Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Keys to Capitalizing on Convenience: Part One

With over 100 Years of dedicated service, the team at Allen Brothers Wholesale has a true passion for the wonderful world of convenience retail. Over the past century, we've developed thousands of relationships with store owners and operators, manufacturers and vendors, and the in-store shoppers. It is through these relationships that we have uncovered many of the secrets for success in the convenience store setting.

Interactive is the key word. This blog is geared to the many faces of convenience retail, and we will pass on what we've learned to you through our writing. But we also want to hear from you!! Whether you're an independent convenience store owner, a franchisee store operator, or a member of a corporate conglomerate, the information and insight you possess is invaluable. At Allen Brothers, we always want to learn more!!

The goal of the blog is simple. We want to create a highly interactive social medium for the store owners, store operators, consumers and shoppers, product manufacturers and vendors, and the team at Allen Brothers Wholesale. By capitalizing on the shared experiences that tie this group together, we can all benefit. And remember we want our blog and our website,, to be a fun and enjoyable!

Today's blog is the first of a multi-part series geared toward maximizing store potential. All of our blog postings are efforts in "IN-Lightenment," the sharing of INsight, INformation, and INstruction. The title of the blog says it all, "The Keys to Capitalizing on Convenience.”

In today’s post, we’ll be taking a look at the single most important element in the world of convenience…


Choosing a location for your store and maximizing its potential is the most important factor in the convenience store equation. Assuming that you have already established your store, you know how critical location has been to your success. There are numerous factors to consider when discussing location, not just the street or intersection. Take, for instance, the following concerns:

A.) Population - It is important to choose a location with a substantial population nearby to support your business. If people have to travel a longer distance, they are more likely to go to a major supermarket for a shopping trip. It is also a good idea to look into an area's projected population growth.

B.) Competition - The common misconception for convenience store owners is that their competition is mostly from other convenience stores. While this can be true in urban environments, it's also important to consider the competition coming from supermarkets. Check the local market you're considering to see if it can support another operation.

C.) Overcoming Competition - If you've picked out a location but there's heavy competition, that doesn't mean you can't have success. You'll just have to be more creative and diligent. One major way to establish your credibility is to establish your cleanliness. Promote your sanitary environment and be sure to maintain a sterile store. Too often, customers walk in the front door and are so turned off by the appearance that their first visit is also their last.

Another way to drive people in your doors rather than out of them is to encourage customers to make use of your restroom facilities. If a customer is willing to spend their hard-earned money in your store, you should certainly be willing to allow them to utilize your bathroom. If you want to establish a collection of “regular” customers, make each and every visitor to your store feel as appreciated as possible. Remember to always keep in mind the long term goal of your store. Step outside the box. The common reputation for convenience store owners is a love for cash. Make your reputation a love for customers!

D.) Traffic - Impulse purchases make up a good percentage of convenience store sales, so high volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic passing your store is critical. Location near schools, parks, sporting facilities and other businesses with increased traffic is preferred, but not required.

E.) Overcoming Lack of Traffic - If you don’t have a steady stream of traffic by your store, make a trip to the busiest section of your surrounding area and invest in signage and flyers to notify customers where they can find you. Convenience is crucial, and you need to make it your responsibility to make the process as easy as possible for your current and potential customers. The key is getting people in the store the first time, making the experience satisfying, and cultivating the customer into a habitual visitor to your store.

We've looked into the first of a sequence of key factors that determine a store's maximum profitability. Obviously we don't have all the answers, and that's where you come in.

Now It's Your Turn

1.) Store Owners and Operators - What did we miss? How have you found ways to either take advantage of your desirable location or overcome location-related obstacles? Are you in a heavily populated area with consistent foot traffic and little competition, or have you had to work a little harder to get those customers in the door? How have you kept your customers, and what do you think of an open door policy regarding public bathrooms? Come on, don’t be bashful of your success!

2.) Product Manufacturers and Vendors - In your daily travels, what type of efforts have you observed store owners partaking in regards to their location?

Come on everybody, let's hear from you!!

No comments:

Post a Comment