Ever since the news of COVID-19 first broke, consumer behavior has been shifting. Customers are focusing on safety now more than ever. They want to get in and out of stores quickly, with as little contact with others as possible in order to reduce the risk of contracting this disease. Even as restrictions begin to lift and concerns decrease, safety is expected to remain a top priority for consumers moving forward.Continue reading »
Today’s state of the industry calls for transformation at an unprecedented pace for retailers. Almost overnight, curbside pickup has surged more than 208%. Those who may not have originally prioritized curbside pickup programs are now pivoting towards the new norm. Even those retailers that had programs in place are now faced with the sudden increase in adoption from consumers, and troubleshooting through logistical challenges to provide a better customer experience.
Arming yourself, your employees, and your property with the tools to act and react to any situation is key in protecting your customers and employees in an emergency, keeping your store open longer, and helping you to resume operations as quickly as it is safe to do once the emergency has passed.
Below, you will find 10 steps to an effective emergency preparedness plan and the benefits of ensuring business continuity:Continue reading »
As natural disasters from inclement weather, wildfires, the spread of viruses, or other emergencies that can affect your day-to-day business arise, executives are reconsidering current work policies and are planning to enact procedures to keep employees/customers safe, all while not losing/closing their businesses. Arming yourself, your employees and your property with the tools to act and react to any situation is key in protecting your customers and employees in an emergency, keep your store open longer and or help you to resume operations as quickly as it is safe to do.
As with any retail space, the goal of a convenience store layout is to maximize sales by exposing customers to more products. The more time your customers spend in your store, the more products they have an opportunity to view, and the greater the chance is that they’ll find things they like and want to purchase.
In a convenience store, you are challenged with exposing customers to products without impeding traffic flow—all within a confined space. This is a tough balancing act. Not enough exposure and you can hinder sales, but an overpacked design obstructing traffic flow too much can result in a negative impact on the customer experience.
Here are a few ways you can optimize your convenience store layout for better sales:Continue reading »
Gas stations and convenience stores (or c-stores) are a thriving industry, and have been a fixture on the American scene since the first c-store opened in 1927. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), there are more than 153,000 c-store locations operating in the United States, bringing in $242.2 billion from inside sales and another $412.1 billion from fuel sales.
Competition is fierce, but with the right tools and best practices for gas station management, you can set your business up for success in 2020. Here’s how to maximize your growth potential:Continue reading »
As of 2019, there are approximately 66,000 combined gas station and convenience stores across the United States. Competition within the industry is high, and store owners are struggling with how to handle it.
Retail technology, such as your POS system, can provide a great deal of information, but finding actionable data you can turn into results can be tricky. Cut through the noise and focus on major measurable metrics for a clear picture of your performance.Continue reading »
As we begin 2020, gas station and convenience store owners can rest easy knowing that c-stores are not going anywhere. In fact, the expectation from customers is for the retail environment to become even more convenient.
As with many industries over the past decade, c-stores have significantly evolved—remaining the top destination for seekers of hot beverages and the preferred quick service food spot among millennials and Gen Z with food sales accounting for 23% of all revenue.Continue reading »
It’s a given that robust c-store software is a must-have for any retailer if they want to boost their bottom lines and stay competitive, but the industry is shifting yet again towards a more mobile approach. Because of that, many c-store owners are adopting cloud-based c-store software to improve their operations and meet growing customer demands.
Cloud-based solutions offer many advantages over legacy POS solutions. Here are some of the most notable:Continue reading »
By now, pretty much every single business owner has heard about EMV. EMV stands for Europay, Mastercard, and Visa, and is the global standard for cards that are equipped with chips. This technology is used to authenticate card transactions, combat credit card fraud, and improve payment card security.
With how important EMV compliance is, why is it then, that gas station and c-store owners have been universally slow to adopt this technology? One factor is the expense, yes, but another is a lack of information on what you risk when you aren’t EMV compliant. Here are a few:Continue reading »
In 2019, there are nearly 66,000 gas stations with convenience stores in the United States. To compete and thrive, store owners need to get intentional about operating a successful business. Expectations are changing, which provides gas station owners with an opportunity to better serve their needs, attract new business and develop customer loyalty.Continue reading »
C-store owners have two big challenges: meet customer expectations and stay profitable. For some owners, doing both may seem impossible.
Changing customer expectations are driven largely by their use of technology. C-store owners that use technology to run their stores and interact with customers will have an edge in keeping up with customer demands while also increasing revenue and convenience store profitability.
There are four key areas that c-store owners can focus on to boost profits in a changing business landscape.Continue reading »
Forty-three percent of consumers age 18 to 29 (Millennials and Gen Z) say they’ve purchased more food from a convenience store now than they did three years ago. In the US, c-stores experienced record in-store sales in 2018, an increase of 2.2 percent from the previous year of inside sales, with younger Americans driving the trend for convenience store food.
When combined, Millennials and Gen Z outnumber every other age bracket and are the driving force behind food sales at convenience stores.Continue reading »
Marketing, like nearly every other aspect of running a gas station, is changing with the times. New technologies provide new opportunities, and today, storeowners have new and effective ways to pump up their gas station marketing.
One of the powers of modern point of sale (POS) systems is the ability for small chains and independent stores to market like global corporations.
There are at least three ways storeowners can leverage technology for more effective gas station marketing.
Internet of Things becomes more and more of a necessity for retailers, as it helps them embed the physical devices with electronics, software, and sensors, enabling a seamless data flow.Continue reading »
Digital Transformation is the trend to follow nowadays. If it’s done smart, it is a sure path to success and customer enablement that allows companies to understand data, compare results, and make accurate predictions.Continue reading »
It’s hard to remember that over 20 years ago cell phones were mainly used for emergency purposes and looked like walkie-talkies; think the Nokia 9000 which was one of the first mobile “great communication enablers.”Continue reading »
The West region spans across 9 states including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. NACS reports a store count of 22,433 stores ranging from single stores to 501+ store chains with approximately 26% non-fuel stores.Continue reading »
The Central region spans across 10 states including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri. NACS reports a store count of 13,363 stores ranging from single stores to 501+ store chains with approximately 8% non-fuel stores.Continue reading »
The Southeast region spans across 7 states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. NACS reports a store count of 37,645 stores ranging from single stores to 501+ store chains with approximately 14% non-fuel stores.Continue reading »
The Northeast region spans across 14 states including Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. NACS reports a store count of 32,761 stores ranging from single stores to 501+ store chains with approximately 32% non-fuel stores.Continue reading »
The South Central region spans across 5 states including Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas. NACS reports a store count of 24,498 stores ranging from single stores to 501+ store chains with approximately 14% non-fuel stores.Continue reading »
To produce the greatest return, the inventory carried by a c-store should meet its customers’ tastes, needs and expectations.
As Hershey’s data illustrates, to carry the right product mix, c-store managers should consider regional, local and hyperlocal trends and demographics.Continue reading »
Ask single-store retailers and multi-store operators alike what they consider their biggest business challenges, and the conversation will likely revolve around one topic: meeting customers’ demands while maintaining a healthy bottom line. In order to meet both of these objectives, retailers must anticipate what customers will want and understand the margin for each product they sell.Continue reading »