Single Store Owner

JUN 2016

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66 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / JUNE 2016 big ideas Minding YOur QSrS As more convenience stores sharpen their focus on offering fresh food, the debate over proprietary vs. branded foodservice intensifies. At least one c-store chain, however, subscribes to the philosophy it doesn't have to be either or; it can be all of the above. Temple, Texas-based CEFCO Convenience Stores operates 227 stores and 19 quick-service restaurants (QSRs) — partnering with the likes of Subway, Which Wich, Huddle House and Sonic. In addition, CEFCO has a proprietary food program called Fresh Eats Café at approximately 50 locations and offers various daypart food options out of open air coolers and hot cases in all its locations. When looking for the right QSR to partner with, CEFCO "first and foremost" considers whether it will satisfy a consumer need at the par- ticular location above and beyond its regular offerings, explained Brett Giesick, the company's chief retail officer. "We also consider how much more return we can extract with the incremental buildout. Lastly, similar to choosing real estate for the store site, we analyze traffic counts, patterns, demographics and competition for this particular market," he said. Hitting tHe Sweet SpOt As more U.S. consumers turn up the notch on snacking in lieu of full meals, now may be the perfect time for convenience store operators to enhance their candy category. Las Vegas-based Speedee Mart did just that by adjusting its candy section to now include four feet dedicated to gum, eight feet to candy bars, and four feet to pegged candy and boxes. Speedee Mart Operations Manager Ray Johnson doled out some advice for fel- low c-store retailers: keep it in stock; be first to market; promote your items; and embrace innovation. "If you look at every other item in our store, we are constantly innovating. Our candy rack is the same," he said. "Wrigley came out with a LED rack that I'm trying to get my hands on. … It's a no brainer: If you shine a light on it, it will sell." there is a large amount of foot traffic. For instance, one strat- egy might be to place them near the coffee bar. "It encour- ages our guests to pair their daily coffee with a fresh-baked pastry," Griffith noted. FreSH-Baked SucceSS If you have a fresh bakery program, a key factor in maxi- mizing the sales and profitability of the category is mak- ing sure it receives as much visibility as possible. A good communication strategy will include signage in the store window, messaging at the pump and, perhaps most im- portantly, a well-thought-out and designed floor plan that gives customers easy access to the products. At RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.'s convenience stores, the fresh bakery case is typically located in a space that is clearly visible to customers as soon as they walk through the door. "That's so our guests are able to take advantage of the fresh product as soon as it arrives each day," explained Hannah Griffith, category manager of bakery for the Atlanta-based retailer. The idea is to make sure the bakery items are placed where

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