Single Store Owner

JUN 2016

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52 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JUNE 2016 FROM THE EXPERTS tion sales are up $2,117, driven primarily by growth in peg candy, non-chocolate bars, and chocolate bars. • Category Dollar Share (Calculation: Dollar sales by subcategory divided by category dollar sales): Chocolate bars and peg candy represent almost 70 percent of total sales in confection. By identifying the biggest areas of growth in the category, plus understanding more about the subcategories, I can now determine my goals and objectives for each of the subcategories to help me achieve my category target. Usually, the categories that are growing the most and/or that are the most important subcategories in confection are given the most support. Your Next Steps Now, pick a category you would like to better understand. Determine the data sources that you can access for this category. Pull your point-of-sale data for your store for the chosen category and try to use similar measures to my confectionery category example. See what data is available from your suppliers for this category. Then, assess this category business. What are the areas of growth? What are the areas of decline? Which are the largest subcategories that should be given more attention? By understanding your cat- egory from this data-based perspective, you'll be able to create goals and objectives by subcategory and start to analyze the tactics using a similar approach. Look for my next article on how to make strate- gic, fact-based decisions on what items to carry in your store. These choices directly affect how much money you take to the bank each day. SSO Sue Nicholls is founder and president of Category Management Knowledge Group (CMKG), based in Calgary, Canada. She is a speaker and consultant, working with business partners to bring category management training solutions to different areas of retailing like the convenience channel. Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessarily refect the views of Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner. their purchases, which get fed into a massive panel database. This consumer data provides great insights into the shopper and their purchase behaviors. As a c-store retailer, you should try to ac- cess these data sources to better understand what's going on in your store, in your market (to compare your results to) and with your important shopper. Challenge your suppliers and find out what data sources they are using, ask for more information about the shopper, and find out what's going on in the market vs. what's going on in your store. Time to Analyze Your Category Data Once you have an understanding of the data sourc- es and what you have access to, you can complete a category assessment. Analyzing your data will allow you to better understand your business in a category, including comparing results vs. the mar- ket, interpreting the data and identifying category opportunities and weaknesses for your store. When assessing a category, have your scanned sales data available at a category and subcategory level so that you can get deeper insights for your business (refer to the provided example of a confec- tionery category assessment). By looking at your business this way, you can draw great insights about what's going on in your various categories. For example, here are some insights I can draw about the confectionery category based on the simple assessment provided: • Percent Change (Calculation: Dollar sales this year divided by dollar sales last year): My category is up 8.6 percent in dollar sales, driven by peg candy, non-chocolate bars, and candy rolls and mints. Sales are declining in gum and change makers vs. last year. • Absolute Sales Dollars (Calculation: Dollar sales this year minus dollar sales last year): Confec- Example of a Category Assessment If you were completing an assessment of the confectionery category, data should be broken out as follows (based on the subcategories as defined by NACS): $ $ SALES ABSOLUTE CATEGORY $ SHARE SALES % CHANGE $ CHANGE $ SHARE PT CHANGE Total Category $26,731 8.6% $2,117 100.0 Chocolate Bars $9,415 6.1% $541 35.2 -0.9 Peg Candy $8,602 12.5% $955 32.2 1.1 Gum $3,142 -5.0% -$165 11.8 -1.6 Non-Chocolate Bars $3,125 36.9% $842 11.7 2.4 Candy Rolls, Mints $1,244 13.3% $146 4.7 0.2 Change Makers/Penny Counter Goods $1,203 -7.3% -$94 4.5 -0.8 NEED TRAINING? Category Management Knowledge Group, in partnership with convenience store consulting team b2b Solutions LLC, offers a unique, hands-on, online category management training program that provides a real-world experience targeted to small chains and owners of independent c-stores and other small-store formats. The "Category Management in Your C-Store/Small Store" program features 11 modules. For more details, visit

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