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.

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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.

U-Glove


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.

http://www.insightrs.com/scandataservices

Call Chris Floyd for more information:  518.633.4111 x 108

 


And just like that, summer is over.

September 1, 2017

Scan Data for Altria September

Back to school, football season and the wonderful beauty of fall.

So now that vacations and summer travel is over it’s time to sign up for our Scan Data Service.  Give us a call today! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity for tobacco incentive money.

Call Chris at:  518-633-4111 x 108

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Scan Data Services: Your Key To Higher Tobacco Profits

July 19, 2017

Altria’s PM USA 2017 Retail Leaders Program and RJ Reynolds Scan Data Reporting Program offer quarterly rebates to retailers who submit transaction-level scan data (“Scan Data”) from their Point of Sale on a daily basis. Enrollment in these programs also entitle you to take advantage of other programs such as multi-pack discounts and loyalty incentives.

InsightRS is offering the Scan Data Service that will allow you to take advantage of this great opportunity for more profit from your tobacco sales. Using our automated daily process, we submit the necessary data for you to comply with the program requirements. We collect either 25% of your quarterly rebate or $25/month per store for providing this service.

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Compete In Your Market

Gain Access To Multi-Pack Discounts And Loyalty Funds

  • Inclusion in Scan Data Program enables you to offer Multi-Pack Discounts
  • Optional Loyalty Program entitles you to offer addition discounts to your customers

We Do All Of The Work

Our Fully-Automated Service Does All Of The Work

 

Call Chris today – 518 633 4111 x 108

Visit our website for more information:  Click here!

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