Single Store Owner

JUN 2016

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the hub 14 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JUNE 2016 Showing Of SAS & Eby-Brown highlight current trends, future advances at their annual trade shows By ANgElA HANSoN enhanced foodservice programs, as well as its new "space to sales" analysis process, which helps retailers optimize their individual stores. The process exam- ines the layout and stocked products at individual stores to determine which segments are underal- located or overallocated and how store owners can make adjustments to improve sales. The program is free to all its customers. SAS' vendor partners, meanwhile, showed off their latest wares. Snack suppliers, recognizing the c-store market is evolving in its demand for a quick, quality bite, are responding by offering more premium items, such as individual guacamole servings and bite-size fudge pieces that allow for small indulgences. Creativity was also on display with unusual snacks such as the Cheesewich, which sub- stitutes cheese for slices of bread alongside a protein. Foodservice was a major focus for retail- ers in attendance as the industry as a whole continues to enhance its prepared food offerings. Longtime c-store staples such as taquitos are appearing in new forms like extra-long taquitos and taquito/hot dog combos. Exhibitors told Single Store Owner that grab-and-go offerings are in demand right now, along with bold and spicy flavors. Additionally, as foodservice becomes more important, daypart matters less. According to one supplier, c-stores should pay close attention to their specific market and whether customers are interested in eating breakfast items during non-breakfast hours and vice versa. In the beverage categories, coffee remains a hot property, with numerous blends and serving varieties, such as K cups, on display. But the next big thing on the horizon may be tea. One SAS exhibitor said the c-store tea market is currently where coffee was a de- cade ago — before c-stores recognized the opportu- nity it offered and ramped up their coffee programs. ADVANCES VIA TECHNOLOGY For the more than 1,200 retailers and suppliers that attended the two-day 2016 Eby-Expo, held April 28-29 at the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa J ust as convenience store retailers are in constant pursuit of improvement, so too are the convenience distributors that serve them. Ahead of the peak summer sell- ing season, distributors S. Abraham & Sons Inc. (SAS) and Eby-Brown Co. LLC brought single-store owners, c-store chain operators and hundreds of supplier partners together at their annual trade shows to show off the hottest trends, newest products and biggest areas of opportunity for c-stores. Billed as "Where the Magic Begins," the SAS 2016 Vendor Exhibit and Trade Show took place Feb. 25-26 at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Mich. As SAS celebrated three decades of its trade show, the company shared with Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner that it recently completed the first stages of a self-improvement evaluation. SAS President Alan Abraham spoke of the connec- tion between fulfilled employees, efficient work processes and, ultimately, happy customers. Likewise with an eye to improvement, SAS this year brought back its model convenience store at the back of the exhibition hall to demonstrate its More than 1,200 retailers and suppliers attended the two-day 2016 Eby-Expo.

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