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Capitalize on the Hybrid Trend with a List of Grocery Store Chains in the U.S.

 

In the fall of 2014, Supermarket News reported on an emerging trend that is affecting grocery stores as well as convenience stores. In case you missed it, they noted a large number of stores are increasing their product offerings and thereby turning into hybrids. So it’s no longer uncommon to find convenience stores carrying traditional grocery store items and vice versa. What’s that mean for suppliers that are accustom to only selling their wares to convenience stores? Well, it’s clearly time to invest in a list of grocery stores in U.S.

A list of grocery stores in the United States can help domestic and international suppliers alike capitalize on the growing hybrid trend by providing contact information for the industry’s key players. Of course that’s providing it contains current contact information in a universal, easy to customize and use, digital format. In our experience, that translates to an Excel format. It’s one that’s used by billions of businesses across the planet and supports a range of file formats. Plus, security wise, it’s quite secure. That’s why at Grocery Store Chains Directory, we use the format to compile our comprehensive list of grocery stores in America.

It costs less than $400 and includes complimentary, bi-annual updates for a full year. We can deliver it to any e-mail address in the world and it will give suppliers access to more than 16,000 grocery store buyers that will undoubtedly be interested in carrying products that can help them capitalize on the hybrid trend.

What kind of pitch should suppliers make to the key players on our list of U.S. grocery stores? Well, that’s going to vary quite a bit of course. However, we can refer interested suppliers to other agencies that may be able to help them perfect their pitches. To learn more and pick up a valuable key to unlocking the emerging hybrid market’s financial potential, please contact us today.

Tips to Keep Track of Sales at your Convenience Store

 

Though tracking sales in a convenience store does not require sophisticated software, one requires experience and skill to run the store profitably. Instead of using sales monitoring software you can use a cost efficient point of sale software which will prevent your cash clerk from making mathematical errors and can work as an efficient way to check inventory. To keep track of daily sales at your store take an hour or two after closure of sales to check accounts of goods sold that day.

 

Running a convenience store is different from running a grocery store as it has lot more items of convenience which can be stored for a long time as people may not buy them on a monthly basis. For boosting sales in your convenience store you have to review inventory on a regular basis to understand which items have better turnover and which ones have higher profit margins. Tracking of sales can be easily managed by recording sales receipts at the end of each day on a spreadsheet which will show you if the store is making profits at the end of every month and the actual percentage of profits too.

 

Steps to manage inventory and track sales at convenience store

 

Recording cash register receipts

 

To track sales of each inventory on a monthly basis you have to maintain cash receipts and record them on a daily basis which will give you a fair idea about fast and slow moving items in your inventory. When cashiers make bills for customers, sales are registered on a continuous basis which can be reconciled at the end of each day to make an item-wise analysis of products sold. In your daily spreadsheet make date-wise columns and enter the amount of each sale receipt item-wise. Set up customized formulas to add the sum of total sales each day which will help you gauge how much food and non food items are being sold on a regular basis.

 

Maintaining sales reports

 

The details gathered from daily sales reports can be summarized to create weekly and monthly sales reports by entering data either manually or using a sales ledger for error-free information. The weekly sales report will help provide detailed information about products sold at varied hours of the week. With a department wise sales break-up you can compare sales volumes over a period of time so you can plan food distribution effectively to reduce wastage. Besides assisting you in tracking sales, these regularly maintained sales records can also help you determine if cashiers are following your instructions about inventory management procedures.

 

Ledger and purchase point of sales software

 

As a convenience store owner you will have to purchase items from a large number of vendors like convenience store distributors and several others. The purchase point of sales software will help you track sales, manage inventory and also perform other sophisticated functions to manage sales better. While purchasing this software, get it customized from the vendor to suit your tracking requirements helping you to manage simple things like hourly sales and items sold by individual employees. As it can be customized to manage all types of inventory you will know when to call your grocery distributors and other vendors for replenishing stock.

 

Importance of general ledger

 

These documents contain information about daily sales data and also the details about assets, liabilities, monthly revenues and expenses. The ledger contains business details in debit and credit format so you can gauge how much money is being spent and the rate of return on investment. Expenditures like sales tax, employee salaries, electricity charges and others will give you a clear idea about which expenses are affecting your profits so you can put a tight leash on them. Tracking inventory sales on regular basis will help you get better deals from suppliers like wholesale food supplier.

 

Unlocking potential of sales tracking

 

As a convenience store merchant you have to maintain profits without keeping yourself too different from other competitors. Manufacturers are continuously looking for advice on how to get products into c-store so you should regularly replace slow moving inventory with latest top selling products. Consumers have a habitual tendency to shop at the same convenience store or chain as they are assured of quality of service and products. The basic philosophy of drawing up a sales pattern for your inventory is to have more buyers for your products, increase your sales margins and in general make more profits.

 

Advantages of sales tracking

 

Managing food and beverage profitably – Though bar-coding and point of sale system is an expensive way to manage inventory it is also the best way to recognize depleting stock of each item and rearrange inventory. In a convenience store both hot and cold beverages are regarded as fastest selling items if beverage distribution and display is managed properly. Manufacturers know that majority of freshly launched beverage brands are sampled at convenience stores and give special discounts to stores which help them manage the launch profitably.

 

Managing product diversity better – In a convenience store you have to manage a diverse range of products as then your clientele will be diverse and you can expand into other areas depending on profitability. You can become a member of the nationwide Checkstand Program which will keep you updated about new products in the market, emerging demand trends and fast selling inventories. Inventory of your convenience store should have some correlation to the products that are stocked in the store, eg. stores near forests which allow nature trails will have goods ideal for small picnics while stores in urban areas will have more food items.

 

Improving display and merchandise – When you run through sales tracker you can know immediately if items in a particular area of your store are not selling. This will help you do a quality check to understand the reason and rectify the matter immediately by either improving the display or improving the approach area, so regular shoppers and visitors visit each corner of your store.

 

If you are thinking of expanding your convenience store by increasing the size or opening more branches, then have a clear policy to track sales which can finance your future business plans.

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How you can Boost the Sales of your C-store

Convenience store business today is extremely challenging and competitive as consumer tastes are changing rapidly in almost every category. As a business owner of a convenience store you have to identify key categories which make up a majority of your store’s sales. You also have to keep yourself abreast of their sales on a weekly, monthly and annual basis so changes can be made. Use this information to monitor sales in every square foot of your store and its contribution to overall profits.

 

Every store owner whether he owns one or several has to keep track of profits from every category and space allocation within his stores which will help to gauge performance of every section and make changes in the slow moving areas.

 

Understanding the psychology that drives customers towards specific shelves and increase their impulses towards purchases have long been the bane of convenience store owners. According to estimates nearly 50 percent of sales in these stores are through products bought on impulse and profitable ones know how to tap into that to make more profits. The swelling numbers of convenience stores shows that smart sales techniques are in place that are guiding shoppers to them in increasing numbers.

 

These stores are working with wholesale grocery distributors and other convenience products to divert the mind of customers from their shopping lists and indulge in spontaneous decisions to make sensible bargains.

 

As a store owner you have to keep the following things in mind to maintain profitability.

1) Lowest and highest growth categories every year.

2) As beverage distribution has highest profits in most c-stores, check its contribution to your profits.

3) Does your store meet all demands of local customers who drive by or walk in from the neighborhood?

4) Check profit percentage of each category in your store towards the total profit. Try to increase quantity of that to see if the change brings more profits.

 

The convenience stores today rely on three specific strategies to maintain profits and expand business which are curtailing expenses, raising price margins or increasing sales. With constant change in categories and brands of products which are on display within your store, it is difficult to curtail expenses or raise price margins as that would have an adverse effect on customer service. Though the best way to increase sales is to ensure that buyers purchase more products than they actually intended to at the store. It can be done by four simple ways:

Attracting more customers to your store – This may be the most difficult tactic to increase sales, but it is the most critical of all sales boosting strategies as only this will ensure that your c-store has a future. As a store owner your can increase advertising on online and offline media and create more awareness in local communities about your products. Being a risky investment you should monitor the cost and effect of advertising and target customers who shop at competitors, so they share their income with your store. Attractive eye-catching signage and point of sales materials is a sure way to attract more customers to your place. When signs are placed in convenient locations then people tend to remember forgotten items and purchase them on the way out. This kind of cross signage can be done for new beverages which are always in demand at convenience stores in consultation with beverage distributors.

 Making your regular customers visit your store often – This can happen only if you are aware about your regular customers and know how to reach them to share information about new products in the store or reward them for their loyalty. Maintain rapport with regulars by greeting them and showing new merchandise or even asking them about new products they would like to see at your store. Never let your regulars leave without a few helpful extras which will drive new business to your store. Talk to experts like Convenience Store Brokers who have years of experience about products that fly off the shelves and you will definitely have customers coming to your store more often.

 Encouraging your customers to buy more – Cross merchandizing is a regular trick used by convenience stores to get people to buy more products than they actually came to purchase. Most people love combinations whether it is food and beverages or cigarettes and lighters and several other interesting choices that cleverly arranged merchandize can help them purchase more. You can use experts like food distributors to design your food merchandise and other products around the store to create interesting combo deals.

 Using technology to understand their impulse – When designing strategies to encourage impulse buying for increasing sales, convenience stores have to use technical media like smartphones and internet in an intelligent manner. Solutions using social media and internet marketing and interactive media will encourage shoppers to carry out impulse shopping at the time when they require. Stores use seasonal offerings and special sales as lures to switch impulse of buyers to make the purchase when they enter the store by targeting their previous online and offline purchases.

 

A convenient store need not have all the latest products in place nor offer deep discounts to increase sales, but rather an effective strategy to constantly entice and retain customers who continue to purchase from them. With wholesalers and distributors and brokers constantly trying to find out ways of how to get products into c stores you can collaborate with them to boost sales of your store. Innovative sales drive in retail stores can help push sales of slow moving goods, be it food products or other convenience items.

 

Displays are the best way to push food and beverage if you can cleverly place them in easy to reach shelves. Stores use analytic tools to identify clients’ impulses and previous purchases patterns and make changes in display strategies and store layout to promote products with special SKU’s so they can be picked up by customers on their way out.

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The Risk of Failure in the Supply Chain Industry

 

The sheer number of variables which spell success for a supply chain industry can also lead to its failure by simply refusing to act when required. With growing diversification of products in a list of c store distributors, that are required to meet customer demand makes supply chains critical to the success of business. In current business scenario very few companies have remained successful by catering to local requirements, most source their products from across the globe and also cater to international clientele.

 

The supply chain industry, with a long list of convenience store distributors, now extends across international boundaries wherein every small weak spot creates a new risk of failure. While globalization has increased opportunities for business it has also opened up new vulnerabilities which are not limited to natural disasters and political upheavals.

 

Challenges to supply chain industry – According to risk management association Airmic, firms in a globalized market are placing their reputation and financial security in the hands of unknown suppliers who may or may not be trustworthy. To cut costs companies are compromising on quality and supply models to take risks which can end up in public relation disasters if suppliers do not understand their business policies. Here are few common challenges faced by supply chain industry:

 

Offshoring business practices – Several firms have burnt their fingers when trying out offshoring practices as they did not study local challenges of language and work culture.

Complexity and cost pressure – Supply chains involve multiple entities which work in coordination with each other to make it work and if these are too complex and others in the chain do not understand each other’s utility then it can lead to problems in the future. Global supply chains are both complex and expensive in current scenario of fluctuating currencies where exchange rates does not hold good for everyone.

Communication and rapid changes in production methods – Technology in today’s industry is changing at a fast pace with internet providing a common platform for people to share ideas and experience with each other to improve their situations. While internet is bringing a positive revolution in political scenario it is changing manufacturing and supply industry at an equally fast pace. Trends and tastes are catching on across the globe within days with mobile applications and convenience store chains are struggling hard to keep up with them.

Global supply chains are fragile and are vulnerable to risk but their importance cannot be denied in markets of today. Though firms have tried to integrate risk management into the structure it has been limited to small risks and operating models have paid scant attention to financial risks. Large multinationals with adequate financial resources are able to manage their global supply chains efficiently as they lay emphasis on sharing risks with local suppliers and select partners after conducting through checks about their business backgrounds. Technology savvy companies have been able to create customized software solutions to manage their supply chains which can identify vulnerabilities and weak links. This will help the supply chain facilitators to remain prepared for disaster management and eventualities so that when these situations do occur alternatives can be arranged to ensure that everything goes as usual and supply chain does not get disrupted. Disruption in supply chains can lead to reduction in company revenue and market share. These disruptions can cause damage in customer credibility and also with stakeholders which can play havoc with your finances.

 

How to manage supply chain risks – Companies keen on expanding their business territory to retain their competitive edge in the industry need to manage risks that come with globalization by making necessary arrangements to mitigate these losses. Here are the following precautionary steps that firms can take to reduce supply chain risks as follows:

Preventing disruption of supply chain – Statistical data analysis can measure and improve performance of supply chain operations to reduce quality disruption issues. This data should be based on past problems which have caused problems so similar issues in future can be handled without causing any disruption in supply chain. Convenience store chains can remove these risks in supply chain by identification of key products which help them maintain business and locations of supply chain which will help them to put necessary measures in place to remove chances of disruption.

Global sourcing for risk minimization – Though globalization has increased supply chain risks it also provides opportunities to manage costs and carry on operations in an uncertain economic scenario. Companies which have managed to understand local work cultures of offshore locations carry out their production activities in these areas by using local workforce and resources to sell into local markets and also export to near locations.

Controlling supply chain – Every business is exposed to risks which is dependent on its operations i.e. the larger a business the greater are its risks. A small single convenience store or grocery store will have lesser risks with regard to supply chain as most of its business is suppliers are located within the state and it can manage with alternative suppliers if one fails to deliver. Large convenience store chains and grocery store chains which have operations spread across the nation and even overseas may take the help of local franchisees to manage business. To manage their national operations they can employ technology and communication measures to integrate supply chains and inventory to guard against disruptions.

Both small and large businesses continue to look for new business opportunities to improve profits and meet customer demand for wider product choice which is increasing their risk levels and exposing them to political and economic turmoil and natural disasters. A recent survey carried out after a spate of natural disasters struck the nation showed that only 33 percent are prepared to handle risks while larger ones are more prepared due to their past experiences. Employees traveling abroad with company data on their laptops and smartphones pose risk of data breaches which is disregarded by companies seeking to expand business overseas. It is now obvious that smaller firms are more vulnerable than large ones to supply chain risks and have to learn from others experiences to help them become better prepared.

 

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Will Convenience Stores be Replaced by Online Food Stores in Future?

 

Will Convenience Stores be Replaced by Online Food Stores in Future? A recent industry study has stated that online sales of groceries and other food products will increase by nearly 15 billion in forthcoming years as growing traffic woes and single parent families are finding it tough to waste time on standing at the aisles of convenience stores and grocery chains. Shoppers in general are getting tired of long queues in super markets and parking problems along with problems of deceptive pricing offered by wholesale grocers and food marts. Institute for Grocery Distribution states that online convenience is fast becoming the hottest growing sector in retail industry which will soon have turnover of several billion and will fulfill the grocery requirements of families and individuals in both rural and urban areas.

 

Budget stores with online presence

 

The recent economic crisis led to rapid changes in people’s buying habits across the world with growing consciousness about sticking to fulfillment of basic needs. Budget convenience chain stores which are offering low prices and small quantities along with home delivery options are finding takers around the world. The growth in ownership of smartphones and tablets which allow easy download of shopping applications has also led to growth in demand for online grocery shopping. Online shopping offers buyers the advantage of comparing prices available at various convenience stores in their neighborhood, before making the purchase at a place which give the best rate and quality.

 

Growth of convenience store hypermarkets into multi-service outlets

 

In recent years large format hypermarkets and supermarkets have broken down their services into multiple sections and now offer fast food sections and open air cafe with purchase of groceries and other convenience items. Most metro areas of United States are now serviced by state level or national level grocery chains like Peapod, Safeway, Amazon Fresh, Schwan’s, Fresh Direct and ShopFoodEx which services all 50 states across the nation. Though people are comfortable buying branded groceries with clear details about dates of manufacture, expiry and place of manufacture they are still not comfortable about ordering fresh produce like vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

 

Using local grocer’s online ordering system

 

Check with your local grocer or supermarket if it is part of a large chain or if they have a local delivery system. It is most likely that they will ask you to sign up and order for a specific quantity and then either deliver it themselves or ask a third party to make the delivery after picking up the ordered items from their store. If your local convenience store is a standalone shop then most likely it will not have an online delivery system as the economics will be beyond its capacity. To skirt this problem some local grocers have come up with an innovative idea wherein a shopper can order their products online and make the payment so their products are packed and ready to be picked up on the way home. While making purchases online through credit and debit card follow regular tips to avoid online frauds and scams.

 

 

Why online food stores are becoming popular

 

By making online purchases you are only looking at products you actually require instead of browsing across store shelves which helps you avoid regular bait and capture practices which convenience stores apply to make you buy things which may not be important. You are unlikely to be tempted by flashy new products or try campaigns as you are not hunting for bargains and new products.

 

Prices and quantities of products you need are clearly marked and with a ready shopping list you can add them to the shopping cart and checkout instead of being attracted by “every day low price” offers. The online purchase comfort allows you to buy small quantities several times instead of stocking up bulk purchases which can lead to wastage. As you are constantly looking at total bill amount while making purchases, it can help you get grocery purchases under control when you have a budget.

 

How to take advantage of online convenience stores

 

If you are among the first to try out online convenience shopping then seek out safe, non perishable and branded products on a small scale until you are sure that the delivery service understands your requirements in terms of brand and quality of delivery. Avoid non-packaged products like vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, fish, deli meats, seafood as your idea of fresh may clash with theirs though they are more likely to rotate their products than your local store.

 

Why online convenience stores cannot replace real stores soon

 

The entire retail food distribution industry across the nation is supported by several thousand small and large convenience stores, grocery stores, specialty food stores and food service providers that rake in business of more than $3 million on a daily basis. Though super markets, hypermarkets and warehouse retailers and clubs sell a vast variety of products besides food products, these have not been able to replace the local grocery store as their turnover is slower and they tend to stock older stock than small stores. These days to increase their clientele, convenience store have shed their aura of fuel stores and have started offering multiple choices like fresh foods zones and juice fountains which provide ready to eat options for buyers on the go.

 

Large grocery store chains with branches across the nation or state have their own ready to eat food brands and dairy products which increase their clientele as now shoppers can relax after completing their purchases for coffee and other refreshments. To increase sales of top selling products or brands, convenience stores provide shelves to manufacturers or their merchandising agents so buyers do not have to hunt around across the store.

 

To provide their buyers with better priced convenience products, grocery distributors formed cooperatives like Associated Group and United Grocers which gave them greater purchasing power and control as they could now directly buy in bulk from manufacturers. These techniques adopted by convenience stores and other retailers help them provide products at a competitive price to buyers which may not be possible for online grocery store so people still divide their shopping into both online and direct modes.

 

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How to Boost Your Convenience Store Product Sales

 

With the easy penetration of the Internet people now are better informed about products available in the market and also products that the list of convenience stores closest to them are likely to hold. It is rare for people to visit a convenience store in a relaxed manner and browse around for new additions to the store shelves or to generally chat up with the cashier or sales person. Since people have a tendency to try and pick up all products they require for home at one place it is important for the convenience store to gauge frequently demanded products and store them to have regular clientele.

The chances of you walking into a convenience store or grocery store you frequented as a child is rare as they have now given way to larger c-store ones. Have you wondered why small grocery store chains or even large c-store chains are unable to sustain business and close down? Is it due to lack of customers or lack of diversity in merchandise or overconfidence in the store owner that they will never go out of business? Much has been written about store layout, merchandising, advertising, customer analysis, market analysis but one solution does not fit everyone. Whether you are a single store operator or a statewide chain of c-stores or even a nationwide chain of grocery stores you have to keep your finger on market pulse to exist and survive in this fiercely competitive business.

Boosting sales and growing clientele 

To run your convenience store business on profit you need not expand it into a national wide chain but have definite goals for expansion and growth over a period of time. The following tips can help boost your c-store sales and manage competition from other c-stores in the area.

Create of loyal clientele 

Develop your relationship with regular clients in such a manner that they come to you for all their requirements instead of stopping en route on their way back home. This will increase your foot traffic as whenever your clients are in the vicinity of your store they will casually drop in with friends or family members to browse around and pick up whatever they desire. You can develop a rapport with clients by having general chat at the counter if they got what they wanted and what other products they feel should be an ideal part of your merchandise.

A great way to attract new customers and up sell new products is to build a relationship with them by promoting goods through personalized marketing tools like email and royalty points. With advancement in technology you can now keep track of customers’ buying patterns and use simple data mining techniques to differentiate the regular big spenders from casual shoppers. Maintain continuous correspondence with regular big spenders by inviting them to promotions and new launches with complimentary samples. Attract new customers with targeted promotions during festivals and digital signage at prominent locations.

Happy employees provide excellent customer service 

How many times have you been to convenience stores once and then never stepped into it again just because the sales person refused to help you or cash clerk was rude? The same can happen to your store too if your staff is not happy and are paid below market rate or are treated shabbily.

Remember that sales and cash staff are the face of your organization and you cannot be everywhere at all times and happy employees will generate happy customers. Have achievable reward systems and sales goals to measure employee performance and show your appreciation in public for innovation. Have an incentive plan for sales people and reward them for meeting milestones. Celebrate anniversaries and birthdays by sending out customized gifts or gift certificates to them and their family members to show your care.

Promotion and Innovation

In the fast changing business of convenience stores continuous innovation is the only way to stay in business and keep ahead of competitors. Have sales promotion events along with price cuts during summer and winter holidays to attract foot traffic. Work with your sales teams to develop innovative sales plans to attract new customers and to induce existing customers to buy more. Have brainstorming sessions to find out why a particular product is selling fast and if it would help to stock more or have a promotional scheme to sell more.

Look at the competition to find how their innovative ideas can work for your convenience store model. Take the opinion of customers and sales staff after making display changes to see if they like it. You can also employ the services of an experienced merchandiser to display your products attractively so customers can find their products easily. Placing complementary products next to each other also helps boost sales as people tend to remember necessary products only after viewing them.

Expand only if you can manage 

Keep your eye on a bigger goal if you get into convenience store business as only that can help you stay competitive. Successful store owners are always looking to expand and not necessarily across a large geographical area but rather to retain a profitable business. Identify need and study local competition before you start a new branch in a new location. You can also expand your existing convenience store to include new products and services. With growing demand for fresh food products several convenience stores have expanded their operations to start ready to eat food items like sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups as takeaway items. If you have the reliable and experienced staff then expanding your single convenience store into a statewide chain can be a step in the right direction.

If you have a few years of experience in managing a convenience store you many think that setting up a convenience store chain will be easy with right kind of investors and identification of a good location. But that is not always the case as sometimes external unplanned situations can play havoc with a store opening and put a stop to the best laid plans. Take the help of experts and evaluate possible mishaps that can happen before investing time and money into a convenience store and when it is done invest all your energy and expertise to run it in a profitable manner.

With the easy penetration of the Internet people now are better informed about products available in the market and also products that the list of convenience stores closest to them are likely to hold. It is rare for people to visit a convenience store in a relaxed manner and browse around for new additions to the store shelves or to generally chat up with the cashier or sales person. Since people have a tendency to try and pick up all products they require for home at one place it is important for the convenience store to gauge frequently demanded products and store them to have regular clientele.

The chances of you walking into a convenience store or grocery store you frequented as a child is rare as they have now given way to larger c-store ones. Have you wondered why small grocery store chains or even large c-store chains are unable to sustain business and close down? Is it due to lack of customers or lack of diversity in merchandise or overconfidence in the store owner that they will never go out of business? Much has been written about store layout, merchandising, advertising, customer analysis, market analysis but one solution does not fit everyone. Whether you are a single store operator or a statewide chain of c-stores or even a nationwide chain of grocery stores you have to keep your finger on market pulse to exist and survive in this fiercely competitive business.

Boosting sales and growing clientele 

To run your convenience store business on profit you need not expand it into a national wide chain but have definite goals for expansion and growth over a period of time. The following tips can help boost your c-store sales and manage competition from other c-stores in the area.

Create of loyal clientele 

Develop your relationship with regular clients in such a manner that they come to you for all their requirements instead of stopping en route on their way back home. This will increase your foot traffic as whenever your clients are in the vicinity of your store they will casually drop in with friends or family members to browse around and pick up whatever they desire. You can develop a rapport with clients by having general chat at the counter if they got what they wanted and what other products they feel should be an ideal part of your merchandise.

A great way to attract new customers and up sell new products is to build a relationship with them by promoting goods through personalized marketing tools like email and royalty points. With advancement in technology you can now keep track of customers’ buying patterns and use simple data mining techniques to differentiate the regular big spenders from casual shoppers. Maintain continuous correspondence with regular big spenders by inviting them to promotions and new launches with complimentary samples. Attract new customers with targeted promotions during festivals and digital signage at prominent locations.

Happy employees provide excellent customer service 

How many times have you been to convenience stores once and then never stepped into it again just because the sales person refused to help you or cash clerk was rude? The same can happen to your store too if your staff is not happy and are paid below market rate or are treated shabbily.

Remember that sales and cash staff are the face of your organization and you cannot be everywhere at all times and happy employees will generate happy customers. Have achievable reward systems and sales goals to measure employee performance and show your appreciation in public for innovation. Have an incentive plan for sales people and reward them for meeting milestones. Celebrate anniversaries and birthdays by sending out customized gifts or gift certificates to them and their family members to show your care.

Promotion and Innovation

In the fast changing business of convenience stores continuous innovation is the only way to stay in business and keep ahead of competitors. Have sales promotion events along with price cuts during summer and winter holidays to attract foot traffic. Work with your sales teams to develop innovative sales plans to attract new customers and to induce existing customers to buy more. Have brainstorming sessions to find out why a particular product is selling fast and if it would help to stock more or have a promotional scheme to sell more.

Look at the competition to find how their innovative ideas can work for your convenience store model. Take the opinion of customers and sales staff after making display changes to see if they like it. You can also employ the services of an experienced merchandiser to display your products attractively so customers can find their products easily. Placing complementary products next to each other also helps boost sales as people tend to remember necessary products only after viewing them.

Expand only if you can manage 

Keep your eye on a bigger goal if you get into convenience store business as only that can help you stay competitive. Successful store owners are always looking to expand and not necessarily across a large geographical area but rather to retain a profitable business. Identify need and study local competition before you start a new branch in a new location. You can also expand your existing convenience store to include new products and services. With growing demand for fresh food products several convenience stores have expanded their operations to start ready to eat food items like sandwiches, burgers, salads, soups as takeaway items. If you have the reliable and experienced staff then expanding your single convenience store into a statewide chain can be a step in the right direction.

If you have a few years of experience in managing a convenience store you many think that setting up a convenience store chain will be easy with right kind of investors and identification of a good location. But that is not always the case as sometimes external unplanned situations can play havoc with a store opening and put a stop to the best laid plans. Take the help of experts and evaluate possible mishaps that can happen before investing time and money into a convenience store and when it is done invest all your energy and expertise to run it in a profitable manner.

 

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New CBD Hemp Oil Vapor Hits Convenience Store Shelves

 

An extract from the Cannabis genus of plants, the Cannabidiol has been known for its use in the pharmaceutical industry. A schedule I drug as per the DEA Drug Code, Cannabidiol is not marijuana, although many people mistake it to be. It is a compound of the cannabis genus plants and has several medical properties that make it useful for many pharmaceutical companies. Cannabidiol, also known as CBD has not been in the limelight as much as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the major compound in marijuana that gets you high.

 

There is a significant difference between the two compounds, which research has proven time and again. Doctors are usually worried about the side effects that THC in medicines can cause in their patients. But they aren’t as worried about CBD. The available data of the positive impact that Cannabidiol can have on a person and the fact that it is non-psychoactive and safe to use has made it an ingredient that most companies across industries are considering. One such industry is the electronic cigarette or vaping industry, which is prevalently using CBD as one of the flavors that people can enjoy.

 

Pure CBD vapors launches its products in the market

 

With more and more people using e-cigarettes considering their health, the number of options that one has for vaping are also increasing. This includes the variety of vaping liquid flavors that are available in the market. Recently, a new CBD Hemp Oil Vapor hits convenience store shelves and pharmacies across the US. A company called Pure CBD Vapors is launching its range of CBD flavored vaping liquids that e-cigarette users can use.

 

The vaping liquid is available in four unique CBD flavors including Purple Haze, Wowi Maui, Strawberry Bliss and Peach Kush. These flavors are available in 10 ml bottles priced at just $29.99. Peach Kush flavored vaping liquids are available in different concentrations of CBD – one with 25mg and the other with 50mg. The rest of the flavors come with only 25mg CBD, which makes them absolutely safe for personal use.

 

With these new vaping liquids in the market soon, there is no need for you to get stuck with the same old vaping liquid flavors as before.

 

Pure CBD uses industrial hemp

 

If you are thinking that CBD is going to get you “stoned” like marijuana, you are wrong. CBD does not have the psychoactive effects that TCH has on people, which is what makes it a preferred ingredient for medicinal preparations. Also, the hemp oil vapors that Pure CBD Vapors is offering are made from industrial hemp, which is professionally cultivated in controlled environment specifically for use in industrial uses.

 

Industrial hemp, owing to its non-drug properties, is used in the production of paper, food products, textiles, biodegradable products, fuel and even nutritional foods. Another reason for popularity of industrial hemp is that it needs little or no pesticides at all to grow, which means there is no forced soil erosion. Also, industrial hemp produces more oxygen than naturally grown cannabis which is cultivated for medicinal and recreational uses. The important point to note here is that Marijuana and Kemp both come from the cannabis genus of plants, but they are not the same. Given that, you can be assured that our new CBD hemp oil vapors that will soon be on convenience store and pharmacy shelves is absolutely safe to use, as we use industrial hemp and not marijuana during preparation.

 

Refresh your senses with the hemp oil vapors

 

Nicotine cigarette smoking kills, which is a fact that everyone knows. Perhaps that is also the reason you have switched to or are planning to switch to vaping, or e-cigarette smoking, a safer alternative to those who are trying to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are easy to use and contain no nicotine at all – in fact, they are made of a battery, a body and a vaping liquid chamber that gets heated and generates vapor that the user inhales.

 

Now this vapor comes in different flavors, and you can choose any flavor of your choice. What makes hemp oil vapor better than the rest? Hemp is known for its medical properties and has been proven to lay a significant role in relieving a person of stress and anxiety. Throw away that cigarette and pick up your pack of e-cigs for a refreshing and healthy vaping with our new, CBD flavored vaping oils.

 

Not only will you be refreshed and relaxed, you will also be protecting your body from nicotine abuse.

 

It is 100 percent legal

 

Worried about legality of CBD use? Remove any worries you have for Pure CBD Vapors are all made of safe and 100 percent legal industrial hemp plants and not restricted compounds like marijuana. So when you are using the PureCBDVapors.com product, you can be sure that you are doing nothing illegal.

 

In fact, you can safely and happily use your e-cig anywhere with our vaping liquids, as e-cigs do not produce any smoke, and can even be used in public, without disturbing anyone’s personal space or environment. So even if you are using a hemp oil flavored vapor in your e-cig, you will not be disturbing anyone. More than anything, you don’t have to worry about its legality as industrial hemp is a hundred percent legal and safe for use.

 

Get your choice of pure CBD vapors near you

 

As use of CBD as an ingredient in vaping oils is entirely legal, you can find our product at a convenience store near you. You can also find the many flavors of Pure CBD Vapors at pharmacies and exclusive e-cig stores. As the product is legal across 50 states of America, you can buy it; fill it in your e-cigarette and vape as much as you want, without jeopardizing your own health or the health of others around you.

 

Make sure you keep reading this space for more information on the vapors, so that you don’t miss the chance of getting your hands on it as soon as this CBD Hemp Oil e-juice hits the U.S markets.

Reference: http://www.purecbdvapors.com/new-cbd-hemp-oil-vapor-hits-convenience-store-shelves/

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Comments Off on Following Up After Your C Store Directory Creates Sales Opportunities

Following Up After Your C Store Directory Creates Sales Opportunities

 

You did it! You used your C Store Directory and arranged a sales meeting for your product line. Everyone at the meeting seemed interested and excited at the prospect of stocking your items. However, they did not place an order at the end of the presentation. They might need to clear it with someone higher up, or there is larger panel that makes the final decision. In some cases, the general manager might need to get permission from the company headquarters. This is when follow-up becomes critical to get the sale. Here are some helpful hints for follow-up.

 

Set The Date

The perfect time to arrange a follow-up call is at your sales meeting. Simply ask the person you are meeting with the best time to follow-up with him or her. They know their schedule, and how much time they need to make a decision. Also, they know the times of the week and day that they are more readily available to take your call. By allowing the customer to set the follow-up time, you are more likely to receive a positive response to your call.

 

Send A Thank You Note

The idea of sending a handwritten thank you note seems antiquated but makes a big impression. If you take the time to jot down a few handwritten lines on a notecard, it shows you are thinking about that customer personally. You have not copied and pasted a generic email. This will surprise and delight most of your prospective customers and make a positive impact.

 

One Week

If you have not heard from your customer within a week and did not set up a time to connect with them, you should call at the one-week point. Any sooner will seem pushy, but you do not want too much time to pass. After a week, your presentation is still fresh in their mind, and they are still excited about your products, making it a great time to follow-up without seeming too anxious.

 

If you need help ordering a directory or have other questions, please contact us.

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Comments Off on How C-stores are Benefiting from Frozen Food and Beverages

How C-stores are Benefiting from Frozen Food and Beverages

 

Convenience store owners like their grocery store counterparts have discovered the benefits of frozen beverages and ready to cook food products which are making inroads into people’s houses across the globe. The demand for frozen foods which first began with dairy products like numerous cheese varieties and desserts has now expanded to cut vegetables, meats and even ready to eat food products that have to be warmed or boiled to make them edible. In Europe and United States frozen food accounts for a large part of shoppers’ baskets for both online and offline purchase of food products. Market analysts state that the current frozen food demand is likely to grow by almost double within the next decade.

 

Emerging trends of frozen food purchase – Though a large quantity of frozen foods is bought through wholesale foods online as it gives better economic value and offers wider selection for families where people rarely have time to go grocery shopping. Studies show that frozen beverages are in demand among women between 20-40 years a highly influential group in society that c-stores till date are struggling to retain. High quality beverages with clean packaging design and great taste which is available at a smart price is ardently desired by women in this demographic group as they look for value and taste. While hot and cold dispensed beverages are available at every convenience store food distributors are urging store owners to offer more fresh and healthy drinks choices to customers.

 

Fast growing sectors of frozen foods and beverages

 

Dairy products – This is the oldest frozen food and beverage category with well known brands of frozen desserts and drinks that have been loved for generations. Convenience store brokers regard frozen beverages as the strongest category in dairy products which has a strong market and complement them with other dairy products. Besides frozen beverages, flavored yogurt and cheeses have also shown a steady growth trend as it is centered on snacking occasions.

 

To make frozen beverages exciting and attract young crowds’ a large number of convenience store owners are setting up kiosks for them to customize their choices with flavored toppings, natural ingredients and fruit combinations. These beverages are offered as breakfast or snack combos with sandwiches, salads, wraps and flat breads that shoppers can eat on the go.

Frozen beverages – Dairy based cold beverages like flavored milk shakes and smoothies are in great demand all throughout the year as people combine them with ice creams to customize the taste to their choice. Cold beverage distribution is generally done by manufacturers themselves using their own transportation facilities to retain freshness and maintain quality of their products as that is vital to retain customer base.

 

They work up a partnership deal with c-stores and grocery store owners to maintain the beverage dispensing machines and fountains to maximize gross margins. Industry reports state that convenience stores on an average sell around $900 worth of frozen beverages in a month which has a gross margin of 52 percent. Smart convenience store owners which have set up a separate snacks cum fast food counter cash in on people’s demand for frozen beverages by combining new flavors with exciting promotions and food combinations and advertising heavily on local social media to attract locals. While frozen coffee blends grew by 11 percent in 2008-2012, the frozen beverages market had contributed $2.3 billion to profits of c-stores during 2012. Fastest growing category in frozen beverages has been iced coffee and slush drinks which have expanded by double digits in last five years.

 

While iced coffee grew by 7 percent slushes have become an iconic growth engine for struggling convenience stores. Though these carbonated drinks had a rocky start grocery as stores did not have knowledge of refrigeration and maintenance it has now become a favorite with 7Eleven’s “Slurpee” and “ICEE”. Convenience stores have a high margin with this product as only 20 percent of it is actual cost of food while 80 percent is profit margin which does not require a full time employee for servicing as buyers can purchase it from self serving vending machine.

 

Frozen pizza and bakery products – The demand for pizza remains unabated in United States as its residents consume around 100 acres of pizza every day. This widespread appeal for pizza has encouraged grocery distributors and c-stores to develop their own brands of ready to eat frozen pizza though it is extremely competitive to build volume. To expand their product line and encourage regular shoppers to sample their merchandise both grocery stores and convenience stores are offering pies, flavored breads, frozen sandwiches and other baked products to tantalize.

 

Large stores like Walmart, Costco, Maverick and Kwik Trip are offering “take and bake” options for pizzas and pies which are sold under their own brands which just needs to be put in the microwave oven to become ready for eating.

 

Frozen meals – While frozen beverages along with pizzas, pies and sandwiches have been very popular with buyers as breakfast and snack options, complete meals are not likely to get into frozen food division. Though options like frozen fried chicken dishes and vegetable dishes are available the synthetic taste of these products generally keeps buyers at bay. People still prefer hot and fresh food options which can be ordered from nearest restaurant or can be picked up from a fast food outlet.

 

To make their food division profitable c-stores have to concentrate on managing inventory and lowering waste, while to keep their frozen food and beverage division profitable they have to maintain cold storage equipment in top working condition. The growth of fast food counters which offer hot items to customers are more popular than frozen food options as people look for portable meal options.

 

Shipments of frozen desserts and novelty items along with pizza have grown though lunch and breakfast meats have reduced. Though online grocery stores are the ones which can benefit most from frozen foods they are still trying to fine-tune their supply and delivery processes. Physical c-stores can take advantage of this situation by having click and collect options for regular customers who can order frozen food products online and pay so they can just pick up their orders without waiting in queues.

 

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Comments Off on Which C-Store Structure is Best for your Product?

Which C-Store Structure is Best for your Product?

Each manufacturer wants his creation to become a hit in the market with buyers craving for more and convenience stores vying with each other to display the product at their stores. But the whole process of manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sales along with competition management can get a bit too overwhelming for the manufacturer.

 

If you are a manufacturer of non food convenience product than your only sales outlet will be small and large convenience stores in the local region and across the state www.cstoredirectory.com, which can be done with help from distributors and wholesalers www.cstoredistributors.com, that can give you advice about how to get products into c stores. As a manufacturer of food products you have the option of selling your products through both c-stores and grocery stores which increases your customer base.

 

Whether you want to sell your products through small mom and pop convenience stores or large super stores like Walmart, efficient distribution is vital to the success of your brand and its future. To guarantee the success of your product it has to meet a vital need of target customers and should be available at a price that they are willing to pay for it.

 

As a manufacturer you may have little understanding of market conditions and thus try to sell your product through stores which have several close competitors in the same category leading to early death of your brand. So to be a successful convenience store brand you need to carry out detailed research of stores first in your area to find out the categories of products they sell and also the prices they are available at which will help set up an viable price for your product to induce target customers to buy them.

 

Categories of C-stores that would be ideal for your product

 

Standalone single c-stores – These are attached to gas stations and are located close to housing societies or are in remote highways away from civilization. These stores are generally part of chain of gas station or can even be a single mom and pop neighbor stores storing essentials that can be needed at any time of the day. These stores have limited stocks of products and are more tolerant to start-ups and the limited number of brands can help your product in getting the recognition it deserves as there is less competition. Even though these stores have limited customers they are loyal and have been with them for a long time so it is easy for your product to establish its brand value here and then proceed to more competitive areas.

 

Large superstore and warehouse retailer – These are spread across different levels which store a wide category of products like Walmart, Costco or Target. To get your product into this category of stores it has to show record of popularity in other markets as these stores do not accept starters. If you want to create a niche demand for your products then it is not likely to happen by making a start at a large superstore as it is likely to get lost among the numerous categories in the store. This category of c-store is workable if you have a large production facility and would be able to handle large orders by superstores as they depend on volumes to drive their profits.

 

C-store and grocery store chains – There are statewide and nationwide chain stores of mid-sized convenience stores which have retained their hold on local markets for several decades despite pressure by large superstores. To get your product into these chains you can either contact their buyers or take the assistance of convenience store brokers which supply to them.

 

When you are able to get a product into c-store chain it is easy to get it into other stores in the group once your product becomes popular as then it will get automatically accepted. If you are a manufacturer of liquid beverage then it is ideal that you carry out the beverage distribution yourself to retain the quality and freshness of the product. Stores have vending machines and fountains for beverages which can be helpful in dispensing the beverage or it can be packed and sold in cans and bottles to give a unique brand name to it.

 

Specialty stores – If you want to establish an upmarket reputation of your product brand then it is ideal that you adopt a selective distribution system so that they are available only in upscale stores. This can be done by using Checkstand Program which is a independent group of food distributors, rack jobbers and wholesalers which work as a professional distribution system to introduce new products into the market. They will carry out an area wise sampling of your products through the stores they work with to check its viability and then depending on popularity distribute it across stores affiliated with them.

 

Factors determining choice of store for your products – Though you can choose any of the above given store types to sell your convenience products ultimately it is the profit you earn and the growth in brand name will determine which is best for you. Unless you are selling your product online, distributors, wholesalers and store owners will charge a margin from their services which will get added to the actual sale price of your product that will be paid by customers. If these margins drive up the price of your product and it becomes more expensive than that of competitors, it will be difficult to gain a foothold in the market.

 

Retailers are offered a wide variety of products on a regular basis to stock on their shelves which gives them bargaining power to accept or reject a new product. Though this may seem unfair to you as a manufacturer one should consider that a retailer is taking a risk by replacing a product which is already giving returns with a completely new product. It is vital for the success of your brand to select the most ideal type of stores which can present it effectively and complement your advertising outlay.

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