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.

Finding solutions for these challenging issues is the goal of the National Advisory Group (NAG). NAG is an association of small to mid-size chains and the executives that run them. This group convenes at an annual conference to exchange ideas with the motivation to improve their business performance and ultimately their bottom line.

The setting of this conference encourages an extremely educational, yet highly social, environment. The schedule consists of top notch speakers, retailer information exchanges, opportunities to address the burning issues within your business, and a chance to get to know your peers in similar size operations.

This year we are heading to the luxurious Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in the heart of the Savannah River District. NAG will also feature a tour of convenience stores that will offer a unique look at operations in Savannah. Scheduled stops on the tour include Parker’s Convenience Stores, Parker’s Markets, Flash Foods and Enmark Stations.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the NAG board, which has been instrumental in developing the conference’s content. The board is led by President David Johnson, vice president of operations for Toot’n Totum in Amarillo, Texas.

Other board members include:
• Mary Banmiller, Warrenton Oil, in Truesdale, Mo.
• Rick Hamilton, TriStar Energy/Daily’s, Nashville
• Bill Kent, Kent Oil, Midland, Texas
• Jimmy McCarthy, Tom Thumb Stores, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
• Becky Shotwell, Stop N Go, Medina, Ohio
• Peter Tamburro, Nice N Easy, Canastota, N.Y.
• Bill Weigel, Weigel Stores, Powell, Tenn.

We are more excited than ever about NAG and its leadership and hope you will join us at this premier industry event. For more information visit www.nagconvenience.com.

Extreme Makeover
In addition to developing an event that serves the entire industry, CSD is also helping retailers find solutions for unique business challenges one chain at a time. This month we’re proud to report that Tom Thumb Food Stores of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has won Convenience Store Decisions’ extreme marketing makeover contest.

More than 65 entries were submitted from companies throughout the country and as far away as Japan.
During the coming months, Convenience Store Decisions will report on the strategic planning and brand development processes that are employed to strengthen Tom Thumb’s market position. CSD will provide readers with an insider’s view of how c-store consulting firm, Convevo Partners, evaluates a company’s current operations, examines the market forces in which it competes and leads the creation of a new business strategy tailored to the marketer’s competitive landscape.

CSD will also examine the salient points of brand development by chronicling the execution of how the Ohio-based design firm Integrates and deploys its three-step branding process: investigation, imagination and implementation.The investigation stage will include a brand audit, store visits and a brand strategy workshop. In the imagination phase, Tom Thumb will be presented with brand concepts from which to choose. The selected concept will be refined and presented for feedback and final approval.

As part of a partnership with NACS, CSD, Tom Thumb, Convevo Partners and Integrate will detail the makeover process during a NACS Show workshop in Chicago on Oct. 2.

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