Single Store Owner

JAN-FEB 2016

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42 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 FROM THE EXPERTS Are You Creating Your Future? How to move to a more strategic approach for your c-store When taking a category management approach, you create different plans for each category in your store based on your overall store strategies, including: • Your store type, which helps determine your positioning in the market; • Your target shopper; and • Your competition. You need to make decisions across these three areas to develop your overall retail store strategy. Now, let's start formulating your overall store strategy. Creating this overall strategy will help guide you and your staff on how to strategi- cally make the right decisions for your store. It starts by considering the size and type of c-store you own or manage. Smaller stores usually have higher reli- ance on fuel and less on foodservice. Larger stores have more offerings. Your store type — whether you are a neighborhood store, commuter store or in- terstate store — also has a significant effect on store layout, target consumer and the types of products and services you offer. Your store strategy needs to include consider- ations for each of the following: • Service — including convenience, store location, access to the store, parking and customer ser- vice. What does "service" stand for in your store? • Product assortment — relates to the categories that you sell in your store, as well as the items you sell within each of those categories. • Product placement (or shelving) — strategies define the way your store is laid out, includ- ing aisle layouts, category adjacencies and category layouts. • Pricing — including strategies for both regular and promotional prices. • Promotion — including marketing, advertising and loyalty programs for your store. Once you've defined these parts of your strategy, you need to define your target shopper. Note: If you are building a new store, you should start with your target customers and design the store and offer to meet their needs. You shouldn't target "everyone" because you will have a hard time completely satisfy- ing each of the different shopper's needs. You should T he convenience channel is changing every day. New, large retailers are entering this space. The consolidation of convenience store retailers is con- tinuing. Foodservice has gone from being a "me too" to being a point of differentiation for many retailers. And delivery services and financial services are becoming more of the norm. It never stops changing! As a single-store owner or small chain operator, are you creating your future or are you sitting passively and letting the future create you? In this context, the "future" is defined as your competitors, customers, market and industry trends. I'd like to share two steps that will help you become more strategic in your c-store using a category management framework. These steps will help you to become more proactive in your business and help you achieve targets and objectives for your store(s). STEP 1: DEFINE YOUR RETAIL STORE STRATEGY The graphic on the left below represents what happens without a strategy. There are no guide- lines to define how you want to be perceived by your customer. The graphic on the right below illustrates how an umbrella strategy ensures your actions fit your vision. BY SUE NicHollS, cAtEgoRY MANAgEMENt KNowlEdgE gRoUp One that catches everything that comes its way To be included it must fit under strategy

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