Single Store Owner

APR 2016

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the hub 22 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / APRIL 2016 based business improvement firm Synerge. Grimm said she began working in the channel in 2000 and has observed the face of the industry "clearly changing." She compared a convenience store operator's mind to "a whirlwind," filled with issues like gas prices, equipment and out-of-stocks. "Regardless if you have one store or 50 stores, you live in it and it can be painful," Grimm said. "It's personal. It's what we've chosen to spend our lives at." To be successful, c-store retailers need to stay on top of increased competition, regulatory pressures — which ultimately lead to increased operating costs — and customer expectations. However, the same can be said for the distribu- tion side of the supply chain. During the executive panel discussion on retailer-wholesaler relationships, distributors participating from the audience indi- cated that competition from other distributors and increased operating costs are key factors impacting their business today. Part of satisfying today's consumer means having more fresh offerings in the stores, added Oneslager, who said "fresh food is a huge piece of our business." He noted, however, that traditional wholesalers and suppliers still "need to figure out how to handle that part." Those who are doing foodservice well are making a big commitment and investment. "You can't just dip your foot in it," Oneslager said. SSO in common with the convenience store operators they serve. Both sides of the retail equation face similar challenges as well. "We are all just part of a supply chain, delivering and satisfying consumers," said Richard Oneslager, owner of Balmar Management Group LLC, which has eight c-stores in the Denver area. He was one of the participants in a retail panel discussion during the event. Oneslager joined Lisa Dell Alba, president and CEO of Square One Markets, and Iris Yost, owner of four 7-Eleven locations in Las Vegas, on the panel moderated by Ieva Grimm, president of Pittsburgh- Keynote speaker George Blankenship said nothing is impossible. Embracing change was a common theme heard by attendees of the 2016 Convenience Distribution Marketplace event.

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