Notes from our seminars on – Battling The Big Dogs & Small Budgets – Convenience Store Industry Trends

Helping turn Business Dreams into Legacies.
Helping turn Business Dreams into Legacies.

Battling The Big Dogs & Small Budget

Convenience Store Industry Trends

These are just the highlights from series our firm has been presenting to gas station owners. I meet a lot of people seeking gas stations for the first time. If you are new to the industry, please call to discuss the new (and old trends) in the industry. Some stations can be very profitable but all the glitters is not gold and you need the facts before you proceed.

Read on and feel free to call me at 833-Buy-Biz1 (833-289-2491) for more.


My name is Brian Stephens and I learned this business by working with over 500 business owners like yourselves!

Your Business is Your Goldmine – Dig Deeper

  • Value in the short run
  • Save where you can – Credit Cards Applications guy shaved $3,000 – they added another $36,000 to the bottom line
  • I have a friend who added nearly $15K per month in this crazy economy. He was a rookie and took over from a pro with 20 plus years experience and still building. Add $15K in gross sales at 25% margin – that over another $45K profit
  • Resale value – Keep great records – for every $10K unrecorded, you might save a few grand but lose $25K in the sale

Think Like a Big Dog

  • Greater Loss When You Don’t Toss; i.e. 7-Eleven donuts
  • Hot Dogs – (per 7-Eleven exec)
    – Day 1 – 20 on, sell 12
    – Day 2 – 15 on, sell 9
    – Day 3 – 12 on, sell 6
    – Day 4 – 8 on, sell 4
    – Day 5 – 5 on, sell 2
    – Put roller grill in the back, because hot dogs don’t sell
    – Meanwhile, across the street, 7-Eleven goes through 100 a day
  • Go big, or go home – Why Texaco could not sell the top 6 magazines
  • Steal (ideas) from 7-11, Racetrack or other winners.  My friend the professional novice – 12 by 20 under canopy, has sales up to over $92K per month.


  • New Trends
    – More, Bigger Competitors – Wawa, Thornton, even Walgreens … getting in
    – Lower margins – you needed higher sales. But don’t be a slave margin trends completely. Remember it’s a convenience store. Make it about value, not price.
    – To achieve maximum profitability, stores must provide something different to create a base of loyal customers
    – People expect a high quality experience – they are brand conscious and image conscious. Getting the right image helped Jim grow his sales with no more than the standard tools that each of you have… It makes a big difference!
    – Fresh foods – #1 – hot dogs, #2 – pizza, #3 – sandwiches – all have to be awesome. Quality! (i.e. Boars Head) but it still have to be appealing. 33% of consumers who never purchased food at a c-store because the perceive the food is low quality. Get great support by companies with fresh meats
    — Branded QSR – Subway, Dunkin, Taco Bell
    — Commissary – delivered made to store – 7-Eleven
    — Made in store – like Wawa, you can too – and save franchise fees but right
    — Higher quality breads
    — Healthier options when they customers don’t choose them, they appreciate the offering and it communicates something special about you
    — Natural and organic food
    — Frozen beverage – between Slurpee and frozen Starbucks, its already a solid contributor but the category continues to grow. Remember, do it extremely well, keep in very clean, market the heck out of it.
    — Greater coffee
    — Variety
    — Incredible fresh and clean – coffee pot test
    — Fair trade and organic coffees
    — Expanding snack occasions – midmorning, mid-afternoon and other
    — Breakfast sandwiches, grab& go (remember the hot dog scenario)
    — Combo pricing – McDs has #1 Value Meal,…
    — Loyalty programs –
    — Bakery increased 2.2% over last year sales

Your customers

  • Women working – grab and goes or lunches; healthful product.
  • Men – doing more shopping – may be not just be in for beer but maybe diapers or dog food
  • Family – get rid of the offensive porn and drug crap. Revamp stores in the toughest neighborhoods in D.C. and the community loved great, clean, wholesome stores – be careful who you cater to and choose to serve
  • Singles – frozen single serve meals
  • Number of over 65 working will reach 20% by 2014
  • A new generation of Millennials, those born between 1980 and 1994 and representing the largest generation of convenience store customers since the 1960s, is your new target demographic. They may have traditional convenience needs, but how you communicate with them is anything but traditional.
    – iPhones and Blackberries and share information over
    – Twitter and Facebook.
    – Groupon … (Newspaper ads and other print coupons or promotions are highly ineffective with this group.)
  • Three rules of social media marketing for retail chains large and small.
    – Silence is not golden…it’s guilty.
    – The first story told is the story most retold…and the story most believed.
    – Buzz is the bomb…it can propel you to the top, or blow up in your face.

Old Stuff

  • Number one thing people go to the convenience store for – Convenience!
  • Customer focus – say hello when customer walks in (this week I visited same store twice; once with the corporate leader, once without)
  • Value, not Price
  • Why McDonalds can grow so many stores – systems and processes that allow a 19 year old to lead a million dollar firm
  • Full racks, ample snacks (majority of customers looking to buy salty snacks leave empty handed. Improved quality – not just of products, but service, location and marketing needed to bring in or bring back customers
  • Market – bring them in and back. Service, rewards, friendly, fast, fresh…


  • Everyone thinks their situation is unique – you can do that in my store.
  • You can kick the big dog’s butt.
  • You business is your Goldmine
  • Be ready to think out of the box
  • Make it about Value – not price
  • Market like crazy – just because you get 100% on an inspection does not mean you are running your business 100%. The oil company’s care but they can only really measure gallons and image. YOU have a lot of ways to earn more

If you would like a copy of the Convenience Store Trends Articles, and/or Free Gas & Convenience Store Industry Value Report, please email a request to me. Thanks