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CSD Partners with MSA and Paradigm Sample

In our ongoing effort to provide the most relevant and timely industry data, Convenience Store Decisions has reached a deal to serve as the excusive media sponsor of the new Convenience Consumer Insights Panel (cciPanel) launched last month by Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) and Paradigm Sample. The cciPanel is the consumer research field’s first

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Staying Focused on Frozen

With margins from tobacco and fuel lagging, frozen beverages have stepped up as a pleasant surprise for retailers—whose goal now is to keep the momentum going. “It’s really a growth category for us, even though it has not been something we’ve spent a lot of time on in the past,” said Jennifer Vespole, senior category

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Raising the Bar on Automotive Accessories

Car care merchandise is delivering incremental sales with the help of private labels and impulse purchases. Customers have long ventured into local convenience stores to grab a bottle of windshield washer fluid or oil for their cars. Years ago, a small display would hold a few bottles of automotive fluids in case of an emergency.

The Simple Secret of Free Publicity

Whether you operate a large or small chain, there are deals to be made that can attract a lot of positive attention to your company. I know some of you don’t place much of a value on publicity, but when was the last time you priced the cost of a retail ad in the local

Quick Facts: Ice Cream

Ice cream has come a long way from the mountains of ancient China, where it is believed to have originated using snow as a base. Today, Americans eat a whopping 15 quarts of ice cream per year.   Did you know that air is probably the single most important component used in the ice cream

Ice Cream Sales Expected to Boom

Summer may be over, but ice cream sales aren’t going to chill out anytime soon. In fact, the entire ice cream and frozen novelty category will continue to boom, with convenience stores in position to capitalize the most, according to new research.  A study from Mintel International Group predicted that frozen novelties will enjoy the

Take Me Out of the Ball Game

With all the volatility surrounding the fuel business, a more effective strategy may be found in focusing on in-store volume. Any rookie baseball player knows you can’t win if you don’t score and that you can’t score if you don’t get on base.  In business, this veteran player feels strongly that you can’t win if

Ethanol and Biodiesel: What You Need to Know

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made primarily by distilling grains such as corn, wheat, barley and other food crops. It is an alcohol that is mixed with gasoline when used in vehicles. Cars can run on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, but typically ethanol is only used as a fuel additive in

Health and Beauty Benefits

Health and Beauty Care (HBC) has been known to create more pain for c-store operators than it relieves for their customers. Managing it well—knowing the trends, keeping up with new products and line extensions, establishing workable price points and merchandising it carefully—is a precarious balancing act. The trend today is smaller, both for product packaging

The Man in the Mirror

With the U.S. consuming about 20% of the world’s fuel, it’s time to take matters into our own hands to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. By Jim Callahan You may have noticed that fuel prices seem to be on the rise recently. Quite dramatically you say you’re really ticked off about it–you say

In the Days of Old…

Under attack from taxes, credit card fees and even some of our branded partners, retailers must continue to fight on. by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions In the days of old before crude was “liquid gold” and drive-offs were unheard of, we had low taxes and no faxes and just two blends to deal with.

Steppin’ into Spring and Springing into Summerby Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

I recently read a great quote attributed to a one time door-to-door sales person and lately more recognizable as founder of the billion-dollar company that bears her name, Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay Ash said, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as

Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive!by Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

Staying Alive: Planning to Thrive! Staying Alive is both the title of an old disco tune, as well as a description of the challenge that today’s c-store operators face. C-store growth in numbers as well as quality continues unabated. I certainly don’t have all the answers about staying relevant, but I have some very interesting

Negotiation Practices for Small C-Store Chainsby Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

The sweet science of obtaining a better deal than was offered! To compete with the big chains more effectively, you’ve got to be able to buy better, which is obviously much more difficult for a smaller chain, even more so for the single store operator. But in reality it’s much easier than you might think

Growing Same-Store Sales in a tough Market by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions

So simple – so profitable – so what’s stopping you! Unless you run an above average operation, you might just experience a sudden urge to stop reading, part way thru this article. I’m going to put the results toward the top to help, suppress that urge!More…

Great Timing = Great Sales

Over the years, I’ve found that when I’ve matched the right product with the right occasion, I’ve been able to create increased sales with a much higher gross profit %. Not nearly as difficult as it sounds! Here’s an example: we place wool hats and brown jersey gloves on the counter, directly in front of

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