As new information on food is released, more and more people are changing their eating habits and adapting to a vegan lifestyle. Vegans have very strict dietary restrictions making them unable to have any animal products including items like milk, hot dogs, and eggs. This can be tricky for those with fast paced lives who often..
The global Gen Z population, anyone born between 1995 and 2012, is set to reach 2.6 billion by 2020. This means that c-store owners need to adapt their businesses so they appeal to their youngest customer demographic. Owners should be adding and upgrading aspects of their c-stores now to ensure profits in the future. Newer Technology for..
33 percent of consumers frequently eat breakfast away from home. This gives c-stores a huge opportunity to make profits in the morning by stocking and preparing their store with the items that early rising customers want. Coffee is King In the morning, customers are coming in to get energized on their way to work but..
The world of convenience is a fast-paced trend following industry where retailers need to stay up-to-date if they want to stay on top. Being a single-store makes some of the most popular trends hard to follow. Here are the top five foodservice trends and how your c-store can join in and make an impact. 1. Offering Local..
Do you often find yourself stressed out over your store’s inventory or reporting? Are you ready to start using your c-store’s data to improve your business, but not sure where to start? C-storePro can help with both these things, and more! What is C-StorePro? C-StorePro was created by c-store owners for c-store owners. The all-in-one..
When owners are contemplating which items to stock in a c-store they often forget the everyday products that people use. These hygiene and household related items are important to carry because customers typically need them instead of wanting them. Although c-stores are not the usual place customers shop for these items, they sometimes have no..
In the c-store industry, single store owners are often limited by a lack of manpower or resources, as well as tight budgets. This creates a variety of problems that keeps you from making the profits you need. Here are some of the most common challenges single store owners face, and solutions that could help your business..
Chicago and Japan are creating on-site grocery stores for condos and apartments downtown. Convenience is reaching a whole new level with “building theme stores”. C-stores should take notes from grocery stores that are taking up residence inside or below apartments where residents live. This strategy is sure to win people over, since they do not even..
Throughout the year gas prices rise and fall affecting your customers shopping and fueling habits. It is important to know how to keep your customers happy no matter what the price is at the pump so that your profits stay consistent all year long. What Happens When the Prices Change? Gas prices rise and fall due to..
Most c-store owners understand that advancements in payment technology are causing fuel consumers to come into the c-store from the pump less and less. Because gas margins are so thin compared to those on items sold inside the c-store, this is a troubling trend for store owners. C-store owners can no longer simply rely on..
By the end of 2016 there were over 150,000 convenience stores across the United States. As this number continues to grow, we see that there is a huge demand for convenience as they help to expand the communities that they are apart of. Take a look as we dive into the top five states that we believe are..
Moving beyond snacks and sodas, sandwiches are one of the more recent trends emerging in c-stores across the country. Customers are wanting quality meal options that are satisfying and quick to pick-up and go. Creating a fresh menu filled with variety will please customers and ensure that they will pick your c-store time and time again..
July is almost over and temperatures are still high. If you haven’t already began offering frozen drinks to your consumers, it’s not too late to start. With more consumers shifting the way they think about food and beverage choices, there are plenty of frozen dispensed beverage trends to take advantage of. If you’re looking for..
June and July were big months for legislation changes and reform affecting c-stores. Depending on what city or state you are in, changes may range from new taxes to attempting to overturn old reforms. Stay up-to-date on what new regulations could help or hurt your c-store’s profits. Tobacco Ban in San Fran San Francisco is fighting..
E15 may be one of the best options for additional fuel profits for c-store owners. E15 is one of the newest gas alternatives that appeals to both environmentally conscious customers and c-store owners looking to spend less on fuel. How is E15 Different? E15 is a fuel that is made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85..
Many of the best convenience stores are filled with products of all kinds. These different products often come from several brands and in an assortment of varieties. For the c-store shopper, choosing the right product can be a challenge when standing among all their options. Because many convenience customers are often in a hurry, the..
Since tobacco has continued to suffer under heavy government regulations, major tobacco firms have began funding the research and development of vape products. People are overall smoking less and beginning to switch to vaping, a new nicotine alternative. What is Vaping? Many people have switched from buying cigarettes to purchasing new vapor products. “Vaping is..
As more electric vehicles (EV) emerge, many are wondering if there is a future for gasoline powered automobiles. Looking at the overall progress of alternatively fueled cars can help us understand what is happening now and what will come in the future. The History of the Electric Car It may be a surprise to many people that..
In this ever-changing world of technology, millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide enjoy the convenience of mobile banking on their smartphones. Mobile banking is offered by most financial institutions and has grown more popular over the past decade. Mobile technology allows bank customers to perform financial transactions remotely usually through the institution’s mobile..
Now that Summer has arrived, shoppers are reaching for cold and satisfying treats to help deal with the rising temperatures. With gas prices at all-time lows, customers are able to spend more money on the food items they want inside of c-stores. When it comes to frozen treats customers are becoming more selective when deciding which items..
In 2016, it was estimated that almost $7 billion would be spent on food for the Fourth of July. Otherwise known as America’s Independence day, this holiday has become an annual time of relaxation and celebration with family and loved ones. With most spending the holiday eating, it is important that you are carrying the holiday..
Mandeep and her husband are the owners and operators of American Eagle, a gas station and convenience store in Toccoa, Georgia. In a small country town like Toccoa, American Eagle has become a hub for the community. Because large grocery stores or even fast food chain locations are few and far between, the citizens of..
In 2016, it was predicted that 35 percent of Americans are planning to take a family vacation 50 miles or more away from home. With so many people traveling you need to make sure your store is appealing so that customers are more likely to stop in and make a purchase. Attracting Travelers During a road trip,..
In January 2017, 63.8 percent of c-store shoppers made a candy or gum purchase. This makes your customers’ favorite sugar cravings an important category in your c-store. Learning about who they are and why they are buying can help you offer the best selection. Types of Candy Purchases Some of the most common instances of candy..
The convenience industry is an exciting fast paced world where owner’s can look forward to exciting growth in the coming years. Within the last thirty years the number of c-stores has dramatically increased by 63%, showing that people are taking advantage of how profitable owning a convenience store can be. Continued Growth As the c-store industry grows rapidly, many have analyzed the..
The number of unbanked citizens worldwide hovers around 2.5 billion, according to recent stats. This means that there are millions and millions of people who have no access to banking institutions or financial services. Globally there are many reasons why people are unbanked from country to country. Many regions lack access and are still rural..
Jack Link’s has rolled out a whole new twist on their famous meat links. Now introducing a breakfast line with high and complete protein meat that will allow customers to enjoy Jack Link’s any time of day. Jack Link’s A.M. will allow customers to pick from bacon or sausage flavors that will appeal to a variety..
By now, all c-store retailers should be aware of the importance of optimizing the shelves in their store. Where a product is placed can make all the difference in whether it sells. There are several best practice concepts that store owners can use to best organize their store shelves and keep their profits rising. Focus..
Rewards programs are emerging as one of the most helpful tools that c-store’s can use to keep customers coming in. Rewarding your customers for being loyal is not just for big chains anymore. Creating a program can be easy and stress-free if you have the right information and tools. Why a Rewards Program? Having a system..
Chances are, some of your faithful patrons fall into the category of unbanked consumers. This means they join approximately 7 percent of Americans who do not have a checking or savings account. Many of these consumers are living paycheck to paycheck and use alternative financial services for their financial needs. But they may benefit from..
By 2018 there will be more mobile devices than people on the planet. This means that mobile is one of the easiest ways to communicate and build relationships with your customers. A mobile application for your store will allow you to engage with them in their preferred method of communication, and explore a whole new way..
Millennials and their unconventional approach to traditional processes have had a big impact on the retail and banking industries. Their generation makes up about a third of all convenience store traffic, according to Convenience Store News. This means there’s a big financial benefit in wooing millennial customers and paying attention to their behaviors. Some financial..
Ravi Patel is the owner of Little Giant convenience store in Calhoun, Georgia. For the last six years, Patel has strived to make his business better than his competition by going above and beyond in the areas of customer service and convenience. Why Little Giant? Patel has never been the type to sit in front..
“Unbanked” and “Underbanked” consumers have a variety of options when it comes to wiring money to others or to pay bills quickly. Since unbanked consumers have no checking or savings account available to transfer money, this is an important alternative financial service for millions of households across the country. Likewise, underbanked consumers have a bank..
Candy dollar sales are predicted to grow 1.8 percent in 2017. Take advantage of this growth by learning the current trends that customers will want to buy from your c-store. Healthier Options A recent health trend has struck the snack and candy market. Consumers are wanting more options that will adhere to their specific dietary needs. Whether it..
While gasoline purchases are the number one reason why shoppers go to convenience stores, food and beverages follow close behind at number two. Consumers of all ages are drawn to the ease of grabbing a quick drink whether it’s on their way to work or before they get back on the road for a road..
The costs of being an “unbanked” and “underbanked” consumer are more expensive than many people realize. Although many unbanked and underbanked consumers have limited financial resources, the excessive costs associated with fees on their alternative financial services and transactions tend to add up quickly. Here are some of the costs incurred by the unbanked or..
During the Summer months, customers will be pouring into c-stores in search for their favorite products. As your store begins to gain heavier foot traffic, prepare for the increase in customers by optimizing your store’s space. Many store owners find that their store is lacking organization or structure that can be hindering their customer’s overall experience. Learn how..
Temperatures are already rising and the days are getting longer, which means summer is coming up fast. While popsicles and ice cream are always a fan favorite for keeping cool all season long, there’s another great frozen treat on the market that’s guaranteed to keep customers coming back for more, even after summer’s over. goEBT’s..
C-store sales often get a summertime boost due to thirsty out-of-school kids. Take advantage of the 4.5% increase in sales by choosing items specifically for warmer months. Picking the right products and learning how to market towards children can make a huge splash in your Summer profits. Selling Summer Products When picking the products you want to stock for the..
Studies say that most people spend 53 hours a year at the grocery store. However, as technology has evolved and the consumer demand for more convenience has grown, more consumers are turning toward grocery delivery options. In fact, as of 2015 a quarter of global respondents were already ordering groceries online and having them delivered..
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reported that about 7 percent of households in this country are considered “unbanked.” This means that they do not have a checking or savings account at a financial institution. Another 9 percent of households are “underbanked”, meaning they may have a checking or savings account but still have limited access..
In today’s food and retail industries, choices are seemingly endless and several trends are driving the way that consumers purchase and eat food. One trend, healthy eating, continues to be critical to the success of many food retailers and restaurants today. Over time, Americans have become more health conscious than ever and now they expect..
Large companies are on the hunt to acquire c-stores. Just in 2017, there have been hundreds of stores acquired pushing new competitors into the c-store market. As companies compete for growth it is important to know the latest company acquisitions, the pros and cons of selling your store, and what the outlook is for the..
Even in this age of innovation and technology, many small-business owners still see an influx of “unbanked” customers in their stores. Unbanked customers don’t rely on debit or credit cards and make all of their purchase with cash. This may be good news for some merchants because cash customers provide a simple and instant income..
In 2010, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was passed. This legislation protected small business owners and consumers alike, by placing a limit on the fees that banks could charge businesses for debit and credit card swipes. The fee reform meant business owners could grow their bottom line without hiking up prices..
As a merchant, it’s beneficial to understand the financial background and spending habits of your customers. This information can help your business to be more profitable and help you better meet the needs of your customers. If your customers are categorized as “unbanked” or “underbanked” consumers, it’s important for you to understand what those terms..
In a scientific telephone survey of 1,000 adult Americans, 75 percent said they have made an impulse purchase. By definition, impulse buying is the act of purchasing something unplanned after feeling the sudden urge to buy a product. This often happens when a customer has come into your c-store to buy a specific item but..
The convenience store is a staple in almost every neighborhood. Although these neighborhoods and the people who live in them are all different, some studies have shown that trends do exist across the convenience industry and the customers that frequent stores across the country. While your “regular” customers may frequent your c-store simply because they’re..
We’re well into the year 2017, and the May 17th deadline for ensuring your store is up to date with new SNAP retailer stocking regulations is fast approaching. If you haven’t already, look over the changes that have been made to stocking requirements and make sure your store is carrying all the right products to..
The checkout counter is the last chance to get customers to purchase additional items and leaves a lasting impression in customers’ minds. Making sure your counter has a tempting “selling zone” that draws in impulse shoppers to increase your profits. Understanding what is working and how you can improve can make all the difference. If..
Seasonality is more important than you may think to your store’s success. It’s June now and you can surely count on your customers to start coming into your store for those summertime essentials. Sure, your regular customers will likely still visit to pick up their typical items, but many will likely start to change or..
Owning and operating your very own business comes with a lot of responsibility, which for some people, can mean a lot of worry. While it can be easy to get caught up in the anxiety of failing or making mistakes, operating your c-store in a constant state of fear could be the reason your business..
There are over 155,000 c-stores in the Unites States alone. Competition is on every owner’s mind. Whether it is a new business opening down the street or a rival store that you’ve been competing with for years, understanding how customers think and why they might choose another store over you is the first step improving your c-store. 1. Price – “a..
In today’s regulatory environment, health inspectors are evaluating retailers on the efforts they are making to keep their consumers safe rather than what might already be wrong. Inspections are no longer only intended to check for obvious potential dangers, but also to examine the procedures and standards in an individual business. As inspectors are becoming..
Keeping the right products in your store is about more than simply finding the ones you get a great deal on, the ones other stores are carrying, or even the ones customers have bought before. Deciding what products you should stock in your store, and how, should rely on a careful strategy. This strategy is..
To get ready for spring some of the biggest chocolate companies are rolling out holiday-themed versions of their most popular candies. Check out what yummy items you could carry this spring to bump up profits and draw in customers with a sweet tooth! Mars Dove Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs; Mars has redesigned their famous Dove..
The 2016 United States presidential election left a considerable portion the country with many uncertainties about the future. One major area of concern going into 2017 is the country’s economy and the outlook for current and potential business owners. While 80% of roughly 1,400 executives from small and mid-sized businesses across the country say that..
Out of stock can sometimes mean out of business, according to Jim Callahan of Convenience Store Decisions. Many owners have not been paying attention to the effects that out-of-stock products can have on a c-store. It is important to understand how this is happening and how it can cause you to lose major profits if..
We really can’t say this enough: Owning and operating a convenience store is a tough job. When you are a single store owner with very little help, this job is even harder. Not only do many c-store owners independently own and operate their store, they are often actually doing the day to day work inside..
While some people couldn’t imagine a life without a bank account and/or credit and debit cards, this is reality for many Americans. Today, 7.7% of American households have no bank account at all. There’s also another 17.9% of households that may have an account, but still rely on alternative financial services like check-cashing services or..
One of the most important aspects of owning a c-store is deciding product pricing to make the most profit. Learning to develop your pricing strategies, knowing what to avoid, and understanding the importance of knowing your competition’s prices helps you be informed and make the best pricing decisions. The following information will give you a foundation..
When someone says “convenient store” or “c-store” some people think of a very small store, often connected to a gas station, filled with snacks and beverages. Many people frequent c-stores for their junk food fixes or grab-and-go meals. However, many business owners are redefining the c-store by making the most of their space and location..
A large part of being successful within the convenience industry is being able to provide great customer service. One way many owners fall short is by not understanding how much communication with your customers can affect this service. It is important to learn the common errors that occur and how you can easily improve communication..
The unbanked and underbanked American consumers are always looking for the businesses that can help make their lives easier. They also value the businesses that they can trust. Because many convenience stores are in communities where there is a high population of people who are underserved by traditional financial institutions, they have a unique opportunity..
Today, there are 25 million unbanked people and 40 million underbanked people in the United States with no or low credit scores. The uniqueness of the unbanked and underbanked population is changing the services businesses provide and the way they accommodate their consumers. These consumers have become an important asset to the c-store industry and..
Nearly two-thirds of convenience stores are independently owned and operated. The single-store or family owned business has recently re-emerged as a major trend in convenience. Some large stores are even remodeling their locations to achieve the small business and more local aesthetic. With new and innovative trends still giving the larger companies and chains a competitive advantage, Mom and Pop c-stores are left..
In the food and beverage retail industry, women make up more than half of the workforce but are only 27% of its management. The women who do hold these roles within the c-store industry are making a difference. Due to their numerous achievements, these women are pushing past challenges and taking their companies and stores to new levels..
Recently, the USDA passed a new rule regarding minimum stock requirements for SNAP authorized retailers. The changes to the rule are significant, but should not be very difficult for convenience store owners to comply with. As of May 17, 2017, the following changes will take effect: What does this mean? When these new requirements take..
In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, the FBI took great strides in educating and protecting c-store chains from crime. In recent years, many new ‘Mom and Pop’ single owner stores have emerged into the c-store industry. Without the proper knowledge and resources, these stores have become vulnerable to crime, especially those choosing to operate 24 hours..
One of the toughest, yet most important, responsibilities that comes with being the owner and operator of a convenience store is keeping your store stocked with all of the products your customers want and need. This task is especially difficult when you’re a single store owner with nowhere near the same resources as the large..
Know Your Location’s Risks Different parts of the country face different kinds of disasters. The top five states with the highest exposure to multiple natural hazards are Florida, Rhode Island, Louisiana, California, and Massachusetts. While Michigan, West Virginia, New York, North Dakota and Vermont are the least likely to be hit by a natural disaster…
Running a c-store is becoming increasingly complex. Combine together new trends with changing technology and new competitors, and you’ll find that running a c-store can seem overwhelming. Here are the top five most confusing c-store concepts explained so you can understand what is going on with the convenience industry today. Clean and Healthy Foods In 2017 customers..
Today, there are roughly 44.2 million Americans receiving food stamp benefits, including children. With an average of $125 in benefits being issued to each individual in the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a critical part of the federal aid available to low income Americans. Over the years, the program has evolved a..
C-store’s are evolving quickly as a younger generation of owners are coming in and changing the way we view convenience. The “modern convenience concept” includes an array of new techniques that appeal to both older and younger customers. Below are some of typical “modern” c-store components to help you understand what is different about these new..
7-Eleven In 1927, 7-Eleven started off as an icehouse in Dallas. Ninety years later, with over 8,000 franchises in the US and Canada alone, it is one of the largest c-store chains to date. Known for its Slurpee and Big Gulp drinks, 7-Eleven is undoubtedly the most recognized convenience store in the world. 7-Eleven’s biggest..
Tax Season is well underway, and while most of us would probably like to think about taxes as little as possible, it’s important that both you and your store are ready. Between filing your own business’ tax returns and your consumers filing theirs, there is plenty to consider between now and April 18th. Work with..
54.8% of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day. Every February customers spend money on candy, flowers, and other holiday related products. With total spending expected to reach $18.2 billion, it is important to make sure your store is stocked and ready for Valentine’s Day. Preparing for Profits “According to the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, retail outlets..
Trying to decide what you should sell in your store can be stressful. Cigarettes and alcohol sales have been a major factor in c-store sales over the last several years. Now with recent changes in government regulations make sure you are aware of what is happening and how it can affect your c-store this coming..
It’s 2017 and W-2s have been printed and mailed. While you’re planning for you own tax obligations, be aware that many consumers are filing their own taxes and likely receiving a refund. According to IRS data, “8 out of 10 US taxpayers will get a refund averaging just under $3,000”1. Often, these lump sums become..
Throughout the year there are many different events that are specifically intended to benefit the convenience store industry. From food and drink expos, to discussions about new government regulations, there is an event that every c-store owner can benefit from. Look through the list we compiled below to see which events you will want to keep..
To prepare for the Super Bowl, U.S. consumers spend $14.3 billion every year, with 79% of people purchasing only food items[i]. No matter where your c-store is, you will undoubtedly be catering to customers who are coming to stock up on all the most popular game day essentials. This means that you need to make..
In the past year, numerous apps and different types of software have been developed to help owners take their business to a new level of efficiency. As a hard working c-store owner, you need every piece of technology to save time, money, and keep your business running smoothly. Take a look at our top picks..
The winners of the largest consumer-voted award for product innovation in 2016 have now been announced[i]. Take a look at the innovative products that actually sold last year, new items being introduced this year and those predicted to do well in 2017. Last Year’s Best Sellers There are many different categories of products that you can..
Mastercard and Visa have moved the liability shift for EMV at the fuel pump from October 2017 to October 2020. So what can you do to fight fraud and protect your customers now without EMV technology? The first step in fighting fraud outside of your c-store is understanding how fuel pump fraud occurs and the..
2016 was a successful year for the convenience retail and gas station industry. Now 2017 is here, and soon, a new President will be inaugurated. Most citizens are expecting change, but many are not sure what kind and to what extent. For many business owners, whether small or large, new legislation on the horizon is..
One of the number one customer generators is “word-of-mouth” referrals. As the way that people communicate with one another continues to evolve, we find ourselves a long way away from the days of a true face-to-face recommendation. Now your business’ continued success is depending on the conversations of the internet, social media in particular. With..
The prepaid cards industry is often overlooked and underestimated by c-store owners. With over $76.7 billion loaded collectively just in 2014, now is the time to consider selling a product to the 10 million Americans without a checking account may be looking for in your store[i]. Increasing Popularity In the past few years prepaid cards..
C-store services have been developing increasingly fast over the last few years. Customers are expecting more, and now is the time to invest in money services that will benefit your shoppers, business, and community. “Convenience stores are intensely local businesses that offer an ever-growing range of products and services. Most of all, they sell convenience, allowing..
As of 2015, 7% of American consumers were unbanked and 19.9% were underbanked. This means that almost 27% of consumers have no bank account and very limited access to many other financial resources, such as credit cards and more. For this population of the United States, apps, websites, and automatic payments just aren’t beneficial. Ensuring..
With 58% of business leaders expecting definite convenience industry growth in 2017[i], it is crucial that owners continue to uphold and enhance their c-store image. This will help you retain old customers, attract new ones, and boost sales in 2017. Improving Your Store Image One of the best ways to improve the way your store..
In 2015, 12% of all c-stores underwent renovations[i] ̶ because re-inventing your store’s design is one of the best ways to draw in new customers. Throughout the year sales can rise and drop, so it is very important to make sure you are continually trying to make your store the best that it can be. One way to..
“With gas prices down, many major gasoline retailers are finding new and improved ways to make the traditional refueling experience more efficient and enjoyable for consumers.”[i] In an industry with heavy competition, it is important to stay informed about what other store owners are doing differently. Consider making some of these changes to help your..
“Convenience stores don’t just serve communities — they invest in them. With this large investment, they have a stake in the community’s success and seek to enhance it”[i]. As a c-store owner, there is constant pressure to have a business that is up-to-date. This can cost you a lot of time and money. Luckily, there..
Sixty-four percent of c-store owners have labeled new store concepts as a strategic priority for 2017[i]. With innovation around every corner owners are striving to balance an improved shopping experience with expanded offerings. Some of these offerings could include innovative ideas like remote-controlled POS systems, digital fuel sign software, or interactive fuel pumps. With current..
94% of people cite Wi-Fi as the most important amenity a business can provide[i]. Providing internet access for your customers is an easy upgrade to make that will not only transform your c-store, but also give you an edge against competitors. Set yourself up for success in the new year by bringing in this highly..
Along with the cold weather comes the need for new seasonal products. Whether it’s a holiday snack trend or a beverage to keep them warm, customers are wanting new and different products to satisfy their winter cravings. Quality Coffee When buying in bulk, higher quality coffee can be very inexpensive, and an easy way to..
Preparation is the biggest factor when transferring your store to a family member. After spending countless hours to improve your business and maximize your income, the last thing you want is a lengthy and stressful transfer once you are ready to pass on your store. With your future in mind, the following information will help..
80 to 90 percent of all businesses are family-owned, -run, or –managed, and 63.1% of all c-stores in the U.S. are owned and operated by just one person[i]. We understand how hard it is to run your own convenience store. After working 60+ hours per week, long term success and transferring your business may not always be the first..