When Counting the Human Cost

In the middle of June, I traveled to central New York. I hadn’t been back since I relocated to Naples, Fla. more than a year ago. There were a number of reasons for the visit, most of them prosaic, but what was very much center of mind for me was checking on the feelings of

Share

Employee Recruiting: Are All Your Doors Open?

by Mel Kleiman, founder of Humetrics With unemployment at record lows, making your jobs easy to apply for has never been more important. When jobseekers have their choice of employers, most will take the path of least resistance. If you don’t have all of the “doors” that could gain entrance to your hiring system open,

Share

Why They Don’t Show Up for the Interview

Don’t forget your sales pitch when you plan your pre-screening interview questions. by Mel Kleiman, founder, Humetrics Below is the telephone pre-screen list one of my clients uses for frontline, hourly employees. Now, if you were the applicant and someone called you, asked you all those questions, and then invited you to come in for

Share

May-June 2017 Comparisons

Top seven items continue their reign for second month. By Bill Scott I was somewhat shocked when I first loaded the results from my research for May and June. Looking at the table, I first thought I had mistakenly loaded the same file from May to accumulate the June figures, as there were no changes

Share

Retail is Changing Faster Than the Speed of Thought

By Bill Scott IT’S A FACT! Everyone does not need a university degree. In fact, pushing our kids into colleges could be a huge mistake. Not only that. In some cases, higher education can backfire on you. Sometimes I think education focuses too much on the past, and the past doesn’t last as long as

Share

I HAVE A PLAN!

By Bill Scott “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu – The Art of War MY PLAN may not be as good as your plan. But at the least, it IS a plan. A plan established after four decades of

Share

NAG to Honor Friend, Mentor Bill Kent

Building relationships is a fundamental principle for succeeding in business. The convenience store industry is certainly no exception. Trust, appreciation, compassion and shared experiences are the backbone of countless industry friendships that span decades and, in some cases, generations of family leadership. These relationships are extremely important to the National Advisory Group (NAG) and our

Share

No Excuses for Poor Performance

Everybody makes mistakes. One of the important things to teach your workers is that not only do too many excuses erode the trust factor, they highlight a bigger issue when those employees refuse to own up to their mistakes. By Jim Callahan We’ve all heard the old saying: “You’re only as good as your weakest

Share

Leadership and Employee Relationships

The convenience store industry will always be a people business. For many years that meant putting the customer first, rightfully so it seemed, since they were the ones spending money. But gradually over the past decade the top quartile convenience store chains realized the value they had in their people and that began a fundamental

Share

Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood

Pressing mandates involving tobacco products aren’t just playing at the federal and state levels anymore. Increasingly, local ordinances are having a direct impact on tobacco sales within the convenience store channel. By Mary Szarmach When Convenience Store Decisions asked me to write an article about state and local issues regarding tobacco products, I wasn’t quite

Share

Smokeless Makes a Comeback

A recent manufacturer’s recall of several popular smokeless brands produced some unexpected benefits for retailers. By Andrea Myers The last time there was so much chatter in the industry about smokeless tobacco was when the two largest American cigarette manufacturers acquired the two largest American smokeless companies. Those were exciting times. On Jan. 31, 2017,

Share

Click & Mortar

Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition shows brick-and-mortar and online retailing can help strengthen each other when brought together. By Ed Collupy With what seems like the click of the mouse, Amazon has made its entry into the physical retail store world with its planned acquisition of Whole Foods. This didn’t come as a big surprise to

Share

Focus on Category Opportunities

Despite constant pressure from regulatory bodies, there’s still enough potential in tobacco for c-stores to grow sales. By Don Burke The onslaught of tobacco regulations, increased age restriction legislation and higher taxation in many areas is creating quite a bit of concern among convenience retailers. This is understandable as tobacco products continue to deliver more

Share

Crafting a Public Relations Plan

Connecting with customers in ways that develop trust in your brand and goodwill within the community is a vital strategy to your business. By Jim Callahan One of the most important and often overlooked parts of being in business is the need to let customers and prospective customers know who you are but, more importantly,

Share

New York Retailers Under Siege

NYACS, retailers, distributors and manufacturers are working together to neutralize local tobacco regulations that impede retailers in doing business. By Jim Calvin With mounting intensity, localized attacks on the tobacco category are spreading like wildfire across New York. In the past six months alone, three more upstate counties and two large Long Island towns have

Share

Brick & Mortar Mentality In A Virtual World

By Bill Scott There’s a scene in the movie OPM with Danny DeVito that is one my favorite scenes among all the movies I have seen. In the movie, DeVito (Larry the Liquidator) makes a speech about getting an increasing share of a shrinking market and how it inevitably leads to a business “going down

Share

Renewable Fuel Helps C-Stores Stay on Top of the Sustainability Trend

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. If it seems like the sustainability trend is everywhere, that’s because it is. Walmart recently launched Project Gigaton, with a stated goal of reducing emissions in its supply chain by 1 gigaton by 2030. The Hershey Company is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which select companies based

Share

The Melee At Dickerson’s Stop & Go

By Bill Scott Joe and I stared in amazement as the drama played out right before our eyes. Normally, the little convenience store where Barrett Williams’ bought his daily pack of Marlboro’s was calm and serene; but Marcus Ledbetter had mentioned something about Barrett’s kids, and Barrett made disparaging remarks about Marcus’ hunting dogs, and the

Share

The Most Effective Way of Stopping Employee Theft

By Bill Scott I am in complete agreement with Karen Page’s excellent contribution, “Loss Prevention in Retail – What can you do about it?” In addition to Karen’s excellent points, I also would like to add that using the advantage of a liberal dose of paranoia can lessen employee theft even more, if they feel

Share

Moving Forward With Payment Technology

As EMV implementation wraps up, retailers must consider where mobile payment solutions are headed. By Ed Collupy The baseball season is in full swing and I’m reminded as I continue to think about card payments in the petro/convenience store industry of the quote from the great Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” And

Share

Bottlenecks and Hidden Treasures

Sometimes the best workplace resources are already on your staff. By Fran Duskiewicz A friend of mine is a retired registered nurse who speaks fluent Spanish. This makes him worth his not inconsiderable weight in gold here in southwest Florida. He recently took on a part-time job at a major medical facility just to keep

Share

March/April 2016 Comparison Are In

By Bill Scott All I can say is WOW! Looks like a Black & Mild Special hit a home run with their recent addition of BLACK & MILD three packs. These cigarillos seem to have hit the convenience store market by storm, jumping up 563 positions to No. 94 on our Top 100 list. Black

Share

Are Convenience Stores The Next Retail Bonanza?

By Bill Scott Convenience stores make excellent investments, IF you choose a good location. They are immune to online marketing, they provide the consumer with instant gratification, and the average driver makes themselves available almost daily, because every driver needs gas and passes by the same convenience stores frequently. Sound interesting? Well not so fast.

Share

What’s Your Recruiting Strategy?

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics Most everyone who wants to work is now working and recruiting is tough. Lots of folks are talking about paying more and, yes, that is the easiest way to attract more applicants, but there’s a real downside to this strategy. While paying more will get you more applicants, will it get

Share

Young Executive Leadership

Developing a solid foundation for young executives is one of the cornerstones of the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) Young Executives Organization (YEO). Now these next-generation leaders will join forces this month to build a foundation for a family in Provo, Utah. YEO is proud to partner with Habitat for Humanity on May 23, just prior

Share