As crude oil prices continue to fall and demand for fuel continues to plummet throughout the winter months, drivers are enjoying fuel prices at their lowest point since February 2009. As a result, consumers have a few extra dollars in their pockets to spend on food, beverages and even moving from fourth tier brands to premium tobacco products. For the last few months, retailers have enjoyed a healthy dose of discretionary sales generated through dropping fuel prices and increasing in-store purchases. However, positive economic waves don’t last forever.
Here are a few ways to stay ahead of the economic wave and maintain healthy in-store sales even after gas prices sneak their way up once again.
1. HIGH QUALITY FOOD SERVICE: Retailers have found that food service can deliver new customers inside their locations, and at a higher profit level than for items like gas. The trick is promising high-quality offerings and delivering every time. When customers know that your food options are high quality and delivered consistently, then a bond of loyalty is developed that is only broken when that level of quality service is interrupted.
2. HIGH QUALITY COFFEE PROGRAM: Coffee is the hot beverage of choice in convenience stores and the No. 1 subcategory of the hot dispensed beverages category, generating nearly 77% of the category’s sales. Broken down, this segment delivers nearly three-quarters of its sales during morning hours. Combine that trend with your freshest baked goods and you can deliver a value-added offering to patrons that can easily neutralize the creep of inflation via increased in-store sales. [Read more about our “5 Tips For Designing a Profitable Coffee Center” and “7 Tips For Creating a Successful Coffee Program“]
3. HIGH MARGIN CATEGORIES: High-margin categories such as frozen dispensed beverages can chill the ill-will of customers should fuel prices spike again. Of course, frozen concoctions gain even more traction through creative promotions, to include channeling the power of social media. [Read more about how to “Focus On The High Profit Centers“]
We already live in a nation of inflation. The price of doing business in America is always on the uptick. If you’ve been to the grocery store recently and checked the outrageous cost of beef or fish or if you have purchased toner for your computer lately or new tires you know that our dollar does not strech quite as far as it used to.
Americans want a deal, and there’s no better deal than in-store food and beverage offerings that speak high quality and value.
At PES Design Group, we are specialists in Restaurant, Food Service and C-store design and have a staff of knowledgeable consultants with over 25 years of experience in planning innovative, attractive, efficient and profitable C-store facilities. We will use our years of experience to design innovation and uniqueness into your project helping you to set yourself apart from the rest. We can provide you with a remodel design that will help you achieve a greater positive customer experience, top your competition and increase profits!
Don’t take our word for it! Visit our portfolio page at portfolio.pesdesigngroup.com for a list and photos of projects our consultants have done during their 25+ years in the C-store Design Industry as well as testimonials from very satisfied clients.
About the Consultant
Jim Richards (Sr) is a Principal Design Consultant and C-store Specialist with the PES Design Group, Midwest Office. During his 25 years of experience in the C-store Design Industry, Jim has designed many c-stores that are modern, innovative, efficient and most importantly… PROFITABLE.