Choosing Between Gas and Tobacco C-Store Loyalty?

For C-Store retailers running gas rewards, the decision to implement tobacco loyalty often creates conflicts at the pump. There are options to stay in compliance with your brand loyalty and still take full advantage of Altria Loyalty and RJR tobacco promotions.

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Should you be moving forward with RJR Scan Data Promotions?

RJR tobacco scan data is a key to maximizing C-Store sales and profits. However, many retailers ball with their RJR scan data promotions. Should you move forward with RJR?

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5 Minute C-Store Plan – $20,000 Profits

Finding time is never easy. ….

C-Store Daily Plan – Does It Pay?

“What would you rather me do? Take 5 minutes to know my store or just start to work?” This was the answer given by a successful c-store manager to the question – “Do you have time to plan your day?”

Nothing is free and everything takes time. Using time well is not easy, but if you had a set of key information, would it make sense to take 5 minutes to organize the day? If your managers have a good daily plan, what would happen?

Stores that grow 5% produce more than $20,000 in extra profits each year. Some argue that a good store manager can control many things in a c-store. If they manage the important work – staffing, stocking, cleaning and customer service, then good results will follow. Those that believe managers can control store activity, know they must have a plan to succeed. Using time well is the key to growing profits. Good managers control the work in their stores. They resolve problems, fix inventory issues, open the store and schedule labor. It takes knowledge of the situation and the ability to manage the resources. Providing the key information makes managing more effective.

So what information should be provided to make it easy for a c-store manager to have a great daily plan?

Many think helping them to choose daily work items wisely, is a key to success. Providing key facts allows a manager to assess the store performance and then assign the work to get the needed results. Making it easy to see the key indicators for store results allows the store manager to focus attention and make things happen. Here is a list of things used to make decisions that help improve store performance.

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan Considerations

  1. Same day sales – same day of week, last week or last year
  2. Monthly sales – year over year comparisons
  3. Categories that are going up or down compare to the same period last year
  4. Top selling items
  5. Items that are not selling at all
  6. Items that sold last week but are not selling this week
  7. Customer feedback on bathrooms, service and selection
  8. Store inspections
  9. Store maintenance items

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan – Make It Easy!

If there is a place that the most important information can be found so that the manager is not spending time gathering the information, then it becomes a quick check to decide what things need attention. Creating a list of actions and getting them done becomes a short task each day and leads to success. Knowing where to find the answers is a big part of the job. Make it easy!

For more information on C-Store planning

You may also want to read about our blog on C-Store Operations – Keep It Simple – The Hard Work?

The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow – download now.

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SAMSUNG CSC

The Key to Increasing Cigarette Sales is Multi-Pack Discounts

The key to increasing cigarette sales is multi-pack discounts. Many vendors provide scan data rebates, but getting your money for scan data is not enough to increase your sales. By providing a discount to your customers, cigarette sales increase. These discounts are funded by your manufacturer enabling you to maintain your margins. The discount funding is only available when you participate with the scan data program.

Up-selling to Increase Cigarette Sales with Discounts

The increased sales are achieved by lowering the price. The price discounts are funded by the manufacturer and are in addition to the existing buy-down and other contractual programs you have now (you must make an agreement with your cigarette representative for Altria and RJR).

To be sure you keep your margins, it is critical to process the information correctly. Many scan data vendors provide the scan data processing at a low price. If they do not process the multi-pack and loyalty payments, however, the funding for the discounts is paid by the retailer. That is, unless properly submitted the multi-pack discount reimbursements will not be made. It is critical to ensure your processor is able to collect all the data AND provide it to the processors so that the retailer receives the discount payments. Finally, it is a lot of money, make sure you have a partner that will work with you and your manufacturer to get all that you are promised.

Cigarette Scan Data Processing Keys to Success

  1. Scan data includes all the multi-pack information for both the Altria and RJR program
  2. The vendor is able to apply your specific multi-pack discounts based on your POS processing
  3. Your manufacturer has included you in the multi-pack program and provide your discount
  4. Have your processor know how to resolve certification delays or data problems.

Of course you can sell more if you discount the price. Of course, you can up-sell more easily when the customer gets a great value. Of course, they will visit more when you provide the best value. The program works, make sure you have a partner that will help you get all the reimbursements so you maintain your margin.

It helps when you have a cigarette rep that knows the program and helps you get started. Also make sure your processor understand the details of all the different rebate issues and has a track record of getting full payments for their clients (i.e., carton, multi-pack and loyalty). Of course, it helps to be able to contact a knowledgeable person who will help you get it done. Sometimes the program and technology can be a bit frustrating in the beginning. Find the right partner and make it happen. Drive more sales and save your customers a lot of money.

Cigarette Scan Data Has Three Parts

  1. Basic file submission for up to 10 cents a carton (everyone does this step)
  2. Multi-pack certification. Make sure you get your reimbursements.
  3. Loyalty processing certification. This one is often worth more than the others.

C-Store Scan Data – Related links

If you enjoyed this blog, you can find more information in these links:

C-Store Cigarette Scan Data Software Increases Tobacco Sales

Increase Cigarette Sales 10% and more!
C-Store Cigarette Scan Data Software – Product Information.

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Systematizing C-Store Growth – 5 Things to Know First

Systematizing c-store growth is key to adding new stores and maintaining profits. Over the past several years new software solutions have emerged to help c-store operators optimize store performance. Operators for whom growth is the goal have started adopting these new software solutions. To be clear, store performance software compliments and goes way beyond the traditional back office system.

A key benefit of optimizing store performance is that it not only results in same store sales growth, it also positions the operator to successfully add new stores to his or her chain.

Five Things to Know to Systematize C-Store Growth

  1. Know the main areas that must be automated for the desired systematization
  2. Know problems that the system(s) must overcome
  3. Know how the problems are solved manually
  4. Know the software options available and what must be built or integrated
  5. Know someone that has systematized c-stores

Research C-Store Growth Systems

Read more on best practices for c-store performance systematization –  “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

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Four Levels of C-Store Performance Growth

Top 20 Chains Own 30% of All Stores

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Four Levels of C-Store Performance Growth

Four Levels of C-Store Performance Growth

There are four phases in store performance optimization. They define the C-Store Performance Maturity Model.  The model is a guide along the path to successful, sustainable growth. The first one –  Founding addresses financial issues. From Founding the levels progress to Organizing, Growing and Thriving. As progress is made, greater profits or simplified work is achieved. Of course, the path is not always straight and without bumps and detours. When the path is followed fully, mature companies achieve both higher profits and simpler work. Their staff is able to produce the desired results consistently.

Reaching a high level of c-store performance growth does not happen accidentally. It takes planning action and follow-through. The path is well documented and can be followed by any company.

C-Store Performance Maturity –Indications of Developing C-Store Maturity

When planning for store performance optimization and growth it’s important to start by assessing your current level of store performance maturity. The table below shows examples of how focus changes as maturity increases. Use this as a model for identifying your own opportunity areas, allowing you to lay out a plan for moving forward.  Note that with less maturity there is more potential to make substantial gains, but the gains will likely require more time and investment to achieve.

 

Focus Areas

Less Mature

C-Store Performance

More Mature

C-Store

Performance

Customer Growth Location Promotions and Loyalty
Customer Retention Gas price Service and Attraction
Competitive Differentiation Price-based Value and convenience
Management Hands off Accountability to results
Decision Criteria Cost focus Return-driven investments

Determine Your C-Store Performance Maturity Level

Download the whitepaper to determine your level of c-store performance maturity. Find ways to improve with the white paper-  “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

You may also like a related blog regarding:

C-Store Performance – The Proven System for Growth

Top 20 Chains Own 30% of All Stores

 

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C-Store Performance – 5 Obstacles to Growth

5 Obstacles to C-Store Performance Growth

It’s hard to grow when you’re fighting fires. It can be frustrating to put aside important work regarding new promotions, up-selling, staff training due to emergencies or big problems that are making you lose money. Basic daily operations, if poorly managed, take priority over even the best intentions to increase sales. Here are some of the top 5 obstacles that high growth companies have had to overcome.

  1. High theft from employees and delivery staff
  2. District managers consumed with interviews or covering for missing managers.
  3. Dirty stores, unfriendly service, unhappy customers
  4. Silence and disregard to problems or the opposite – finger-pointing and blame
  5. Pumps with bags and broken coolers that take too long to fix

Customers are buying every day. Making the most of sales opportunities happens when your managers focus staff on customer service. Addressing problems quickly and establishing work practices to avoid them make it possible to optimize c-store performance. There is a proven system to optimize c-store performance. It starts by removing the obstacles to growth.

Download the Proven Way to Remove Obstacles to C-Store Growth

Download the whitepaper with a full list of c-store obstacles and learn how high growth companies overcome them. Find ways to improve with the white paper –  “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

You may also like a related blog regarding:

C-Store Performance – The Proven System for Growth

Top 20 Chains Own 30% of All Stores

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C-Stores – The Top 20 Companies Own 30% of All Stores – How Do They Do It?

Top 20 Chains Own Almost 50,000 C-Stores

According to Convenience Store News the top 20 operators own 30% of all the c-stores in the USA.

Growing same-store sales test even experienced operators. But the numbers reveal just how much more challenging it is to add new stores. In 2017, the total number of C-Stores in the United States increased by only 423. Yet, for some operators new store growth is remarkable. The top twenty companies owned 25% of all stores last year. Now in 2018, they own about 30%. The big companies keep growing. One question asked is how they manage to grow so fast. Many argue that automation and replication is a big part of growth. Being able to manage how existing stores perform is critical to keep them on track to provide time to focus on adding new stores.

C-Store Performance – Beyond Back Office

Over the past several years new software solutions have emerged to help C-store operators optimize store performance. Operators for whom growth is the goal have started adopting these new software solutions. To be clear, store performance software compliments and goes way beyond the traditional back office system.

Download – Optimize C-Store Performance

Success is not easy, but there is a proven way to achieve consistent growth. C-Store growths follows a process. Get a copy of the white paper “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.” The download is free.

C-Store Performance Assessment

Assess how well your stores are performing. Simply select the business practices that apply to your operation from the lists presented. Submit your choices and you’ll be emailed a written report including suggestions on how to improve store performance. Take 7 minutes and get a customized report. Great for focus group meetings or strategy planing retreats – Get your assessment now.

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

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C-Store Performance – The Proven System for Growth

C-Store Customer Survey Software – Product Information.

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52643263 - roi return on investment

C-Store Performance – ROI of Growth – How much profit from 1%?

How Much Profit from 1% C-Store Growth?

Generating growth provides cash and resources. The example below shows how a typical store with inside sales of $85,000 per month at a 27% margin can increase annual bottom line profits by more than $4,100 per store annually.

 

Increasing growth – sales impact
Sales increase % (fuel and inside) 1%
Increase in sales – month $850
Increase gross profit – Inside – month $230
Increase in fuel gallons 775
Increase gross profit – fuel – month $116
Total monthly increase – inside sales & fuel $346
Annual profit increase per store @ 1% growth $4,149

Improving C-Store Performance Pays

There are lots of ways to improve by just 1%. Some things are easy for you to do yourself. Others happen with your partners.  Manufacturers will provide the signs and promotions to pay for incentives that provide a lot more than 1% improvement. Making 1% brings value to your bottom line. Making a series of improvements builds a very profitable store. Making improvements pays. High-growth chains find ways to keep improving so they make growth happen consistently.

Check the math when growth improvements get bigger across multiple stores. It pays to find ways to improve.

Store Count Growth Percentage
1 2 3 4 5
1 $4,149 $8,298 $12,447 $16,596 $20,745
5 $20,745 $41,490 $62,235 $82,980 $103,725
10 $41,490 $82,980 $124,470 $165,960 $207,450
25 $103,725 $207,450 $311,175 $414,900 $518,625

Proven Method of Growth

Read more about the proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow. Download the white paper and get started –   “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

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C-Store Performance – The Proven Way for Growth

Increase Tobacco Sales

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C-Store Performance – The Proven System for Growth

The Proven System for C-Store Performance Growth

Big chains keep getting bigger. Top growth derives from operational maturity, defined as mastery of five c-store performance management areas.

 

I. Back Office Managing finance, inventory and pricing
II. Staffing Hiring, on-boarding and retaining
III. Operations Delivering convenience consistently and profitably
IV. Customer Experience Building relationships with the customers
V. Growth & Capacity Staff development, system automation and facility management

 

C-Store Growth – Start with Existing Stores

It takes significant resources to address all five areas of performance. The simple fact is that more stores to share the burden means more resources are available. But, the large operators were not always their current size. The successful companies were first able to optimize their store performance, grow their business, generate extra cash and free up management time to drive store growth. Operating existing stores well is the critical first step to make resources available. Without on-going and consistent same-store growth, management time is pulled back into the existing store oversight rather than new store creation or acquisition. With comprehensive management in place, fewer problems occur. Available resources catalyze new store growth.

Download – Optimize C-Store Performance

Download the whitepaper to learn more –  “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs

Increasing Tobacco Sales

What C-Store Managers Need to Increase Sales.

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