Don’t fall for “we’ll do your scan data service for free“! Here’s a question, do you open the doors to your store and welcome in your customers by saying “everything is free“? I doubt it. If you do, there are two scenarios where this business model works.
You want to fail – and know you will, quickly.
You are making lots of money in a different way. (keep this one close, we’ll be coming back here for review)
If a company is offering to do your scan data and loyalty for free, then please see 2. above. In today’s market DATA IS KING. Large companies are desperate to purchase data and are willing to pay big dollars for this information. (again, see 2. above)
So you are thinking “How could this possibly affect me… I need to save $25/month!?” Well, would you let a stranger, a potential competitor, walk in and look at your checkbook and accounting records? Probably not. If your data is being sold, a stranger is [technically] looking through your private records so they can determine if there is enough business to move in and be successful.
Think of it this way:
You are participating in a scan data program
You have no idea your sales data is being sold
That tiny rundown store across the street – [you know the one, everyone hates it because they don’t sell food, there’s no easy access from the street and parking is not great–THAT ONE]
That shack of a store was just purchased and torn down! Wait, What?!
OH NO A new huge branded store is built and they have a turning lane with tons of parking. Look at the new signage and the neon lights!
Now imagine standing at your empty counter and watching the faces of your long time customers pulling the handle of those shiny new doors across the street. You see your old customers walking to and from their SUV filled with fuel carrying enough fried chicken and sodas to feed the entire neighborhood.
Your inside sales drop
Your fuel sales drop
Nobody wants your food
You Are In Trouble….. but the good news is —— YOU GOT A SERVICE FOR FREE!!!!!! woo hoo.
Key thought to remember here is YOUR sales data belongs to YOU and needs to be handled with care and confidentiality, with partners YOU can trust. Yes, data IS king, but it’s YOURS.
Insight Retail Software IS your trusted partner. We have SO MANY new and exciting products and services that are to be released to the public in the next couple of months. We have always aligned ourselves with other companies that share the same professional values that we do. Let’s make 2021 the best year ever!
Can you Do Better with Insight Retail Software? Absolutely! At InsightRS the Customer is KING!
The team at InsightRS would like to send our thoughts and prayers to our Customers, Friends and Vendors that are in the process of cleaning up after Hurricane Sally.
Today we send our best wishes to our long time customer, Joe Patti’s Seafood in Pensacola, FL. Joe Patti’s has become a Pensacola destination for those who seek quality seafood and friendly service. People visit from all around the country because they know that at Joe Patti’s Seafood they will find the best. Joe Patti’s has served the public with wholesale pricing since 1931.
In the early 1930s Anna & Joe Patti started selling fish from their front porch on Devillier’s Street in Pensacola. Captain Joe had a philosophy. He would sell only the highest quality fish at a fair price. He wanted his customers to trust him and he wanted them to become “happy regulars”.
Captain Joe developed a reputation of being hard to please. He refused much more that he accepted. Over the years he instilled this same philosophy in all six of his and Anna’s children. Each of the sons were captains of their own shrimp vessel. At the market they shaved ice, cleaned fish, graded shrimp and fish, and served customers among many other day long chores. The daughters dedicated their time to the family business by working alongside their brothers for many years.
Joe Patti’s is in the process of cleanup but should be opening soon. If you are ever in their area or want the best quality seafood shipped to you, check them out.
A business survives for 89 years because they are excellent! See you soon Joe Patti’s!
Retailers Create NEW Shopping Holiday Called 10.10
Based on the popular China’s Singles’ Day, more than 24 retailers have signed on for the event.
I say WHY NOT! Let’s have an early shopping date to kick off our economy.
InsightRS backOffice SoftwareTM is perfect for your Special Promotions, Mix & Match or BOGO’s. Let’s hear it for
September 16, 2020
NEW YORK—Nov. 11—Veteran’s Day in the United States—is the world’s biggest shopping event, but not for reasons Americans would expect. China’s Singles’ Day, also held on 11/11, has become a sales juggernaut, and now U.S. retailers are hoping to create a similar shopping event in the United States, Bloomberg News reports.
This year, more than two dozen retailers, along with the Shopkick reward app, have agreed to promote deals on 10.10 (October 10), according to event mastermind Deborah Weinswig, a retail consultant.
The event aims to generateholidayshoppinginOctober to help retailers manage shipping capacity, available merchandise and crowd control.
“If we don’t pull it forward, then it won’t happen,” said Weinswig. Retailers are already scrambling to purchase merchandise from stores going out of business because of light inventory stockpiles. “There’s just literally so little in the pipeline,” she said.
While the majority of holiday shopping happens in the weeks closest to Christmas, Weinswig hopes 10.10 will help shoppers realize they can’t cut it close when it comes to buying gifts this year. For example, shipping times in December will likely be longer than normal. “There is no capacity,” she said. “We’re seeing people who have never shopped online shop online.”
Already, retailers are looking to shift holiday spending over more weeks. For example, Home Depot has announced it will start Black Friday deals in early November, while American Eagle Outfitters is also trying to entice holiday shopping sooner. Amazon’s Prime Day will likely also be held in October, rather than its usual July date.
Great article from CStore Decisions. A bit lengthy but there is some great information here. Nice @Nielson information also.
Rising sales are boosting retailer optimism across the category, but regulatory hurdles loom.
Tobacco sales have proved a bright spot for many convenience stores during the COVID-19 pandemic, but while c-stores anticipate robust tobacco sales for the remainder of 2020, retailers are bracing for the potential chill of regulatory headwinds.
As the pandemic first hit the U.S., many customers began hoarding tobacco products — particularly cartons of cigarettes — ahead of shelter-in-place rules, according to data from the InfoMetrics database managed by consulting services firm Management Science Associates (MSA).
“As the stay-at-home situation has continued, there has been increased consumption of all types of tobacco items with the exception of vape, possibly because consumers are at home and not in locations where there are restrictions on its use,” said Don Burke, senior vice president of MSA.
A poll by consumer intelligence research platform CivicScience found that from April 28 to May 11 — at a time when most areas of the country were still experiencing stay-at-home orders — 31% of cigarette users reported smoking more frequently, and 28% of e-cigarette/vape users reported vaping more frequently. Some 44% of cigarette smokers and 34% of smokeless, e-cig and cigar users reported buying their tobacco product at a c-store most often during the same period.
Research firm IRI’s Convenience All Scan data found smokeless tobacco dollar sales grew 7.8%, with spitless up a whopping 80.6% for the four weeks ending April 19, 2020. Tobacco accessories dollar sales were up 33%, and cigars climbed 13.1%, while cigarettes dropped 2.4%, and e-cigs dipped 1.1% for the same period. Nielsen data showed e-cigs down 8.5% and cigarettes down 5% for the four weeks ending April 25, 2020, but similar upticks in other tobacco products, with cigars up 11.3%, pipe tobacco up 14.1% and “shag” or rolling tobacco up 28%.
Depending on location, c-store retailers are seeing various realities and differing surge/decline timelines when it comes to tobacco sales.
Doug Galli, vice president and general manager for Reid Stores and Crosby’s, said sales of other tobacco products (OTP) including cigars, snuff and e-cigarettes climbed at the company’s 82 c-stores in New York and Pennsylvania, ahead of shelter-in-place rules.
Year over year through April, “cigars are up 7%, e-vape is up 29% and the ZYN/Velo category that was non-existent last year has shown some legs. That category is 50% of the lift over last year,” Galli said. He added that moist snuff was down slightly for the same period.
On Feb. 6, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled that c-stores and other retailers can no longer carry display cartridge-based e-cigs or vaping pods in flavors other than menthol and tobacco, but flavored disposable e-cigarettes are still legal.
“The FDA attempted to strike a balance between protecting adult access to flavored vaping products and discouraging youth from vaping,” noted Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association. “Unfortunately, this move has undoubtedly led some adult ex-smokers to relapse and less adult current smokers to attempt to switch over.”
The growth seen at Crosby’s c-stores is “in spite of the (federal) flavor ban in (non-disposable) e-cigs and vape products, along with the addition of the ZYN/Velo products,” Galli added.
The cigarette segment, meanwhile, has been down 10% at Crosby’s c-stores through April, a slump Galli attributed to the purchase age for cigarettes increasing from 18 to 21 on Nov. 1, 2019, in New York state. Shortly thereafter, on Dec. 27, 2019, the FDA officially changed the minimum tobacco purchase age at the federal level from 18 to 21. The new nationwide Tobacco-21 law was effective immediately and applies to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping cartridges.
Across the country, Cenex Zip Trip saw a different trajectory at its 36 c-stores in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.
“While early March and April saw a small decrease in tobacco sales during the heart of the stay-at-home orders in the states we serve, in the past three weeks, we’ve seen them rise back similar to what we sold during the same time span a year ago,” said Zip Trip Merchandising Manager Jon Fleck.
Montana — where the majority of Zip Trip’s stores are located — is now transitioning into the next phases of loosening stay-at-home restrictions, but during the lockdown, despite decreased customer traffic, the tobacco category held its own, Fleck said.
Fleck noted tobacco companies are offering bigger buydowns and providing them earlier than planned. “With advertising these deals with outdoor signs and matrix reader boards, we have seen some (sales) come back,” Fleck said.
At the end of 2019, a temporary ban on flavored vape products — including menthol — went into effect in the state of Montana. “We did a tremendous business in Montana with flavors prior to the ban,” Fleck said.
The ban on menthol, however, expired in mid-April, and the chain is now bringing in some flavored disposable e-cigs.
Given the Montana flavor ban, Zip Trip has seen a 20% drop in e-cig sales. Although the e-cigs/vaping segment is down significantly because of flavor bans, Fleck noted, “the category is doing well as a ‘comfort product’ along with beer during this pandemic.”
Meanwhile, chew, snuff and cigars are down slightly — “which isn’t bad considering the drop in customer counts (due to the pandemic),” said Fleck. “We categorize tobacco alternatives with these products as well. ZYN, Dryft, etc., have been a pleasant surprise that has picked the overall category up.”
At Zip Trip, tobacco customers are asking for specials, and seeking “the bigger, better deal.” “Similar to beer, cigarettes are comfort products, so while we did a small decrease in business during this time versus the prior year, we attribute most of that to the smoking age increasing to 21 as opposed to COVID-19,” Fleck said.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Irfan Tejani, CEO and president of Tejani Holdings, the parent company of Charge Up c-stores, said COVID-19 had a big impact on tobacco sales.
“Sales were down all across the board by double digits as customers did not know how to react to the entire situation, and then we started to get momentum back,” he said.
Headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, Charge Up operates 40 c-stores in Texas and Louisiana.
“Louisiana stores specifically had to adapt to operating during a strict lockdown,” Tejani said. Overall, he noted that “despite the ongoing restrictions, the cigarette category remains the highest grosser all across (our stores).”
Smokeless tobacco has been stagnant to growing at Charge Up, depending on the location, while cigarillos are “very strong,” particularly the single sticks, which Tejani noted offer good profit margins. What’s more, he sees cigarillo sales growing — “especially the singles and promo packs like 3-for-1 and 4-for-1 packs,” Tejani said.
Charge Up is also testing the oral nicotine category. Nicotine toothpicks are sold at select stores.
“It’s a special category that doesn’t sell across the board,” he said. “Nicotine gums seem to be doing good where this category is sold.”
Tejani, Fleck and Galli all anticipate strong sales for tobacco for the rest of 2020.
“Tobacco in our New York stores is about to grow. Effective May 18, if your retail location has a pharmacy, you will not be allowed to sell tobacco products,” Galli said. Crosby’s stores in Erie County, N.Y., experienced a lift in their tobacco sales when an identical rule went into effect there around a year ago.
Tejani said he believes the tobacco category will continue to stay strong and consistent over the coming years — unless regulations become even stricter — with e-cigs slowly taking over a bigger portion of the category. Despite ongoing regulations, customer needs drive the market, and customers continue to demand tobacco sales, he pointed out.
“We see tobacco numbers increasing the rest of the year, as many uncertainties lie ahead with COVID-19,” Fleck said. “Once again, for tobacco users, it is a comfort that they rely on during these times.”
One headwind for retailers to watch is potential for tax increases on tobacco products due to the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is creating serious budget issues that we’re only just now starting to calculate. States that had started to grow accustomed to having large surpluses now have huge deficits that may surpass what states dealt with during the 2009 recession,” Conley pointed out. “As a result, tax increases on all tobacco and nicotine products are absolutely going to be considered in dozens of states over the next year. On the plus side for retailers, budget deficits will make it more difficult for state legislators to justify banning flavored vaping or tobacco products due to the tax revenue and jobs they provide.”
Another is how the premarket tobacco authorization (PMTA) will impact the category.
At press time, the new date when (PMTA) applications are due to the FDA is set for Sept. 9, 2020.
“In theory, this would mean that after the September deadline, only products with pending or approved PMTAs before the FDA can continue to be sold by retailers across the U.S. Those selling JUUL, NJOY, Vuse, blu, etc. have little or nothing to worry about in terms of potential dead stock, but some of the more fly-by-night companies that make disposable vaping products seem likely to exit the market in September,” Conley warned.
For a while, the shelf space for vaping products in c-stores seemed to be increasing by the month, he said. But now that some products are likely exiting the market ahead of the PMTA deadline, “the opposite appears to be occurring.”
Conley believes states will begin to police the market more aggressively than the FDA. “We are going to see attempts at the state level to make selling products without a pending or approved PMTA a crime. Of course, this will not stop the black and gray markets, but will just drive them further underground,” he said.
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.
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!
Our hearts go out to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico as they face their current crisis.
Stay strong Puerto Rico.
From Nacs Online:
JONES ACT WAIVER ISSUED FOR PUERTO RICO
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.
NACS Daily reported this week that San Juan’s mayor told CNN that the city is facing a humanitarian crisis, especially related to a shortage of bottled water and diesel fuel. “We are finding dialysis patients that haven’t been able to contact their providers, so we are having to transport them in near-death conditions,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz said. “We are finding people whose oxygen tanks are running out, because … small generators now don’t have any diesel.”
NACS has been in communication with people in Puerto Rico and the demand is highest for licensed drivers to move diesel fuel and other cargo on the island, fuel distribution equipment and bottled water. If you can offer assistance, please contact NACS Director of Strategic Initiatives Carolyn Schnare directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 518-4248.
“This is truly a total disaster. Right now, the main problem is diesel distribution. Retailers have no electricity and operate with generators but without diesel they can’t. Neither can suppliers. The food will go bad and people are getting desperate. Government doesn’t seem to have the ability to handle all that is going on and comprehend the need to establish difficult priorities,” said Manuel Reyes, executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Chamber for the Marketing and Distribution of the Food Industry.
The city’s board of supervisors approved the legislation unanimously. The ban will take effect in April 2018.
June 23, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a bill that forbids the sale of flavored tobacco products in retail stores, the San Francisco Examiner reports. The ban encompasses flavored chewing tobacco, flavored liquids containing nicotine for e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes.
“We want to enhance our prevention strategies,” Supervisor Maila Cohen, who introduced the legislation, said. “The goal of this ordinance is to keep people from smoking in the first place.
The ban, which will go into effect April 2018, will impact more than 700 local retailers, mostly convenience stores and gas stations, that sell tobacco products. To counter the lost revenue, Cohen supports more city funding under the Healthy Food Retail program to assist small stores during the transition.
The California Retailers Association opposed the ban because it failed to take into consideration how it would affect businesses and the decrease in the amount of sales tax the city collects. “This ordinance also ignores the fact that there are comprehensive state and local laws, that anti-tobacco advocates support as a means to curb youth access to tobacco, that are currently enforced,” wrote Angie Manetti, director of government relations for the association in a June 8 letter to the board.
The ordinance would not prohibit the use of flavored tobacco in the city. The City Controller’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated that 35% of cigarettes sold in the city are menthols, which will translate into lost sales of around $50 million yearly.
The Minneapolis City Council is also considering a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes, having already prohibited the same of flavored tobacco products two years ago.
Over the past few years, many merchants – regardless of what kind of businesses they operate or how big their companies are – have come to reconsider their previous ways of handling purchases. Many decided to buy point-of-sale devices for the first time, while others were led to think about the ways modern payment technologies may be able to help their businesses take a big leap forward when it comes to security and customer engagement.
To that end, it’s worth thinking about the most common reasons businesses – and smaller ones in particular – may want to adopt or change their POS options these days, as a means of keeping up with changing preferences and security standards. The better they can keep up with industry-recommended best practices for point of sale security and adoption, the better off they’re likely to be going forward.
1) Staying on Top of the Latest Trends
While many managers have at least thought about making the switch to a point-of-sale device that can handle EMV or mobile purchases, some may still be on the fence, according to Digital Transactions. But the fact is, these new purchase types are the way the whole payments ecosystem is now heading, and merchants may need to consider such a move for themselves.
The vast majority of businesses nationwide now accept EMV, and most consumers also have at least one EMV card in their wallets these days. As a consequence, simply having the ability to accept such transactions can be a boon for any business, in addition to providing themselves and their customers with greater security.
2) Navigating Affordability
Many businesses may shy away from payment card processing of all kinds simply because of the cost involved, according to Shopify. For this reason, it may be wise for companies to look at their options for finding POS resellers who can meet their needs both in terms of technology and ongoing costs. This is especially true for first-timers who may not have as much operational knowledge when it comes to dealing with these issues.
In general, when resellers can explain what they do for merchants – and why it costs what it does – in plain language, that can provide a big boost for those getting on board with modern payment processing.
3) They Want to Branch Out
For many smaller businesses that want to find a new revenue stream, the ease of modern e-commerce provides a crucial option, according to Business News Daily. The good news is that modern POS can meet both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar needs for just about any business, and all it may take is working with a reseller to determine the best path forward. Having the ability to handle both real-world and online transactions through the same POS can go a long way for any small business.
4) Getting Better Data
Another key benefit of modern POS is that it comes with more tertiary features than ever before, which give merchants the power to collect and harness more information than ever from a single source, Business News Daily added. Now, POS platforms collect all kinds of data on every transaction to help merchants identify areas where they can potentially improve their operations, from managing the supply chain to better catering to evolving consumer preferences in real time. That kind of knowledge can really empower better decision-making for years to come.
5) Saving Time and Impressing Customers Simultaneously
Another big innovation in point-of-sale technology in the past few years has come for restaurants specifically, according to PointofSale.com. Tableside POS devices are all the rage among chain restaurants, which favor the devices for their ease of use and help in increasing the efficiency of any operation. Now, smaller restaurants are taking the same step because of both that ease of efficiency and people are coming to expect this kind of ease in ordering.
6) Keeping Up with Consumer Expectations
Indeed, the idea that larger merchants are taking steps to innovate on POS – often because they have the budget to do so somewhat freely – is something that should give reluctant small business owners pause, according to Payments Source. As consumers become more accustomed to ubiquitous next-generation POS technology at the big stores where they shop frequently, it’s vital for smaller competitors to do what they can to keep up. After all, if consumers already expect to be able to pay with EMV – which is a technology that’s still relatively new to them – just about anywhere, the need to keep up with those trends quickly becomes self-evident.
7) Being Ready for What Comes Next
Upgrading to modern POS isn’t just a good idea for the present, but also for the future, according to Silicon NYC. Having the ability to upgrade now allows merchants to familiarize themselves with the latest and greatest options in payment processing before the next generation of options arrives. “Skipping” a generation isn’t likely to be a wise move, because merchants could find themselves in the dark about where they should turn, and how best to take that next step.
Focusing on smaller steps to meet ever-evolving needs will be crucial for any merchant as they try to navigate the POS environment today. After all, if the goal is to simultaneously make owners’ lives easier and provide more options for their customers, the wide variety of options now available is just waiting to meet those needs.
Article from Sterling Payment Technologies June 2017 Newsletter “The Edge”
The state Department of Agriculture is working on a program to train convenience store personnel on how to spot skimmers at gas pumps.
June 9, 2017
RALEIGH, N.C. – Skimmers at the gas pump is a problem that isn’t going away, and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture is taking steps to ensure those devices are spotted quickly and removed, WNCN-TV reports. Recently, one North Carolina gas station discovered skimmers installed at the pump four different times in one month.
During its routine inspections of gas pumps, the agency looks for skimmers as part of its checklist. “[Skimming] certainly is a growing problem,” said Stephen Benjamin, director of the N.C. Agriculture Department Standards Division. “It’s a routine part of our inspections now to look for those skimmers.”
But with those inspections only happening annually, the department decided to ramp up efforts to combat skimming in other ways. To do that, the agency has been developing a training program for convenience store employees on how to spot skimmers or suspicious activity around the gas pump. The program will have online photos and reference material for gas station workers.
Obvious signs of tampering include broken security tape or ill-fitting card readers. Benjamin said the training program will teach some of the basic security measures employees can take to combat skimming.
“If they walk around [the pumps] a couple of times a day and inspect [them], that’s an opportunity to take a glance,” and ensure the pumps haven’t been tampered with, he said.