Family-owned small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They provide 55% of all jobs in the U.S. and 54 percent of U.S. sales, according to the Small Business Administration. Strong family values can prove extremely productive in business and this is evident in the convenience store and petroleum industries. Family businesses have left an indelible impression on convenience store chains across the country by providing outstanding leadership, innovation and stability in the communities they serve. In this session, we will hear how three unique chains have made their mark on the convenience store industry.
Whether it’s increasing tobacco taxes, rising minimum wages, fuel regulations or credit card fees, convenience store owners need to make their voices heard on the important issues integral to store sales. Lobbying is an essential part of our democratic system and can help bring about change. This session will delve into how convenience store owners can make their voices be heard with lawmakers at the local and state levels to influence change that is good for business.
From foodservice to the cold vault, customers see c-stores as a destination, but how closely do you track where they go once they enter your store? New technology, such as heat maps integrated with high-resolution cameras, allow retailers to see where customers are going, what they are looking at and how much time they spend in each area of the store. This data can help c-stores design integrated merchandising plans to drive sales.
The hype around artificial intelligence (AI) has never been higher – and one industry where it has a chance to make a major impact on profits is retail. From interpreting data to predicting sales needs, artificial intelligence is redefining retail. This panel will discuss how a digital strategy ties into all aspects of the store including loyalty, the back-office and the POS system. It will also discuss how retailers can use AI to engage customers through communication and experiences, better manage inventory and price products optimally.
- New and Emerging Fuels. Moderator: Bob O’Connor, President, Jetz Convenience Centers
- HR: There’s an app for that. Moderator: Doug Yawberry, President, Weigels Inc.
- CBD, Vape and Tobacco: What the future holds for this growing category and how FDA regulations can impact sales. Moderator: Paul Crozier, Category Manager for Cigarettes & Tobacco, Sheetz Inc.
- Foodservice: Forecasting demand. Moderator: Kalen Frese, Food Service Director, Warrenton Oil Co.
- How is Industry Consolidation Changing the C-Store Industry? Moderator: Jonathan Ketchum, Vice President of Retail, Energy North Group
- LEED Certification and Embracing the Green Movement.
Space limitations used to be the bane of convenience store operators who wanted a professional foodservice program. But now manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with equipment that serves multiple purposes and still fits nicely within the c-store footprint. Choosing the right equipment can often be an overwhelming task given the range of options available, so retailers must also focus on cost, machine life, maintenance and ROI considerations.
Amazon and other cashier-less concepts are no longer a novelty. They are fast becoming destinations in markets such as San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago, and they are challenging conventional convenience stores in the race for time-pressed customers. Beyond retail competition, the concept is also changing consumer behavior to expect a frictionless experience. While some municipalities are passing laws to require stores to accept cash, convenience store owners must develop a strategy to compete with this emerging trend.
Best practices and conference wrap up with John Lofstock, Executive Director, NAG, and Brian Unrue, Vice President of Operations, Clark’s Pump N Shop.