Single Store Owner

DEC 2016

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42 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / DECEMBER 2016 BIG IDEAS CLEANLINESS KEY TO FOODSERVICE SUCCESS It is imperative for convenience store operators to understand and maintain a standard code of best practices to effectively communi- cate to their customers the cleanliness, quality and safety of the foods and beverages sold at their stores. While it is certainly important to keep your foodservice areas clean — including the coffee bar and other dispensed beverage areas — a customer's perception of the overall store cleanliness begins in the restrooms. The overall cleanli- ness of the convenience store — including, of course, the foodservice operation — has a direct correlation on how cus- tomers perceive the store and whether or not they will purchase food items therein. Lack of cleanliness, lack of sales. "While food has always been a 'hot-button' topic, I'm convinced that it filters into all other aspects of the c-store footprint and image," said Convenience Store News How To Crew retailer Ryan Krebs, director of foodservice at Rutter's Farm Stores. "Cleanliness is the perception that convinces customers to buy food in the first place." FUELING SALES As sales of liquid fuel dip, Wawa Inc. is now asking how it can still attain those custom- ers, according to Scott Boorse, facilities senior external vendor manager for Wawa. One solution: placing a greater emphasis on forecourt design. "Ultimately, you want to have an inviting destination," Boorse said, explaining that the design of the forecourt needs to announce your offer and drive customer enthusiasm. He laid out several key aspects retail- ers should consider when designing their fuel island: make it fresh and friendly; add a customer service element; and satisfy customer cravings. The goal is to get customers to the fore- court and inside the store. "You can have a great forecourt offering, but if you don't have the things inside the store [they want], they will come and fill up once or twice but even- tually go somewhere else," Boorse cautioned. • By communicating to consumers before they're in-store; • With merchandising displays and aisle flow once in- store; and • With adjacencies of complementary categories, such as placing chocolate bars by the store's beverage coolers. SATISFYING A SWEET TOOTH The impulsive nature of candy makes it a great fit for individuals who are making a quick stop at a c-store, and its portability makes it easy to consume while on the road. Increasingly, candy suppliers are also marketing products by tapping into specific occasions, special events and con- sumer emotions, and likewise c-store retailers can capitalize on this for increased sales. "Usually, our promotions encourage consumers to spend time with friends and family. We call these 'key moments,' as people come together to celebrate and share time together," said Larry Lupo, vice president of sales at Mars Chocolate North America for the convenience channel. However, convenience store operators shouldn't just sit back and wait for suppliers to launch the next promotion. Year- round, retailers can drive confectionery sales in three ways:

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