With summer right around the corner, C-store owners may notice a shift in their sales to accommodate the warmer weather. As customers gear up for road trips, C-stores are the perfect pit stop for snacks, fuel, and bathroom breaks, so it’s important to be prepared.
Stocking up on summer appropriate items, remerchandising your store, and pushing those hot summer products in your marketing scheme will all be helpful in having a successful summer season.
1# Plan Your Inventory
Unsure which of your summertime snacks are the most popular? Sure, lemonade and ice cream outsell hot chocolate when the weather heats up, but which flavors? With CStorePro’s reporting function you can compare historical sales data and stock up on the products you need for the months ahead.
If your ice cream cooler is in the back of the store, now is the time to pull it out toward the front so that customers have easy access to it. Now is also a prime time to be dusting off your shelving units, moving your Ramen noodle stock from out of eye-level, and replacing it with granola bars and sunflower seeds.
Brands that have the highest markup are often sold in this “bulls-eye zone,” and because they’re right in your customer’s line of site, they’re more likely to be purchased. Identify your prime summer sellers and make sure they’re in the zone.
3# General Maintenance
As road and foot traffic increases, so will the traffic in your store. This mean you’re going to want to make sure your store is in tip top shape for the coming rush. While you can still technically call it “spring cleaning,” now is the time to get it done. Chipping paint, broken tiles, or a busted dryer in the bathroom; make a list and start checking things off.
Be sure to make sure your refrigeration units, air conditioning, and any seasonal machines (such as ice cream) are in good working condition. While most stores serve items such as slushies year-round, not all products are like this. If there’s something you only offer in the warmer months, make sure it’s ready to go. Likewise, if anything goes away until winter: make sure it’s cleaned and stored properly to avoid a headache next season.
4# Promotional Marketing
Get creative and make the most of your promotional opportunities. CStorePro makes it easy to identify and setup promotions with our price book management system. If you have the best deal on ice cream in town, you want customers to be aware of that before they walk into your C-store.
Social media promotions are an effective way to reach your existing customers, but don’t neglect in-store signage, flyers, billboards, and other opportunities to let those passing by know exactly what your summer specials are.
5# Enjoy Your Summer!
For many C-stores, summer is a busy time of year so it’s important to maximize your summer potential. By following the convenience store tips above, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition and ready for a busy, profitable season!