Single Store Owner

AUG-SEP 2016

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8 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016 perspectives T wo topics of special importance to the convenience retail channel today, and to independent convenience store op- erators in particular, took center stage at this year's Independent C-Store Expo (I-C-Expo). These topics were category management and foodservice. Attracting 300 attendees, convenience store re- tailers, manufacturers and suppliers gathered at the Chicago Marriott in Burr Ridge on Thursday, May 12, for the 2016 I-C-Expo, sponsored by Royal Buy- ing Group. The annual event is designed to educate attendees and provide networking oppor- tunities to help increase c-store industry profits. During a presentation en- titled "Assessing Your Category Management Approach…Op- portunities for Future Growth for Your Store(s)," Sue Nicholls, president of the Category Man- agement Knowledge Group, distributed a scorecard to help attendees assess their current performance level. She then explained that category management involves creating a retail strategy, developing cat- egory plans, reviewing category performance, and implementing category plans. "It is a continuous process that is owned by you, the retailer," Nicholls stressed. "You — not your sup- pliers — need to be the navigator of your ship." In the "How to Be Successful in Foodservice in a C-Store Environment" session sponsored by AdvancePierre Foods, Lou Pazderski, client devel- opment manager for foodservice/convenience at Shankman & Associates, discussed how c-store op- erators can identify the right foodservice programs for their locations and touched on ways to make these programs succeed. "A one-size-fits-all mentality will not work in to- day's ultra-competitive marketplace," Pazderski said. Following the educational sessions, attendees ad- journed to the I-C-Expo floor, where 60 exhibitors presented their 2016 Royal Buying Group products and marketing programs. Royal Buying Group negotiates programs covering all categories of conve- nience stores with national vendors and utilizes group buying power to increase sales and reduce operating costs for its members. The company's goal is to ensure independent retailers can take advantage of chain benefits in order to be competitive within the marketplace. The Independent C-Store Expo is billed as the only event exclusively targeted to independent single-site, multiple-site and wholesale jobbers rep- resenting all brands of petroleum/c-store locations. "The 2016 I-C-Expo proved to be the most suc- cessful show yet, offering key supplier partners and independent retailers the experience of a small- format and intimate networking opportunity," said Angela Angelilli, Royal Buying Group's executive vice president. SSO A Chance to Network, Learn & Grow The 2016 i ndependent C-Store Expo spotlighted areas of opportunity By K AT h LEE n F UR o RE The 2016 Independent C-Store Expo's New Product Display showcased vendors' top new products. Independent retailers voted and chose the following as this year's favorites: 1st Place: Coconut Water; Fal Foods 2nd Place: Mentos Caramels; Perfetti Van Melle 3rd Place: All Day IPA; Founders Craft Beer

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