CStorePro Blog

Your resource on modern convenience store management

Despite having been available to the public since 2014, Apple Pay, the popular payment method offered by tech giant Apple, has been a slowly adopted method of payment among C-store owners. Whether store owners are afraid of additional fees to being weary of purchasing POS that will become obsolete soon, most stores haven’t hopped on the bandwagon as fast as Apple would have hoped.

It looks as though that’s about to change.

For any gas station owner, standing out and gaining a competitive advantage over the competitors can be really tough, especially when the gas prices are on the rise. Customers always give preference to gas stations offering the cheapest rates, and if there is nothing special about your business, there are slim chances you will get a lot of repeat business. In order to make your gas station stand out, you need to take measures for improving your customer service, property’s surroundings, and security so that consumers have an experience that they remember and come back to your business.

All eyes in the west are on Amazon as they prepare their new brick and mortar store, Amazon Go. However, a new contender may be on the rise in Shanghai. And while the new Amazon store will have human employees preparing fresh food items as well as other simple tasks, this new concept, currently being named “Wheelys 247” is said to not require any human labor, save for the occasional shelf restocking.

In a day and age when mobile phones seem to be attached to the masses at large, we are beginning to view our cell phones as extensions of ourselves in several ways—including financially.  With mobile payment options continuing to evolve, it’s clear that technology will soon be the law of the land, and our wallets show no sign of being excused from that.

In 2016, foodservice (including pre-prepared and commissary food, and hot/cold dispensed beverages) accounted for 21.7% of all in-store sales in all convenience stores across the US according to NACS Daily.

That is a 5.6% increase over 2015 and out of all non-tobacco categories, this 21.7% was the largest piece of the pie. It comes as no surprise to find that 2017’s numbers are projected to increase even more dramatically.

Developing team members successfully is essential in creating a positive retail environment for your convenience store.  Investing in, and fully developing your employees will help ensure your customers are well taken care of; which is half the battle of any service-oriented business.

It seems as if c-stores are always on the lookout for the next big thing to draw customers in. And while easier movie rental kiosks may get them outside the store, it may not be enough to entice them to come inside. But before you wind up spending your entire budget on the next big fad offering, it may be easier and more affordable to bring customers in.

In any business, excessive waste can lead to real problems. Beyond the time and effort it takes to manage, there can be harsh fines and penalties involved. Looking forward, there may be additional EPA regulations on the horizon that could become even more costly down the line.

When managing a convenience store, you’ll have to deal with one of the cardinal sins of the grab-and-go industry: out of stocks. Running out of a certain product, especially one in high demand, can be disastrous to your reputation as well as your wallet.

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