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

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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.

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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

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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

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EMV Hopes – An Implementation Update

As retailers struggle with compliance, chargebacks from the liability shift have been larger than anyone in the industry anticipated. By Ed Collupy The implementation of EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) chip card acceptance should be history for inside payment transactions at convenience stores after the much-anticipated October 2015 shift in liability to merchants for counterfeit

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Seven Reasons Why Your STAR Employees Will Be Recruited Away

by Mel Kleiman Have you ever lost a great employee to another employer? Hurts, doesn’t it? And while that person probably told you they were leaving for more money, that’s rarely the case. More often the real reasons have to do with relationships, opportunities and respect. Here are the common missteps that will make your

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U.S. Gasoline Futures Roll into May with a Thud

By Brian Milne, Fuel Marketer Intelligence: Supply Chain Dynamics to Retail Fuel Prices Building supply and slowing demand triggered a string of losses for the gasoline futures contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange, including the last six sessions through May 2, strongly arguing that the preseason rally ahead of peak summer driving demand

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Positive Outlook Can Boost Food Sales

Macroeconomic drivers might help spur sales of grab-and-go foods in 2017. By Tim Powell Convenience stores should feel optimistic about 2017 considering the overall conditions of the U.S. economy thus far, especially when it comes to opportunities in foodservice. In our latest research, Q1 Consulting found that all convenience store retailers expect grab-and-go foods to

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Difference Between Success and Failure

The difference between success and failure in business is often quite miniscule. By Jim Callahan here’s a fine line between success and failure. Sometimes the line is so thin, if it were a pair of pants, it would have only one belt loop. Do you know what else is thin: the difference between profits and

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Too Many Chiefs

When upgrading foodservice, creating a budgeting and bonus program that encourages and rewards cooperation is a must. By Fran Duskiewicz Many companies who attempt to incorporate an upgraded foodservice operation into existing store operations often overlook the complexities and possible counterproductive managerial head-butting that can occur. Rearranging the store level organizational chart so that current

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Are Your Assumptions The Reason For Your Problems?

By Bill Scott Yesterday, I stopped to buy diesel at a store that is located right off the interstate, along the path that I frequently travel from my home out in the country to the metropolitan area of Jackson, Miss. I have been buying fuel there for over 10 years. The owner is not a

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Is Your Door Truly Always Open?

Phrasing can be more important than you think. by Mel Kleiman While probably well-meaning, the phrase “My door is always open” tells your people: (1) You expect them to take the initiative and meet you on your territory, (2) You assume they will figure out what information you want to them to bring you, and,

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Part 3 of Category & Inventory Management

Part 3 By Bill Scott ALL OF THE calculations in Parts 1 and 2 of this article are child’s play for any computer, but there is great value in understanding the process, because there are quite a few factors that will bend the results according to your specific environment. Every inert object has a common

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Loyalty Is Both Rare And Precious

By Bill Scott I have retold this true story a thousand times over the years, but maybe you haven’t heard it and will find it amusing. Back in the 80s, one morning at around 3am, while I was installing a computer in a customer’s office, (the company’s controller by my side), a call came through

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Part Two of Category Management & Inventory Management

By Bill Scott Part 2 Category Management is an important tool that should be included in every retailer’s tool kit, but it’s not the ONLY tool. Over 11 years ago, when I purchased my current home, I had been living in an apartment for a decade, and most of my tools had been permanently loaned

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What Do You Expect?

by Mel Kleiman You only need a simple, three point scale to evaluate job applicants as well as the performance of your present employees: “Will not meet expectations” or “Is not meeting expectations” “Will meet expectations” or “Is meeting expectations” “Will exceed expectations” or “Is exceeding expectations” Before you can do this though, you need

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Employment Trends: Teens in Retail

Today’s working teenager may be a retail company’s future store leader, product designer, data analyst, or even CEO. Unfortunately, in the years ahead, it may become increasingly more difficult to find these young, entry-level employees. Teenagers are an important part of the retail workforce, but Bureau of Labor Statistics data show a downward trend in

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Maximizing Summer Opportunities

Often, the difference between great sales and mediocre sales is attention to detail. There are certain tasks that c-stores can accomplish that will generate a positive impression in the mind of a customer. By Jim Callahan Strong retail sales growth in January and February indicate that consumers are still confident in the U.S. economy. Indicators

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How Are You Using Your Brain Power?

by Mel Kleiman Your brain is a powerful instrument. Ask it for reasons why you should hire someone and it will respond with answers like: She’s smart. He made a great impression. He seems to really want the job. She’s got all the right experience. Ask your brain why you shouldn’t hire the person and,

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Managing the Front Line

By John Loftock, Editor The convenience store industry has come a long way over the past decade in terms of recruiting, training and retaining great employees. But the results of the ninth annual Convenience Store Industry Human Resources Survey indicate there’s still quite a bit of work to be done. Among the survey’s key findings

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Will Item-Level Inventory Control Replace Category Management?

By Bill Scott, PART 1 The short answer is ‘No’. Category Management is a tool that has a purpose, especially for smaller companies that do not have the inclination, the option, nor the software to dig deeper into their businesses. However, Category Management is a tool to help retailers establish the general product mix on

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February-March 2017 Comparisons Are In

By Bill Scott At the top of our Top 100 list, 30 stores sold 28,543 Muscular Dystrophy Shamrocks during March, Marlboro Gold pushed Hunt Brothers Hunk down 2 positions to No.3. Another Hunt Brothers product jumped 299 positions to take the No. 15 spot. Newcomers to the Top 100 were Smartwater Loose 20 Oz, Bud

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January/February 2017 Results Are In

By Bill Scott Tobacco products rallied in the list of greatest improvements in sales in February 2017. Black & Mild cigars always perform well in our sample of convenience stores, and B & M 070137809326 wins this month best overall performance, showing a 27 position gain–up to position in 24 in the Top 100. Following

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Location Times Three

By Tony Huppert In a recent conversation at the morning’s round table, a retired 40-year veteran of industry was informing me location isn’t as important as service. He said people will always drive out of their way for service. I disagreed with him silently; he was a paying customer. The Team Oil Travel Center in

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Ongoing Convenience Store Trends

Food safety, sustainability and technology are top of mind for retailers and consumers. By Ed McKiernan, president retail solutions, Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions  As 2017 moves toward spring and summer, changes in the convenience store industry are beginning to bloom as well. Based on recent feedback from customers, there seem to be three primary

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