to attend the BIG Show, aka the NRF Annual Convention & Expo in New York City. The expo is called the BIG Show for a reason. The NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, with members including department store, specialty, discount,

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Stress Factor

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. Management of convenience stores has a tendency to forget about the Stress Factor associated with employee’s job stress, especially the clerks on the front line. The clerks are the ones that customers will accuse of placing the gas dispensers on the wrong side of the customer’s car, making

Job Creation

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc.  Our politicians, along with their followers, usually have one thing they all agree on, “We have to create jobs.”   But actually putting this decree into action is harder than it seems.  A lot of times, we retool our factories so we are more competitive with foreign countries. We

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Making a Great First Impression

Most people will judge you within the first few seconds of meeting you and their opinion will most likely never change. By Jim Callahan. I was in a client store recently and saw a familiar, middle-aged cashier behind the counter that recently began paying a little extra attention to her work appearance. Dressed in the

Tony Huppert

Minimum Wage Dilemma

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I recently received an email from a State Senator highlighting the need to raise the minimum wage. The Senator mentions polls and surveys that support the belief. The problem with polls and surveys, they can be worded to get whatever result is wanted.  OK, on with the minimum

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The Value of a Positive Attitude

The behavior of your employees is contagious. When employees are friendly and outgoing, the entire company will benefit. By Jim Callahan. I have long believed that you do not truly know what a good job is until you have experienced the angst of being forced into a bad position. I have been fortunate in my

Are You Prepared for the Healthcare Challenge?

Quality employees and customer service are the backbone of the convenience store and petroleum industry. All you have to do is observe how top quartile companies treat and respect their personnel to understand what kind of asset frontline employees can be to a successful company. It’s no accident that these operators are outperforming their competitors

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The Florida Experiment

By:  Gerald Donnini, associate, Moffa, Gainor & Sutton, P.A. In most states beer and cigarette distributors are required to report their sales to the state’s alcohol and tobacco division. There are numerous tax and licensing implications that demand these figures be reported to a state’s ABT agency. However, in most states, ABT does not share

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Developing a Sense of Urgency at Retail

From store cleanliness to customer service, all retailers must go above and beyond the call of duty to protect their brand identity.By Jim Callahan. I don’t get upset too often, but I’m usually able to get there pretty quickly when it does happen. And when I do encounter a less-than-positive experience, I always look for

Celebrating Maverik’s Adventure Culture

Maverik Inc. is a convenience store chain that prides itself on serving others, and that’s what helped make Convenience Store Decisions’ 2013 Chain of the Year award dinner in Atlanta so special last month. The Utah company that is so used to making others feel special found itself as the center of attention before nearly

Unleashing Your Inner Networker

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Come on, admit it. You wish you were a better networker. Fear not, it is time to unleash your inner networker. Networking is one part art and one part discipline and while there is more than one way to network, if your networking efforts

Menu Simplification: Maintaining Your Focus

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Foodservice operators have long wrestled with the challenge of balancing the demand for increased menu options by customers with that of menu simplification. While a focus on systems and procedures at quick-service restaurants (QSR’s) still drive most operations, these are often at odds with growing

Launching Your Gift Card Program

By John Matthews, founder and CEO of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Gift cards continue to grow leaps and bounds allowing retailers that have implemented a gift card program for their stores to reap vast benefits. In fact, total spending on gift cards in 2012 nearly reached $30 billion with around two-thirds of all American consumers having

Marketing To Kids

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. “Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave, when they think that their children are naive.”  – Ogden Nash  Children have been marketed to for years. Retail industry titans have recognized that targeting children and winning their loyalty can carry on throughout their entire

The Art of Execution

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Operational excellence is a retail buzzword that often gets glossed over. Retailers talk the talk, but often miss on walking the walk. Operational excellence has a singular focus: the customer. The customer is treated as a privilege, not a right, and their patronage needs

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Getting the Most Out of Your NACS Show Experience

As the convenience store industry descends on Atlanta for the annual NACS expo, retailers of all sizes are advised to attend the educational sessions and walk the show floor for new ideas. By Jim Callahan. This year’s NACS show in Atlanta promises to be the biggest and best ever. In an industry where there is

Building Profits and Relationships

Fresh off another successful National Advisory Group (NAG) conference last month in Nashville, I would like to thank all of the attendees that joined us for two days of outstanding networking, educational sessions and information exchanges. What makes NAG so special is that it is an association driven by retailers for retailers. We are an

Digital Coupons: The Mobile Category

Q & A with Catherine Tabor, CEO, Sparkfly. By: David Hochman, founder of DJH Marketing Communications Inc. According to a recent post on Mashable.com, most consumers who subscribe to a mobile plan from a carrier own a smartphone. In fact, it was way back in March 2012 when the smartphone became the dominant mobile device

The Silent War Against Retail

Within the past six weeks, documents outlining New York City’s secret war against electronic tobacco were leaked to the public. The contents of the documents are hardly surprising given New York’s recent assault on items sold in convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and supermarkets. The documents were leaked by the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

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Evaluating Your Team Members

Frontline employees remain the crucial connection between your brand and your customers. You must have faith that they are representing your company in a positive manner. By Jim Callahan. I read recently that with the improvement in the economy, employee turnover in the convenience store business is back on the rise. This follows a couple

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Preparing to Own Your Own C-Store Business

Making the leap from company employee to c-store owner presents many new challenges, but could also reap exciting rewards—if you are fully prepared. By Jim Callahan. So you have aspirations to build your own convenience store chain? That’s great, but as you move from an executive role into actual ownership, there are many more issues

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