Thursday, April 28, 2011

Norton’s Notes – A Merchandiser’s Perspective (Part Two)

Today’s posting is the second of a multi-part series on a feature that we will be incorporating into our blog on a regular basis called Norton’s Notes. We will be periodically adding insight from our distinguished merchandising specialist, Jim Norton. The format of the articles will be in question and answer, and we encourage any questions or comments.

Question 1.) You've merchandised a variety of stores. What's the hardest type of store to setup, a large convenience outlet or a smaller mom-and-pop?

Answer 1.) Each type of store presents its own challenges. A large store can carry more variety. This allows a merchandiser to take liberties allocating items, and have more room for displays and secondary merchandising locations. The smaller store will only carry the top selling items as space dictates. This means you must take into consideration the demographics of the area you’re in. In convenience, just as in real-estate, it’s all about location!
Stay ahead of the game with Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution
Pictured Above: Beautiful store set out of the candy aisle, it almost sells itself!

Question 2.) What are the must-have items for the upcoming months that you're putting in every store you set?

Answer 2.) It’s good to have a seasonal section in your store. With the summer months coming up you want to stock insect repellent, sauces and condiments, fire logs for outdoor use, picnic supplies, toys, etc. For the winter section you want firewood, ice scrapers, snow shovels, rock salt, etc. The key is knowing what your customers will want before they do. You don’t ever want to lose a sale because you didn’t have a seasonal item during that period.

To get immediate feedback or assistance, email Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution directly at, or visit the Allen Brothers Website.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pizza Pushing Profits

We've discussed hot dogs and their importance to the food service sector, today we look at pizza. 18% of adults in the United States reported eating pizza at least once a week. What's driving these heightened numbers for pizza consumption? Surprisingly, it's not delivery pizza that's driving the boost in sales, it's c-store sales and take home pies. Good news for all of us in the convenience store industry, since we specialize in both! 43% of those that reported eating pizza at least once per week also reported that the majority of their purchases are made in convenience stores and supermarkets. With inexpensive pricing and the ability to purchase take-home pizza pies, the growth becomes more logical since the c-store and superettes are thriving with today's shoppers heightened propensity for good pricing and convenience.

Grow your pizza business with Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution
Let Allen Brothers help you grow your pizza business today!
Store operated food service options are a progressive push in today's convenience store industry. Many of the elite performers in the business are embracing the wave of product diversification. If you're not offering food service in your store today, take the progressive step to ensure you have it in your store tomorrow and contact Allen Brothers at to get the ball rolling! You have a great opportunity to grow your business, and we can help. Check out the Allen Brothers Monthly Special's back cover for knock-out deals on pizza products today!

Allen Brothers Helps You Drive Pizza Profits
Let Allen Brothers help you grow your pizza profits!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Norton's Note -- The man behind the merchandising

Since our last edition of Norton's Notes, some of our website visitors were curious about our head of merchandising, Jim Norton, and his background in the convenience store business. I'd like to take a quick break from the industry info. & advice and peel back the curtain to reveal one of Allen Brothers' biggest assets, Merchandising Manager Jim Norton.

A recent example of a store set by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton
Pictured above, a recent store set performed by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton

Jim has enjoyed an extensive career in the convenience retail industry, but for the sake of reading, I'll try to keep it brief. Norton's emergence into the retail side of business started in grocery in 1986. During his first few years in the business, Jim worked for a food broker in the mid-Atlantic region successfully calling on some of the most prominent grocery chains in his territory. During his time working strictly on grocery categories, Norton was responsible for placement of new items and was an instrumental part of a high-ranking reset team at the company.

Following a four year stint in the grocery sector, Norton then went to work for Wakefern Food Corporation as a sales and merchandising representative. It was during this stint that he realized his true passion for working with store sets and assisting customers in maximizing their store's potential. Mainly working with ShopRites throughout the Delaware Valley, Norton played a crucial role in successfully implementing new products and programs that were customized to the needs of each store. He was renowned for his expert product knowledge. Norton held this position for six years before tackling his next career move at Gourmet Award Foods from 1996 to 1999.

It was not until his move in late 1999 to Heritage's Wholesale that Jim Norton became immersed in convenience retail. With nearly 40 convenience stores to look over in Southern New Jersey, Norton discovered a renewed enthusiasm for convenience store merchandising. Working in tighter confines, Norton's creativity came to the forefront. He developed entire layouts for stores to optimize sales volume. In addition, he developed a program for designating certain "high-sell" areas for maximum product profitability based on category.

Following a ten year stay with Heritage, Norton made the switch from the convenience retail side of the business to convenience wholesale. Since January 2009, Jim has been an integral part of Allen Brother's sales and merchandising team. His past experience in the field as a sales representative and merchandising coordinator made him a perfect fit for Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution. Since joining Allen Brothers, Norton has successfully incorporated his core philosophy of a fresh and well-kept store set being a key ingredient for a store's overall success.

To find out more about what Allen Brothers' can do for your business, contact the merchandising department at, or call 1-800-207-2553 today!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Deal of the Week

Effective Monday, April 4th, 2011, the new Allen Brothers Grocery and Monthly Flyers go into effect. A ton of great deals on these flyers, but here are a few that stand out to me.
Heinz EZ Squeeze, 20 OZ Bottle
Item #: 838426
Available for $1.59 Each

Cloud 9 White Grape Palma, 25 Count Upright
Item #: 200207
Available for $12.77

Breyers 16 OZ Ice Cream Tubs
Strawberry (Item #927478), Butter Pecan (Item #927484), Vanilla (Item #927473),
& Chocolate (Item #927470)
All for a crazy low price of $1.34 to Allen Brothers customers!

Smart Buying and Happy Selling Everyone! Have a great weekend.