Being competitive in the c-store industry requires attention to all areas of the business. Keeping store managers and area managers well informed of store and company performance empowers them to keep their stores in better running order. In other words, being competitive as a company starts at the store level.
Perhaps you’ve been in a large metropolitan area, close to an event that is just letting out, only to see millennials on the sidewalk on their smartphones. Chances are, they’re waiting for an Uber or a Lyft, the two most popular ridesharing companies in the country. Those in the 16-34 age range who live in metropolitan areas are the most frequent ridesharing users. What do their habits mean for c-store owners, in particular, their means of payment and ridesharing habits?
Pinnacle’s approach to inventory solutions can be drilled down to the path of a candy bar. Convenience store retailers are constantly looking for ways to get the most from their merchandise, even to the last chocolate. In today’s competitive market, it’s not enough to just buy and resell for a profit. Retailers must stay ahead of the hurdles and headwinds of changing consumer tastes, market saturation, product staleness and shrink. At each step of the inventory timeline, using Pinnacle software and solutions guides the sales process, product mix, ordering, profit evaluation and movement flow- insuring you get the most from your snack merchandise, down the last candy bar.
Pinnacle software solutions work to efficiently and expeditiously provide business intelligence throughout nearly every aspect of the convenience store business. Perhaps in no other category is this more clearly expressed than through snack foods and beverages. With varying demographic demands, the rise of healthy food options, increased ingredient quality standards, and a glut of new products; retailers can be overwhelmed by this challenging inventory. This month, we will show how retailers like you have used Pinnacle software solutions to meet those challenges and gain a competitive edge.
At NACS State of the Industry, the prevailing wisdom was to move away from tobacco- and into more lucrative profit-margin rich areas such as foodservice. Foodservice accounted for 20.8% of in-store dollars, and 33.7% of gross profit dollars in 2015. Tobacco products contributed 35.9% of in-store dollars, though only 16.8% of gross profit dollars. “It’s no surprise that the top quartile does about two times the business of the bottom quartile does in most core merchandise categories.” Andy Jones, president and CEO of Sprint Food Stores, Augusta, GA said. “But food and dispensed beverage is where the top quartile has a vast difference over the bottom quartile. The gap between the top and bottom quartile is over five times in hot dispensed beverage and almost four times that in prepared food. In a nutshell: The top quartile companies in this room are killing it in foodservice.”
Retailers are faced with the challenge of keeping store shelves replenished not only with the correct products but also the correct amount of products. In no other product category is that more true than tobacco. Mismanaged store inventory can be a serious problem for retailers: often the wrong products are being ordered, higher quantities than needed are ordered on slow moving products, and low quantities are ordered on those with high demand. Overstocks and out-of-stocks can cause major problems; sending customers to competitors when the item they need is crowded out from slow moving stale merchandise.
Make decisions with today’s data. When your competition includes some of the toughest in the convenience retail, retail petroleum and wholesale petroleum industries, you need a competitive advantage. With EPM™, Pinnacle’s real-time business intelligence (BI) solution, workers across the enterprise can make immediate, informed decisions that have a significant, positive impact on your bottom line.
Developing the tools to respond to a demanding product category such as tobacco requires a finger on the pulse of a rapidly changing industry. With tightened profit margins, confusing rebate incentives and an ever increasing array of options (flavors, e-cigarettes, vaping devices and more), retailers need efficient and dependable business intelligence solutions to make the most of their tobacco inventories and their customer loyalty.
There are certain situations where substitutions are not possible. Even when consumers are faced with an ever increasing and dazzling array of choices every day, loyalty still exists. There is possibly no greater example than tobacco products. Tobacco customers develop a brand identity early on and, though in time it may evolve, they are habitually loyal to their preferred products.
Topics: C-Store Inventory
The convenience store industry has evolved rapidly since Pinnacle’s founding, presenting entirely new target demographics (Millennials), technology (smartphones/mobile payment), and consumer products (e-cigarettes and energy drinks ). Adjusting to industry changes hasn’t always been easy, but meeting these challenges in collaboration with clients allows us to find solutions faster, more effectively , and more practically. We dial specifically into the c-store and fuel marketing spaces, and as a result, design products and user experiences most inclined to meet the needs of our clients.