How can C-Stores help to solve childhood hunger?

March 14, 2018

Thank you NacsOnline for this article.

Partnering to Solve Childhood Hunger

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast shares how convenience stores can have a role in helping to feed hungry kids.
March 14, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Convenience Stores Can Help Solve Childhood Hunger,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Share Our Strength about the important role convenience stores can play in ending childhood hunger.

The statistics are heartbreaking:

One in six kids in America—

some 13 million children—

will face hunger this year.

Share Our Strength, an national anti-hunger organization, created its No Kid Hungry campaign to address that issue by working with convenience stores, restaurants and other vendors.

“Because they’re hungry, it’s impeding their learning, it’s getting in the way of them realizing their dreams,” said Clay Dunn, chief communications officer for Share Our Strength. “We as a country have plenty of food and resources to be able to feed every child and we even have programs put in place that are designed to do that, but too often those programs are failing the kids that they’re meant to serve.”

Part of the reason kids aren’t connecting with programs that have food available for them is quite simple—families aren’t aware of the program or they can’t access or get to the food distribution location. “We really look at it as access and awareness,” said Jill Davis, senior vice president of corporate partnerships for Share Our Strength. “We’re convinced that it’s a solvable problem.”

One way convenience stores can help solve the awareness and access problem is through Share Our Strength’s Dine Out for No Kid Hungry. When restaurants and retailers with foodservice sign up to participate in the initiative, Share Our Strength provides assistance to make the program successful for both the retailer’s bottom line and in helping to feed children. “We can create customized programming for that retailer …that solves your business objectives at the same time,” Davis said.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The weekly podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher and at Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 39,000 times in more than 95 countries.

Read full article here

No child should be hungry.

Attn Retailers Selling Tobacco & Vaping Products!

March 12, 2018

Insight Retail Software has customers in all 50 States so please take a moment to read this article from NACS.

FDA Compliance Materials May Put Retailers at Risk

Although the FDA says the minimum age to sell tobacco and vaping products is 18, it may be different for certain states.
March 12, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Retailers in certain states and localities where the tobacco/e-vapor minimum-age state or local laws are 19 or 21 years old may be exposed to violations of state and FDA regulations if they use FDA’s free kit of “This is Our Watch” materials. These kits were first distributed in November 2017 and on an on-going basis.

NACS has confirmed with the FDA, and the We Card Program has confirmed with individual retailers, that the FDA sent its materials focused only on the 18-year minimum age, including a calendar to calculate carded customer’s ages, to retailers in states and localities where the minimum age is higher than 18 years old. Retailers in the seven states using the FDA’s 18-year materials will be exposed to making illegal sales to minors and the possibility of state and/or FDA fines and penalties.

Below are the seven states where retailers may be impacted:

  • 21 year minimum-age states: California, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey
  • 19 year minimum-age states: Alabama, Alaska, Utah

In addition, more than 230 counties or cities within 17 states have 19 or 21 year minimum-age requirements. See We Card’s listing of locales within states that have minimum-age laws higher than 18 years old.

We Card recommends state associations in affected states take immediate action, including:

  • Inform your retailer members and encourage them to examine what is used in their stores, whether it’s the new FDA 18-yearr materials or any other materials, and make sure they have what is appropriate for their stores located in states/locales where 19 or 21 year minimum-age laws apply.
  • Consider an email alert, website and social media alerts and all available communications outreach to your members.
  • Inform your retail members that We Card has the appropriate minimum-age specific versions (18, 19 or 21 year) of its We Card age calculation tools and signage, available at

Informed retailers will have immediately recognized the problem of using FDA’s 18-year materials if 19 or 21 is their state or locality’s minimum age requirement. Others may incorrectly think the federal government’s 18-year materials focus overrules their state/locality’s higher minimum-age requirement while some may inadvertently just deploy the FDA materials without checking.

It is incumbent upon the retail community to remain compliant with FDA regulations and state and local law minimum age requirements. With FDA conducting 160,000 compliance inspections annually, combined with additional state and local level enforcement, compliance and preventing illegal sales of age-restricted products remains a priority of retailers.



U.S. Convenience Stores Continue Growth

January 25, 2018

The industry’s core offer of convenience strongly resonates with consumers.

January 25, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. convenience store count increased to a record 154,958 stores as of December 31, 2017, a 0.3% increase (423 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2018 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

“Our continued store growth suggests that the convenience and fuel retailing industry’s core offer of convenience continues to resonate with customers,” said Chris Rapanick, director of business development at NACS.

“Convenience stores are the destination of choice for the 160 million customers who frequent their community convenience store each day to refresh and refuel, whether it’s to grab a quick snack and a beverage, or a fresh-prepared meal.”

The convenience store count is significantly higher than other channels of trade, accounting for more than one third (34.4%) of the brick-and-mortar retail universe tracked by Nielsen in the United States. Except for the dollar store channel, all other major channels have fewer units at year-end 2017 than 2016:

​Channel ​2016 ​2017 ​Unit Change ​% Change
Convenience Store​ ​154,535 ​154,958 ​423 ​0.3%
​Drug ​43,636 ​43,169 ​(467) ​-1.07%
​Supermarket ​51,191 ​51,134 ​(57) ​-0.11%
​Dollar ​28,832 ​30,332 ​1,500 ​5.20%

“Convenience stores saw solid growth in 2017 due to an increased focus on innovation, improved customer experience, assortment variation and healthy investments in food services,” said Jeanne Danubio, EVP retail for lead markets at Nielsen. “All of these factors have enabled convenience stores to meet the needs of consumers, stretching far beyond the pump. This shift must continue to further expand c-store’s relevance in today’s changing retail landscape. As more retailers across channels try to cater to convenience seeking consumers, c-stores will need to continue to innovate and evolve and grow to stay ahead of the curve.”

Single-store operators within the convenience retail space also increased by 139 units (0.14%), up from 97,504 stores at year-end 2016 to 97,643 stores at year-end 2017.

Overall, 79.1% of convenience stores (122,552) sell motor fuels, a decrease of 1.0% (or 1,255 stores) from 2016, with the single-store motor fuel segment dropping by 1,025 stores. The decline in the number of convenience stores selling fuel is reflective of retailers evolving their business models to focus more on the in-store, foodservice offer, as well as retailers embracing new store formats and establishing their brands in more urban, walk-up locations.

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count at 15,813 stores, or more than one in 10 stores in the country. California is second at 11,946 stores, followed by Florida (9,891), New York (8,725), Georgia (6,687), North Carolina (6,235), Ohio (5,686), Michigan (4,962), Pennsylvania (4, 855) and Illinois (4,759). The bottom three states in terms of store count are Alaska (217 stores), Wyoming (355) and Delaware (344).

The U.S. convenience store count has increased by 55% over the last three decades: At year-end 1987, the convenience store count was 100,200 stores, at year-end 1997 the store count was 108,800 stores and at year-end 2007 the store count was 146,294 stores.

NACS Article – Click here

Thanks @NACSonline for another great article.

And to the 423 new stores – call Insight Retail Software for your backOffice and scan data needs! We are the premiere provider for Scan Data Services!



Convenience Store Retailers Cite Top Trends for 2018

January 10, 2018

NACS gives us their predictions for 2018. The great news is that backOffice Software™ from Insight Retail Software can handle everything that comes your way in 2018.  INCLUDING YOUR SCAN DATA SERVICE!

From Nacs:  ​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Growth in healthy food and beverages sales led to positive overall sales at convenience stores in 2017, and retailers expect the momentum to continue in 2018, according to a survey of retailers released today by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

More than two in three convenience retailers (69%) said that foodservice sales increased last year, and 61% said that sales of better-for-you items (i.e., fruits/vegetables, yogurt, nuts, health bars) experienced sales gains. By comparison, only 7% said that foodservice sales were down and only 3% said that sales of better-for-you items decreased.

“Customers are demanding higher quality foods and snacks” at Chestnut Petroleum stores (New Paltz, NY), according to Mickey Jamal. Sales of healthy food and drinks were strong in 2017 at Arroyo Grande Valero (Atascadero, CA). Protein bars and fruit and protein smoothies propelled sales at A-Square Enterprises Inc. (Conyers, GA), and water—whether plain, flavored or coconut water—grew sales at Select Fuel & Convenience (Red Bud, IL).

Convenience stores sell an estimated 80% of the fuel purchased in the United States and retailers also said sales were strong at the pump: Most retailers (52%) said that fuel sales increased in 2017, compared to 20% who reported a decline in gallons sold.

Trends for 2018
Retailers also predicted emerging trends for 2018. Kombucha drinks will continue to grow, as will new programs for home delivery, according to Lisa Dell’Alba at Square One Markets (Bethlehem, PA). New payment methods also will be a top trend, said Kent Frieling at Stop ’n Save (Grand Junction, CO). And healthier meal replacements won’t just be a big trend in 2018—they will also be on his menu, complimenting a robust growler fill program, said Kent Couch at Stop & Go Mini Mart (Bend, OR).

Also, retailers said that the lunch daypart has the most potential to grow sales at their stores, with 67% identifying lunchtime traffic as their biggest opportunity. But other dayparts also hold promise, including the opportunity to grow sales of mid-day snacks, noted Stephen Lair with Petromark Inc. (Harrison, AR).

“People love food inside a convenience store. It’s a one-stop shop for them,”

said Parvez Himani at Priya Impex Inc. (Alpharetta, GA).

Strong Optimism for 2018
Beyond products, retailers say that strong consumer optimism over economic prospects, identified in the monthly NACS Consumer Surveys, also helped grow sales in 2017.

“There seems to be a direct correlation between our customers’ view of the economy and their use of disposable income in our marketplace,” said Dennis McCartney of Landhope Farms (Kennett Square, PA).

Strong consumer optimism also translated into strong retailer optimism. More than three in four (77%) retailers are optimistic about their business prospects for the first three months of 2018, with the same percentage of retailers optimistic about the overall U.S. economy for the first quarter.

Some Concerns Loom in 2018
Competition for the convenience store customer is the top concern of retailers heading into 2018, with nearly half (46%) saying that they expect to continue competing with other channels and other convenience and fuel retailers (45%).

Labor is another major concern, cited by 45% of retailers, such as finding and recruiting top talent in the market. To address the issue, retailers say that are recruiting employees from non-traditional labor pools including retirees, disabled workers and military veterans.

“For the right kind of person, it is a fun job. Interacting with customers is enjoyable as our business attracts a lot of repeat customers whom they see every day,”

said John Clark with Alpine Mart (Stowe, VT).

Regulation and legislation that could potentially harm their operations is also a concern, cited by 42% of retailers, especially those doing business in California.

The quarterly NACS Retailer Sentiment Survey tracks retailer sentiment related to their businesses, the industry and the economy. A total of 103 member companies participated in the December 2017 survey.

 Call: 518 633 4111 x 108 for more details
Insight Retail Software Website – we have lots of info here!

2018 Is Knocking on the Door

December 26, 2017

As 2017 comes to a close we take a minute to say thank you to our many loyal customers for your business.  We send you best wishes for a happy new year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular success.



May 2018 be the year that all dreams come true.

` The Team at Insight Retail Software




Doing that one thing that makes your store better than the rest and lets your customers know that you care.

November 14, 2017

I was speaking to Imad Khalil from Kelly’s Fuel Mart in Melvindale, Michigan about the Scan Data Service that we provide for Altria and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Incentive Programs.  Imad was wondering if the service was right for his business but after speaking with our team of experts he knew this program was key to staying competitive in his area and that is something that he takes very seriously.

I enjoyed visiting with Mr. Khalil where I learned more about his business and what he does to provide a great service to his customers.  He explained that his latest customer service feature was the addition of U-Glove’s at each pump station.  “U-Glove?” I asked.  I was so interested to hear more because I can’t stand to have the smell of gas on my hands.  He explained that each pump is equipped with a dispenser of plastic gloves that are provided at no cost to the consumer.  These disposable gloves offer a clean and germ free experience for the customer.  “I LOVE IT!” I said, “Can I share this on my blog?  Tell me more!!”  He said there is a cost to the merchant for providing this service but he believes that these little things make a big difference to his customers.  [I know I would drive out of my way and pay a few pennies more per gallon to have a nice clean environment.  Not to mention saving a manicure.]  Even if the gloves aren’t used, I believe that just offering this service shows that Imad cares about his customers.  I am certain that Moms with a carload of kids would greatly appreciate having gloves since they aren’t always able to go inside and wash their hands.

So – Good job Kelly’s Fuel Mart and thanks for being an Insight Retail Software Scan Data Customer!  We appreciate your business.


Imad is also participating in InsightRS Scan Data Program that keeps him competitive in his tobacco market.

Tobacco Scan Data Program For

Altria and RJ Reynolds

Your Key To Higher Tobacco Profits

Altria’s PM USA 2017 Retail Leaders Program and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program offer incentive money to retailers who submit transaction-level scan data (“Scan Data”) from their Point of Sale on a daily basis. Inclusion in the program also entitles you to offer multi-pack and loyalty discounts.

If you sell cigarettes you need to be on this program!

We help you compete with the big guys.

Call Chris Floyd for more information:  518.633.4111 x 108



InsightRS sends our prayers to Puerto Rico

September 28, 2017

Map of Puerto Rico

Our hearts go out to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico as they face their current crisis.

Stay strong Puerto Rico.


From Nacs Online:


September 28, 2017

​NEW YORK – CNBC​ reports that Trump administration has issued a Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico


Early this morning, in recognition of the severe impacts on Puerto Rico from Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke approved a waiver of the federal Jones Act. The decision follows yesterday’s request from the governor of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of Defense’s determination that a waiver is in the interest of national defense. The waiver will be in effect for 10 days after signature and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.

“This waiver will ensure that over the next ten days, all options are available to move and distribute goods to the people of Puerto Rico. It is intended to ensure we have enough fuel and commodities to support lifesaving efforts, respond to the storm, and restore critical services and critical infrastructure operations in the wake of these devastating storms,” said Acting Secretary Duke.

The Jones Act prohibits the transportation of cargo between points in the U.S., either directly or via a foreign port, or for any part of the transportation, in any vessel other than a vessel that has a coastwise endorsement (e.g. a vessel that is built in and owned by persons who are citizens of the United States). The last Jones Act waiver was issued earlier this month, for petroleum products to be delivered for relief assistance in anticipation of the effects of Hurricane Irma.


%d bloggers like this: