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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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,

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

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

Share

Just the Benefits of Distilled Biodiesel

Four ways distilled biodiesel could give you a competitive advantage. By Jon Scharingson I’m going to talk about distilled biodiesel, but I promise you don’t have to worry about this being like the high school science class that always put you to sleep. If you want more information about the science behind distillation and how

Share

Knowing How to Apply Training Triage

Some individuals entering the convenience industry lack certain educational skills.  As a result, worker training must be shaped to address such deficiencies. By Fran Duskiewicz There’s a real, practical reason I was hired by John MacDougall, founder of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, which launched my long career with the company: I was an English

Share

Fostering a Pro-Business Climate

By Mark Radosevich A new day has dawned in the downstream oil business after this past November’s surprising election results. Just four short months ago at the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) fall meeting in Atlanta, the list of probable legislative issues that our industry would be tackling seemed almost insurmountable, given the prospect

Share

Discipline Is a Necessary Tool

When dealing with employees, store managers and operators must be upfront with employees about the types of discipline that may be meted out in response to performance deficiencies and misconduct. By Jim Callahan Let me advise you that no matter how good or how important an employee is to your operation, the fastest way to

Share

Foodservice…A Brand in Hand?

Most convenience stores that have embraced the foodservice category and have invested heavily in the operational side of the business, have also attempted branding. By Steve Sandman During the last 15 years or so we’ve heard the drum beat that the key to a successful c-store operation is foodservice. There’s proof in the numbers. For

Share

Store Data Deserves Protection Too

As c-store retailers implement enhanced inventory-management solutions, they should also consider doing more to secure inventory data. By Ed Collupy So much of the attention on data security in the last few years has been focused on payments and many companies throughout the convenience fuel retailing industry have implemented measures to protect their customer’s data.

Share

Managing Grab and Go

Making food that is not to order and that becomes a retail item without a guaranteed sale is a foreign concept to many foodservice professionals. By Fran Duskiewicz Here’s a scenario that happens often. Your favorite source of grab-and-go food—whether it’s a supermarket or a convenience store with dedicated foodservice—continually seems to be out of

Share

Trends Watch: Diesel to Continue Climb in 2017

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. You don’t need me to tell you that 2017 comes with uncertainty for people in the fuel business as we wait to see how federal policies shake out. But talk to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the nonprofit Diesel Technology Forum, and you come away confident that diesel

Share

The Report

By Bill Scott There is an old parlor game where seven or eight people sit in a circle, and it begins when one person whispers a ‘secret’ into the ear of the person to their right, and that person whispers it to the person to their right, and so on and so forth. When the

Share

In Order To Win, Sometimes You Just Have To Start Something

Buc-ee’s thinks outside the box. By Bill Scott I sort of remember Buc-ee’s from the early 80s when I visited with my family in Lake Jackson, Texas. Lake Jackson is a lazy little town that has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past 40 years or so. The story of Buc-ee’s is more

Share

NRF Retail’s BIG Show 2017 Highlights

A.I., loyalty, big data, predictive analytics and in-store tech showcased at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail’s BIG Show. By David Hochman The National Retail Federation (NRF) Retail’s BIG Show drew retailers to New York City from Jan. 15-17. At last year’s show, the rise of artificial intelligence (A.I.) in retail was cited as one

Share

How Many Recruiters Are Working for You?

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics What are people saying about your company as a place to work? Word of mouth works both ways. Do you know what people (employees, former employees, vendors and everyone else who knows you) are saying about your company as a place to work? If not, the best way to find out

Share

3rd – 4th Quarter Comparisons Are In

By Bill Scott THIS IS CRAZY. The big surprise this quarter are ‘arrowheads’. Arrowheads are just that. Manufactured pieces of stone that look exactly like arrowheads. Shoppers are buying them by the handfuls at two/$1, and the stores can’t keep them in stock. The stores in this sample sold 1,711 in the first few months

Share

How To Deliver Constructive Criticism

Learning how to give feedback in a positive way can improve results. by Mel Kleiman, Humetrics Delivering constructive criticism to employees in a way they can hear it and use it to succeed can be difficult but not impossible. The key is to reframe your feedback as follows: Focus first on specific positives. (“The way

Share

November-December 2016 Comparisons

By Bill Scott The November-December 2016 sales comparisons are in and the products tied for the largest gain in sales for December 2016 were FANTA PINEAPPLE (20-ounce) and COBRA (32-ounce), both entering the Top 100 with a gain of 27 positions each. Following close behind, COKE CLASSIC (two liter), and LITTLE DEBBIE MINI CHOCOLATE DONUTS

Share