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Retail Merchandising Advice & Tips

Are you effectively merchandising your cash desk?

The cash desk or pay point is not only the nerve center of your day-to-day convenience store operation, but it is the most important merchandising area within your store.

The standards of housekeeping and cleanliness that are evident in your store are becoming increasingly important factors in attracting and keeping your convenience customers. 

Are you effectively using traffic builders?

"Traffic builders" are of critical importance in manitaining and building your convenience business.

At a time when all convenience retailers are looking for ways to increase the profitability of their store, too many operators are still focusing their attention on buying at the lowest possible cost rather than making sure that they are “buying smart”.

As the convenience business continues to become more challenging and competitive, those retailers who understand and manage their business most effectively will have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.

Getting rid of the “Dogs”

A significant proportion of my consulting practice involves assessing Convenience stores and providing the owners with recommendations on what they need to do to grow their store’s volume and profitability.

Ask any good convenience store operator how frequently they see their regular customers and they will tell you “every day”.  In fact, based on survey results reported at  Convenience U, over 80 % of Canadians say the regularly use / visit a convenience store, and over 52% said they shop at a convenience store 4 or more times per week.

Successfully managing and operating a convenience store in today’s difficult and competitive environment is a challenging and stressful job.

Any discussion about plan-o-grams probably needs to start with a description of what they are.

How long has it been since you stood back and looked at your store through the eyes of your customers?

Managing the Beverage business

The beverage category is one of the fastest changing categories in the convenience store channel. At the same time it is one of the most important categories in generating sales, profits and customer traffic.

The obvious answer to this question is that both are important, but answers to questions like this are rarely so obvious.

First impressions mean everything in the c-retail business. Ever walked into a store and been assaulted by an unpleasant odour, gone to purchase a product and found it covered in dust, or arrived at a gas station to fill up your car to find the pumps dirty, rusty or broken?

Building both your gas and convenience businesses.

As C-Gas retailers cope with a rapidly changing marketplace, they're learning that they must be better at serving the needs of their customers for both fuel and convenience products.

More and more convenience retailers have begun to realize that the market is changing more quickly than they thought and that their consumer offer is rapidly becoming out-of-date.

There has been much written about the importance of good customer service, but much of it doesn't touch on the important role that good merchandising plays.

The Webster’s Dictionary defines convenient as “suitable, handy, causing little or no trouble”. It therefore stands to reason that the key factor in the success of any given convenience store is its location. For a consumer to regularly shop at a convenience store it must first be located close to where they live, work or travel.

Hugh Large & Associates Inc.
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