JohnMatthews

Productivity: Motivating Employees

By John Matthews, president and founder of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker, but of the manager.” – Peter Drucker. I remember my first managerial job in retail foodservice.  The year was 1987, and I was a manager trainee for Little Caesars Pizza.  I had just

JohnMatthews

LinkedIn – The Power of Networking

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. With the introduction of social media in the last five or so years, networking and expanding your relevancy in your community has never been more productive.  Unlike most advertising and media, social media enables you to create a two-way communication with your network contacts

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Maximizing A Convention

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Whether this is your first industry convention or you are a seasoned pro, I am a firm believer that establishing a well-thought out plan in advance of attending an industry convention is key for maximizing results.  Many conventions can be daunting with thousands of

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The ABC’s of ASPC

Understanding average sales per customer can stop employee theft in its tracks. By Jim Callahan. Human resources guru Mel Kleiman preaches that 20% of employees are basically honest, 20% are basically dishonest and the rest tend to gravitate toward the middle—depending on how management handles the dishonest employees. The following is designed to identify and

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NAG: You Will Be Glad You Came

By John Petersen, Publisher. As we got on the shuttle to head back to the airport leaving the 2010 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference in Charleston, S.C., I asked one of the retail attendees if he was satisfied with the event. The response was more than I could have hoped for. “Why don’t y’all do

Saluting the Thorntons Team

By John Lofstock, Editor. August is typically one of my favorite issues of the year because it gives us here at Convenience Store Decisions an opportunity to give something back to the industry for its tremendous support throughout the year. In August we announce our annual Convenience Store Chain of the Year, and this year

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Is Groupon Right for Your Business?

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.

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What’s On Your Customer’s C-Store Shopping List?

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

JohnMatthews

Branded vs. Proprietary Foodservice

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

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Facebook Marketing for Convenience Stores

Convenience store chains, like most retailers, pay close attention to transaction counts and sales per customer. Until recently, getting to know your customers as individuals might have seemed costly and out of reach for all but the largest of companies. Having the opportunity to communicate with your customers and getting to know their friends and

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What’s your turnover rate?

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

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Getting The Most From Teams

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

JohnMatthews

Local Store Marketing for Retailers

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

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

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

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Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow

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

Domenic Rinaldi

Considerations for Selling a Distressed Business

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

While some stores may be facing overcrowding, examining the facility with a critical eye and objectivity can help you find a new solution to an existing problem.

Keeping Your Cool in Turbulent Times

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

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Sign Says: Please Watch For Text Messagers

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

Applauding Industry Leaders

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.

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It’s All About the Brand

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

Health Insurance

Health Insurance – The Cost of Complacency

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

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Tackling The Property Cost Segregation Depreciation Method

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

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Smart Phone Payments Are Coming

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

Serving the Industry

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.

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What Wal-Mart’s New C-Stores Mean for the Industry

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

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