PDI CStore Essentials Blog

Your resource on modern convenience store management

Running a convenience store is no simple task, and requires considerable attention when it comes to catering to the needs of your customers. This is because, in one way or the other, your livelihood and the future of your business depend on the level of satisfaction of your customers. How soon and often your customers choose to come back to your c-store after they have made a purchase is vital for any c-store’s growth.

However, some business owners tend to make a few blaring mistakes that drive away their customers and hurt their reputation. Make sure you avoid the following mistakes to ensure you have better customer retention rates.

In the retail landscape, inventory is one of the most important elements of a business, and you need to have precise information about its status to be able to better cater to your customers’ needs. Since inventory affects several important business processes and decisions, efficient inventory management is critical for success.

One of the challenges of opening a C-store is choosing a design. While the traditional C-store layout is tried and true, the industry has not been immune to innovation, especially over the last several years. Whether you are thinking of making changes to an existing storefront, or looking to build from the ground up; one of the hottest pieces of convenience store news is all of the new design concepts popping up to choose from.

When looking at the overhead costs of running a convenience store, you’ll see that the cost of managing labor takes a large chunk out of your cash flow. In fact, labor costs can amount to as much as 30% of all gross profit dollars.

With the average C-store having between 10 and 15 employees, managing your workforce usually isn’t the most fun part of the job. It is, however, an important part of your businesses nonetheless.

Thankfully, there are a few key things to keep in mind when interviewing and hiring your staff that can put you on the right track. After that, let technology ease your labor headaches and keep you going strong.

Despite having been available to the public since 2014, Apple Pay, the popular payment method offered by tech giant Apple, has been a slowly adopted method of payment among C-store owners. Whether store owners are afraid of additional fees to being weary of purchasing POS that will become obsolete soon, most stores haven’t hopped on the bandwagon as fast as Apple would have hoped.

It looks as though that’s about to change.

For any gas station owner, standing out and gaining a competitive advantage over the competitors can be really tough, especially when the gas prices are on the rise. Customers always give preference to gas stations offering the cheapest rates, and if there is nothing special about your business, there are slim chances you will get a lot of repeat business. In order to make your gas station stand out, you need to take measures for improving your customer service, property’s surroundings, and security so that consumers have an experience that they remember and come back to your business.

All eyes in the west are on Amazon as they prepare their new brick and mortar store, Amazon Go. However, a new contender may be on the rise in Shanghai. And while the new Amazon store will have human employees preparing fresh food items as well as other simple tasks, this new concept, currently being named “Wheelys 247” is said to not require any human labor, save for the occasional shelf restocking.

In a day and age when mobile phones seem to be attached to the masses at large, we are beginning to view our cell phones as extensions of ourselves in several ways—including financially.  With mobile payment options continuing to evolve, it’s clear that technology will soon be the law of the land, and our wallets show no sign of being excused from that.

In 2016, foodservice (including pre-prepared and commissary food, and hot/cold dispensed beverages) accounted for 21.7% of all in-store sales in all convenience stores across the US according to NACS Daily.

That is a 5.6% increase over 2015 and out of all non-tobacco categories, this 21.7% was the largest piece of the pie. It comes as no surprise to find that 2017’s numbers are projected to increase even more dramatically.

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