Are You Ready for the Summer?

The warm months are almost here. It’s time to prepare for customers who are looking to spend dollars. By the time you read this, there will be less than four weeks before Memorial Day, which also kicks off the summer season. Those who own and operate convenience stores hope it’s the beginning of a long,

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Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC Lately, I have been looking for new ideas regarding analyzing the millions of records we have accumulated over the past 13 years. You can find yourself lost in analysis if you are not careful. However, there is something about it that intrigues me. Assumptions have the propensity of becoming

Heroes Aren’t Who They Used to Be

The faces of acclaimed Americans have been replaced by some who aren’t so recognizable, but are heroic nevertheless. By Jim Callahan I saw the recent presidential debates and I’m left very troubled, with an emptiness and fear for our country. I watch as Republicans and Democrats hurl insults, spout half-truths, and make outlandish accusations and

Labor and the C-Store Abstract

Hourly wages are a growing part of doing business in the convenience store industry. By Fran Duskiewicz In the 30 years that I worked for Nice N Easy, I never had a true job description—many job titles, but no job description. I asked once if I should have one and was told, “your job description

Forecasting? What’s That?

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport Convenience store operators tend to live in the present—How much will I sell today, this week, this month, this year—and put little or no effort in forecasting. Forecasting is easy, IF you have the tools to do it. Forecasting may consists of multiple systems addressing multiple objectives. For example, merchandise planning,

Ignorance Versus Intolerance

By Tony Huppert, CEO of Team Oil Inc. I wonder sometimes if some economists and politicians actually listen to themselves. California had a referendum to get the public’s opinion on raising the minimum wage to $15. Putting that question on a ballot is like asking politicians if they want a raise, oh wait, they do vote

What to Know About Sale-Leasebacks

A recent lease accounting rule change provides a new financing wrinkle for retailers. By Mark Radosevich Fifteen years ago, I worked as a deal originator for a Lehman Brothers entity focused on the sale-leaseback (SLB) as an alternative to traditional debt financing for retail petroleum acquisitions. Some of the advantages of an SLB that we

1st Quarter 2016 Top 100

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport Taking a sampling of 8,806 unique items in 29 convenience stores in Mississippi, we have come up with the top best selling items during the 1st quarter of 2016. These are the items you absolutely must have in your stores if you want to improve your sales. Geographical locations taken

The Key To Successful Sales

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC In the 1960s, I was fortunate enough to have worked for the L.M. Berry company, a well-known telephone directory advertising business. They had an excellent sales school that I was required to attend before I became active in the sales process. I was a pretty good salesman before joining

The Pressures Facing Family Businesses

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Decisions According to the Small Business Administration, family businesses comprise 90% of all business enterprises in North America, and 62% of the U.S. employment. Yet, only a third of these businesses make it to the second generation, 12% to the third generation, and only 3% are a fourth-generation entity.

Supply Chain Dynamics to Retail Fuel Prices

By Brian Milne, Editor, Schneider Electric A 10-year seasonal analysis of crude net inputs at U.S. refineries using federal data finds the year-ended in late March was consistently the most robust, peaking in late July 2015 at 17.075 million barrels per day, which was more than 4% higher than the comparable year-ago period. The expanded throughput

Developing Employees at Roadrunner Markets

One convenience store chain shares its story on how it transformed its employee pool into a deep resource. By David Hite Roadrunner Markets, part of Mountain Empire Oil Co., is a 92-location convenience store chain located in the Appalachian region comprising southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina. We have more than 700 employees,

What Is Employee Engagement Anyway?

By Mel Kleiman, founder, Humetrics Many pollsters regularly measure and report on employee engagement. Gallup does so regularly. Their latest numbers show: “The slightly improved level of employee engagement that persisted in the U.S. workforce in 2015 continued in January. Nearly one-third of workers last month — 32.5% — were engaged in their jobs. Employee

How To Attract More Job Applicants

By Mel Kleiman, founder Humetrics When it comes to getting potential employee referrals, use all of your connections — present employees, vendors and customers. And don’t overlook your business and social networks. Go through your contact database and identify everyone who may know someone like the person you want to hire. Send them an email

Vendor Managed Inventory Cuts Delivery Costs By 50% (Or More)

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC The low fuel costs of late have been a godsend for many suppliers, but it’s only a temporary respite, which will end as soon as fuel prices start rising again. While the experts keep touting the tremendous savings to be received from the supply chain, they mostly ignore the

Behavioral Products, a New Science In Retailing

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC Recently, my friend Mel Haynes Sr. and I have been having conversations regarding how products can affect behavior in retail. I will call these ‘Behavioral Products.’ I have often said that all products are interlinked with every other product in one way or another. Sometimes the link is glaringly

Manager Profiling Made Easy

It takes experience to identify certain managerial styles, and a strong will to overcome them. By Fran Duskiewicz One mistake newly promoted supervisors often make is believing that they can change managers who might have some issues in management style. Sometimes, with added responsibility and power, they approach dealing with these issues in a rather

Innovative Shopping Mall: A Selling & Buying Experience

By Ed Collupy, executive consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group There was a long line when I ordered my coffee at the airport, but it moved pretty well. I placed my order, paid cash and proceeded to the pickup area. The baristas prepared a variety of drinks, placing them in a random fashion on the counter as

A Closer Look At The Biodiesel Production Process

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. I know there are still questions about the quality of biodiesel, at least in some corners of the fuel, fleet and c-store industries. I also know that those concerns are largely based on misconceptions. This is, after all, the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel to be produced on a

Analyzing Inventory Can Be a Blast!

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC WE ALL KNOW that beer sells better on a hot weekend, don’t we? And sticky-buns sell better in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. Depending on your area, Coca Cola 16 ounce may be the best seller, and Marlboro Light 100’s — you can’t keep enough of

January/February Comparison Sales Based on Sales From 33 C-Stores in Southern Mississippi

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC Sales comparisons are in for the previous two months. Not a lot of surprises in February. ‘Pall Mall Blue 100 .50 Off Deal’ dropped off the Top 100 List this month after showing a strong showing in the previous month; however Pall Mall Blue 100 HP did well, jumping up

Turns * Margin = Profit

By Bill Scott, President, StoreReport LLC One of my favorite sales stories is the one about the new salesman that was constantly nagged by his superior to make more sales calls. On his first day, he made five sales calls and was told that if he wanted to make it in the company, he would

Vote Your Industry This Election

This year’s political election is one race that c-store members can influence for the betterment of the industry. By Jim Callahan It’s election year and certainly this time around it’s critically important that each and every one of us get invested and involved in the industry that provides our livelihood—if you’re not actively involved already.

Priority = Do the Right Thing

By Ed Collupy, executive consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group Over the years I’ve always had a book or two on my desk at work and near my comfy spot at home. Some I started and put aside, others I read in a couple of days, but many took time to get through. I read to

RBOB Futures Steps on the Gas in Ushering in March

By Brian Milne, Editor, Schneider Electric Bullish seasonal features are now the driving force in the U.S. gasoline market, and speculators have already positioned for the price advance off February lows, with those lows likely to endure for several weeks. Considering the calendar, the lows plumbed in February might very well persist through 2016 and the

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