Thursday, June 26, 2014

Convenience stores

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from personal experience in founding, operating, and expanding small businesses.

     Convenience stores are located in many neighborhoods. They might be individually owned or a part of a national chain.

     This blog is about individually owned convenience stores. National chains are a different animal. 

     Convenience stores exist for a reason--convenience of the shopper. Customers know they are usually paying more at these stores. They expect to pay more for the convenience. 

     Example: I worked with the owner of an in-town convenience store. He was in the process of opening a second store in a nearby town and needed help getting through the permitting process. I did a walk-through in the existing store and asked to see his store room. He pointed to the store's shelves lined with brand names of canned goods, cereals, cleaning supplies, etc. What he had in the store was on the shelves--no back-ups in the back room. He had eliminated the distributor or wholesaler (these people sell in case lots or more) by shopping at the local supermarkets. He watched the big store sales like a hawk, and he swooped in to buy a few of the items he knew he could re-sell at a higher price. He was conserving cash by buying in small quantities at on-sale prices--buy low, sell high. And he did not need costly storage space.

     There are other ways to organize a convenience store. 

     Example: Another owner of a small store asked me to coach him through the process of preparing a business plan to be submitted to the bank for a loan. His operation employed a different concept--the merchandise on his shelves came from case lots stored in his back room. But they were case lots of overstocks and other discounted case lots of foods and selected other items he knew his customers would buy. He, too, was buying low and selling high. But he had the additional expense of maintaining a store room.  

     Setting up and running an individually-owned convenience store takes some careful planning. It's all about the market and what the marketplace will support. Then, and only then, can you select the method you want to use to stock the shelves.

     My lifetime of experience covers founding, operating, expanding businesses of my own, as well as helping many others with small-business problems. If you have questions, I respond daily with answers. Email me at and put BLOG in the subject line. No charge, and your privacy is always respected.    


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