The Times They are a Changin’

So wrote the poet Bob Dylan!

You may very well have a nice, clean, well merchandised Convenience Store and still not be doing the amount of business required. Just in case you missed the memo, the days of depending on Customers automatically coming to your nice store are over! Like Hansel and Gretel, the most successful business operators are finding a way to “leave a trail of Gingerbread”, leading directly back to your store(s).

Here are some battle proven strategies to assist you in your quest to improve traffic counts and sales.

  • We require all stores to bring fresh Pastry product samples to neighboring businesses within a 2.5 mile radius (banks, medical buildings, real estate, State or County offices and hotels) – two per day – 5 days a week. Recipients are thrilled – spend just a minute or two telling your stores story and leave a business card – IMPORTANT: Ask for their business!
  • Construction sites are a great, untapped natural resource – try leaving coupons for a FREE BAG OF ICE and watch entire work crews start showing up at your store. The cost of a bag of ice is quite inexpensive, especially if you bag your own. Conversely, the bottled water, Gatorade, Salty Snacks, and Hot dogs that they buy are all large gross profit items. Additionally, that pack of Smokes they’ll buy is frosting on your cake!
  • Car Washes provide yet another great “Road Show Opportunity!” Car Washes are for the most part, a major point of differentiation between you and most of your major competition – use it to your advantage. Instead of depending entirely on your gas pumps and Cashiers to do the job, consider taking $2, $3, or ½ price top of the line Car Wash discount Coupons to nearby Hotels, Apartment complexes and other businesses. Make a deal with a new or used Car Dealer to provide a free car wash coupon for every car sold – stats show that new car buyers wash their vehicles much more often. Capture that business for your location.
  • Consider running small coupon offers in your local Newspaper or Penny Saver. We’ve had tremendous success bringing in new faces with $2.00 off Gas Coupons (with an 8 gallon purchase). In this day and age, when customers seem willing to drive cross country to save 1 penny a gallon, we redeem as many as 50 gas coupons per day! ½ price Car Wash coupons are also quite effective.

Here’s the point – those who sit back waiting for new customers to “Storm the Palace”: are not in tune with the times – Be your stores knight in shining armor!

Jim Callahan, Partner
Convenience Store Solutions
Jfcallahan502@msn.com

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