Competing in the Increasingly Competitive C-Store Market

As the c-store market is seeing more small-format stores than ever before, how do we compete? The best way is to increase our strategic focus in our business. So how do we increase our strategic focus? We can start by understanding and focusing on the key shoppers who come into our stores. We need to learn how to address their needs better than our competition does.

There are many different types of shoppers who frequent c-stores, just to name a few; Blue-collar workers, professional drivers, smokers, junk food lovers, and “soccer moms.”

Understanding who our most lucrative shopper is will help determine how to better meet their needs. In a lot of stores, 20% of the most loyal customers represent 80% of the sales and profits.

There are 3 main types of c-stores and shoppers approach different types of stores with different shopping priorities and occasions in mind. Distinguishing our store type helps us begin to define service opportunities.

The 3 C-Store Types:

● The neighborhood store

    ○ Frequented by soccer moms and locals in the neighborhood

The Metro Store

    ○ Located on busy streets, primarily frequented by commuters on their way to and from work

● The Highway Store

    ○ Found on highway exits, frequented by travelers and professional drivers

In addition to defining our customer and store type, we need to think “big picture” and take advantage of category knowledge, data and resourcess. This will enable us to base decisions on analytics and facts, and ultimate find new ways to drive sales and profit. Our suppliers are a key resource when it comes to industry knowledge, trends, and ways to improve our category business. We must lean on them to help understand the industry and how the trends translate to our individual stores, as well as viewing our own internal data.

We need to move away from relying on intuition when we run our businesses; while it does have tremendous value, we need to support these feelings with data. We may be surprised to find that some of our “hunches” are not proved accurate once we look at the numbers.

For More Information Contact Your Sales Rep or Call 800-992-0592