By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. About three years ago I began to publish a blog focused mainly on improving processes within small business. Many of these blogs are derived from having worked many years in larger organizations and attempting to translate those experiences to smaller businesses in the retail
Mind control is an often overlooked quality, but it’s an extremely important attribute in business and in life. By Jim Callahan When I think of the act of mind control, I’m not referring to hypnotism or getting my best friend to squawk like a chicken. Rather, having the right attitude in the face of both
By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric. The U.S. gasoline futures contract dropped to a fresh low for 2014 mid-September that coincided with the shift away from summer specification gasoline to easier to manufacture fuel while the national average price for retail gasoline sunk to a seven-month low. The national average is down 5.1cts
By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric Just under $2.50 gallon is where the U.S. gasoline futures market found support during the second week of September amid a massive selloff in domestic and global crude oil prices, with lower trending oil battered by bearish readings for forward oil demand by the three major forecasters.
By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric The U.S. average price for regular grade gasoline sold at retail outlets across the country edged up 0.5cts to $3.459 gallon on Labor Day according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly survey, with the increase the first in 10 weeks. The slightly higher retail average came alongside
By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. “Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd……Smiling” (Waters, Gilmour) Death. Not for the faint of heart, then again maybe that’s exactly what it is. Peer Rejection. Depression can set in very quickly when this occurs. Public Speaking? Actually in comparison, the first two don’t sound
By John Matthews, founder of Gray Cat Enterprises. Multi-unit retail operators are often presented with challenges with their product assortment due to varying demographic and store configurations throughout their network of locations. Often, product assortment is standardized across all store types which leaves opportunities for niche marketing on the sidelines. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,
By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I’ve written many articles on our youth needing to acquire work ethics. I believe work ethics have to be taught at a young age. We start kids in preschool to get the basics taught before they enter kindergarten. Research by educators have statistics showing it is important to
By John Matthews, founder and president, Gray Cat Enterprises. Over my career – both in the corporate world and on my own – I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic and talented people. In most cases, I have learned more from them, than they probably learned from me. Surrounding yourself with talented
By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I’ve been following the ‘Socialized Retail Gas Concept’ in Somerset Ky. Using an existing city-owned filling station and a nearby refinery to supply it, officials of Somerset recently decided to serve residents by going into the gas business themselves. Somerset City Council this past June voted 10-0 in
By John Matthews, founder, Gray Cat Enterprises. You own a bunch of stores all varying in size and age. Over the years, product assortments and sets have come and gone and you have ridden certain designs into the ground. Each of your stores needs capital infusion – a refresher – but you do not know
By Mel Kleiman, founder, Humetrics. In order to minimize costly frontline, hourly employee turnover, you’ve got to: Hire tough (so you can manage easy). Let every new employee know why their job is important. Avoid the mindset that it is “only an entry-level job” (in both the new employee’s mind and in your own mind).
By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric. A month in front of the Labor Day holiday in the U.S., the unofficial end of the peak summer driving season, gasoline demand spiked from what has been lackluster consumption this summer, with preliminary data showing a surge in demand to the highest weekly rate so far
There are many attributes that good store owners and operators possess, but knowing the value of a dollar and the value of a satisfied customer is critical. By Jim Callahan. For years, I was always puzzled by the fact that the best automatic transmission mechanic I ever knew ultimately went bankrupt, and the least talented
By Brian Milne, energy editor for Schneider Electric. What looked like a recovery for U.S. gasoline demand during the second quarter fizzled this summer, with demand continuing to slip below the year-ago pace and the five-year average since mid-June with the exception of one week. In the United States, driving demand is highest during the
Tough economic times and stiff competition across the supply chain are making it critical for convenience store operators to have a solid understanding of their customers, particularly their high-frequency, high-value shoppers. Armed with these insights, operators can take the necessary steps to retain and attract new loyal customers. To help retailers improve their operations and
Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. Every generation speaks of the next generation of workers like they are aliens. My parents use to say, “When I was young, I use to walk to and from school uphill both ways.” My generation likes to say, “The younger generation just doesn’t understand.” Statements like these do not
As the convenience store industry has become more sophisticated, other retail channels are turning to us for leadership and guidance. By Howard Stoeckel, Vice Chairman, Wawa Inc. This year marked Convenience Store Decision’s 25th anniversary and Wawa’s 50th anniversary in the retail business. In recognition of our milestone anniversary, I had the opportunity to publish
While self-service gasoline helped spur a wave a change, cultivating new customers has helped raise the c-store industry to new heights. By Bob Seng For many years, particularly in the winter, I would make the trip from Cooperstown, N.Y.—our company headquarters at Busy Bee convenience stores—to our family condo on the beach in Fort Lauderdale,
From the role of Big Oil to underground storage tank regulations and the growth of boutique fuels, the convenience store and petroleum industry has demonstrated a remarkable ability to evolve. By Dan Gilligan, President, The Petroleum Marketers Association of America While the first issues of Convenience Store Decisions were rolling off the presses in 1990,
As Convenience Store Decisions looks back on the past 25 years, customer demand will dictate the next 25 years in the fuel market. By John Eichberger, Executive Director, The Fuels Institute. What fuel will replace gasoline as the dominant energy source for personal transportation? The Magic Eight Ball says to ask again later, much later.
Innovations ranging from scanning and point-of-sale systems to social media and mobile apps exemplify how much convenience stores have changed over the past 25 years. By Jenny Bullard, Chief Information Officer, Flash Foods With more than 40 years as a c-store professional, it’s been an exciting journey to see the changes to technology that have
The “C” in c-store stands for constant “change” at The Parker Cos. By Greg Parker, President and CEO, The Parker Cos. The Parker Cos., has always had two things top of mind throughout our 39-year history —attracting and retaining customers and looking for new opportunities as we expand our growing group of 36 convenience stores.
The industry has reached unforeseen heights over the past quarter century, but it remains a people business first and foremost. By Jim Callahan. “Carry me back and let me feel at home, let me cling to those memories that won’t let me alone.” Those are great lyrics from the Statler Brothers and perhaps, a fitting
By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric. The week following the July 4 weekend was brutal for those bullish oil, with crude, diesel and gasoline prices receiving a drubbing on bearish fundamental factors and downward revisions to global oil demand, with the international Brent crude price marker dropping to a three-month low, while US