A growing debate continues as to whether Groupon, and other daily deal sites like Living Socialare good for businesses or are they a quick-fix marketing solution in a sluggish economy yielding short-lived, expensive, false hope. While the jury is still out, there is no debating that the daily deal phenomenon continues to grow in popularity.
By: Jeff Weghorst, director of merchandising at dunnhumbyUSA One of the primary drivers behind a customer’s willingness to transact with a retailer is product selection. If a customer does not encounter an appealing assortment of products in-store, they are highly unlikely to engage even once with the retailer, and much less likely to become a
The debate has gone on for many years–should you implement an existing branded foodservice program or are you better off developing your own unique proprietary brand? The answer to both is YES! There is no right or wrong answer as both have their pros and cons. Branded foodservice offers the quickest path to implementation since
Turnover can be very costly, yet it is often overlooked or poorly measured by many convenience store retailers. Studies peg the cost of replacing one c-store employee can be $1,500 or more and that ignores the opportunity cost from increased sales resulting from a well trained, stable, customer focused work force. Many chains are
Sometimes it makes a lot of sense to have a cross functional work team established to tackle business challenges or drive operational improvement in current processes. Other times it is better to assign the task to an individual or to a group with a clearly defined leader. Cross functional teams provide the added benefit of brining
By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc., www.graycatenterprises.com. In today’s tough economy, the fight for share-of-customer by retail stores to effectively capture sales has never been fiercer. Retail stores that sit back and wait for the economy to improve will have a very long road to recovery. Aggressive retailers that go
There was a time in the convenience store industry when being a great marketer was enough to have a successful business. Unfortunately, being a successful convenience store retailer these days means that not only do you have to outperform your competition, but you must also satisfy federal regulators. The convenience store industry is used to
Training employees to accept responsibility when they stumble will help groom the next generation of industry executives. By Jim Callahan. My wife called me one morning this week with a quote that gave us both pause to stop and think: “When you stumble, make it part of the dance.” I took some time to analyze
By Domenic Rinaldi, Chicagoland Sunbelt. In a perfect world, businesses would only be sold when they are healthy and attractive to buyers. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and trying to market a business as an appealing acquisition while the business is in decline can be difficult. However, it’s not impossible. Here are some
In order to change the outcome of a situation that plagues your operation, the quickest way to empower yourself is to take action as soon as possible. By Jim Callahan. Since the recession of 2009 hit, it has taken the skills of a tightrope walker to navigate the treacherous economic pitfalls to stay profitable. For
By: Lance Winslow The other day, I went to go buy some gas for my little red sports car down at the local gas station. It’s one of those really cool new c-stores with all the bells and whistles, trimmings and a car wash. As I was there, unfortunately the credit card reading machine wasn’t
By: John Lofstock, Editor. “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Those words are about as chilling to convenience store retailers as Navy SEAL Team 6 is to terrorists. But this is the new reality for all marketers of tobacco. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants convenience store retailers to think otherwise.
Top retailers in any category understand the importance of their brand, their brand promise and how they deliver on that promise. They understand that given a choice, consumers would rather spend their money with retail brands they know, like and trust. So how recognizable is your c-store brand and what is it that you promise
The cost of health insurance continues to rise. The government knows it’s broken and is trying to fix it, but how likely are they to create an affordable solution? The conventional approach of bidding out your plan directly or through brokers to multiple carriers is no longer the sole solution to this dilemma. More and
By Lance Winslow Have you considered doing a complete analysis of your commercial property to determine whether each component has been placed in the correct asset category to maximize depreciation? Applying the Cost Segregation Depreciation Method utilizing an on-site engineering-based study to accomplish this objective can ensure that property, renovations, and improvements are put into
Is your c-store mobile smart phone payment enabled yet? The game is changing and your cheese is about to be stolen—again! Boy, it sure has been a rough couple of years in the industry, and now that I think about it, the last three years have been rather tough for a good many sectors in
There is more pressure than ever on convenience store chains to not only exceed customers’ expectations, but to stay ahead of the competition, navigate legislative issues and still be good corporate citizens in the communities they serve. This doesn’t even take into account managing operations, training employees and developing a strategy to grow the business.
By Lance Winslow It appears that Wal-Mart plans on setting up hundreds of convenience stores in the near future, and many of these will be completed before 2012. Why is Wal-Mart getting into the c-store business, you wonder? Well, consider if you will that at many of its superstores the company also sells fuel, and
By: Lance Winslow. We all know that well lit c-stores attract more clientele at night. Folks, especially women feel safer in a well lit environment. Indeed, studies and surveys show that it is actually safer, and humans seem to inherently know this. Perhaps, the reasoning has to do with the basic “crime triangle” – that
Building a convenience store requires a great deal of planning. Operators are urged to examine all of their options before making their next big investment. By: Jim Callahan Thinking of building a new store? Well, I’ve got some thoughts and opinions to help you focus on making a wise investment. In these trying times few
By: John Lofstock, Editor. After a years-long struggle to get some much-needed relief from the high interchange fees that are eroding the industry’s profitability, convenience store operators are in danger of seeing the victory slip between their hands. The Durbin amendment to the Dodd-Frank Consumer Financial Protection Act, which is set to be finalized April
By: John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience Store Decisions‘ annual Category Management Outlook issue is routinely one of my favorite issues of the year because it gives the CSD staff an opportunity not only to analyze the industry’s performance over the past 12 months, but to forecast the sales trends retailers can expect to see over the
We all know that customer service, bright lights and a clean store drive business, yet many stores are not getting the message. By Jim Callahan. Last month I took a close look at making the outside appearance of our convenience stores attractive enough to entice consumers to want to enter our stores and spend more