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The Vending Industry could Learn from Convenience Store Decisions

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By , October 30, 2015 12:47 pm

Check out CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS website and newsletter, they are always packed full of what hot and anything hot in convenience stores can be vended.


Retailers: Double Your Profits With This Simple Trick

FinanceBy Bill Scott, founder of StoreReport LLC & Scott Systems Inc.

In 1965, I made my living as a DJ pulling the morning shift at a local radio station, and selling radio commercials in the afternoon. I remember one sales call in particular.

I sat across the desk from a Southland Corporation (Pak-A-Sak) executive in his office on Fairfield Avenue in Shreveport, La., as he expounded on the virtues of the penny.

His claim: if I could teach my employees to do one simple thing, I could double the profits in my stores.

His idea: as customers approached the cash register, I try to train my employees to inquire as to whether the customer needs anything else.

I will never forget that meeting or the impression it left on me. This became significant later in life, when I discovered most convenience store tenders contain less than two items. A testament to the fact that 50 years later, we have made little or no progress in this area.



Retailers, especially convenience stores, are concerned with moving customers through their stores, much more than they are at controlling their customers’ purchases. With the amount of profits being lost, this is a problem desperate for a solution.

Later, I took a job for the Yellow Pages and sold telephone directory advertising in New Orleans. One of my customers was a man who made his fortune selling prescription drugs and drug store items out of a warehouse. He had no retail stores whatsoever. His customers simply called in their prescriptions and secretaries took the orders over the telephone. Then his team of motorcycle riders would deliver the orders.

He told me something that fell in line with what the Southland Corporation executive had said. When his salespeople would take the customers’ orders, they asked them to lay down their phone, and check their medicine cabinets to see if they needed anything else. Nine times out of 10 they did. Whether they needed anything else or not, the order-taker would not end the call without suggesting something that was currently on sale… perhaps a box of Kleenex tissue, or a two-for-one promotion… anything.

This caused the customer to stop, think and usually one sale would escalate into two, three or more sales in addition to what the customer originally wanted. Rarely, did the customer get off the phone without buying at least one additional item. His thinking: he would incur the cost of the delivery regardless of whether his delivery boy delivered one item or two. Why not offset the expense with a little profit from something the customer didn’t know they needed?

With the emphasis being “move the customer through the sales line as quickly as possible,” retail stores today are not set-up to make that extra sale, even if they asked for it. Instead of asking for another sale, we have come to rely on ‘change-makers’ and apparently they are not having the desired results or we would see more than one item on a tender, and it’s just not there.

The opportunity to double profits is compelling. All we need is the desire to make it happen. Sometimes stores are too busy, and the products may be scattered throughout the store. That doesn’t mean we can’t experiment during slow periods, or accumulate sales products near the register.

We would love to hear from retailers who have taken some action to pick up these profits that go unnoticed by most.

Find Out How to Market to Generation Z – New Game is in Town

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By , October 30, 2015 12:02 pm

p5StrongView – Offers a great source for Marketing to Gen Z – Yes, those youngsters will be all grown up and have buying power and how they are different from everyone in the past.


Z Marks the Spot: Get Your Brand Ready for Generation Z


Generation Z, those presently under the age of 18 and have never lived in a world without digital technology. Gen Z expects brands to anticipate their needs through technology. Marketers need to be able to keep up! The main reason why the Gen Z (also known as iGeneration) is the talk of the (marketing) town right now is simple: They’re throwing a major curveball to proven marketing strategies! What’s working for other generations appears not to be working for Generation Z!

Key Topics

  • How Generation Z Differs From Previous Generations
  • Speed, Simplicity, and Service – What Generation Z wants from your brand!
  • Best Practices to Marketing to Generation

Marketing Challenges

Estimated at 60 million members, Generation Z outnumbers Millennials by at least a million people. They currently represent a quarter of the U.S. population. And a recent J. Walter Thompson trends report estimates that they currently hold $44 billion in annual purchasing power in the U.S. alone. That makes Centennials the holy grail of marketers everywhere.

Experts caution, however, that businesses attempting to tap into Generation Z will have to do so with exceptionally pithy advertising. This is a generation accustomed to emojis, hashtags and six-second Vine videos. So, if businesses cannot communicate the big picture in just a few words, they will have lost the attention of their desired audience.

Credit: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images



Marketing to Millennials

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By , October 29, 2015 3:40 pm

marketing to millennials

Marketing to Millennials -Engage the generation of visual buyers.

By the end of 2015, millennials are set to overtake Baby Boomers as the largest living generation in the U.S. By 2017, they will carry the bulk of the spending power.

The problem? This tech-savvy generation of consumers is also incredibly diverse. The key to effectively engaging millennials is recognizing that a “one-size-fits-all” strategy simply won’t cut it.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • 14 influential millennial personas, from the “Brogrammer” to the “Millennial Mom”;
  • How to engage each of the 14 millennial personas through relevant imagery;
  • 5 proven ways to monetize your visual content across multiple marketing channels, from social to your website.

Fill out the form to get your free guide, and start building lasting relationships with your millennial customers.

Check Out their website – EMarketer Retail  https://www.emarketer.com/



Can You Sell the Same Products in Vending Equipment as in a Convenience Store?

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By , October 29, 2015 2:42 pm

Items to Sell in a Convenience Store

by Carl Hose, Demand Media

Convenience stores cater to customers who purchase last-minute or spur-of-the-moment itemsS.

Convenience stores cater to customers who purchase last-minute or spur-of-the-moment itemsS.

Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Image  http://smallbusiness.chron.com/items-sell-convenience-store-13436.html

The convenience store takes its name from its purpose and the products normally carried in stock. A convenience store can be a stand-alone store but is often part of a gas station, making it convenient for customers to purchase items while filling their vehicles with gas. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce, small convenience stores should ideally stock 2,800 to 3,200 items in as many as to 400 categories.

Eggs and Dairy Products

Many convenience stores stock basic dairy items, such as milk, butter. cottage cheese, sour cream and other cheese products. There will not typically be a wide range of brands on hand. Milk sizes will likely include pint, half-gallon and gallon sizes. Cheese products are often shredded. Eggs are also found in many convenience stores. Some convenience stores will also carry half and half or heavy cream.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Many convenience stores carry a range of over-the-counter medications that include aspirin, cough medicine, lip balm, sinus medication and throat lozenges. Sizes of these products vary. Sometimes there will be single doses of aspirin or other pain-relief medications available at the counter, but the store also may carry large sizes.

Most convenience stores carry a range of bread products, including loaves of bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, and dinner rolls. There will typically be one or two brands on hand at most. Limited canned goods, such as soup, common vegetables, canned meat, chili and stew may also be found on convenience store shelves. Dry good items include limited bagged pasta and beans. Pickles, relish, catsup, mustard and mayonnaise are also stocked on convenience store shelves.


According to the Illinois Department of Commerce, “Convenience stores generally do not stock fresh meats or produce when located in a community with an independent grocer.” This includes steaks, chops and chicken. You are more likely to find a wide range of lunch meats that include bologna, ham, pickle loaf and salami. Some convenience stores may also carry summer sausage products as well.


Convenience stores will typically carry juices, cold and warm soda, coffee and energy drinks, and a range of alcoholic beverages that include several brands of beer and wine, if permitted by state and local laws.

Sweets and Snacks

Many convenience stores devote an entire section of the store to a range of candy products, both in single servings and bulk, chips, dried meat snacks, chewing gum canned puddings and sweet cakes. You will also find a variety of nuts as well. Some convenience stores may offer prepared sandwiches, pickles, nachos, fountain drinks and snacks designed to appeal to customers who visit the store hungry.

Additional Items

Tobacco products, batteries, foam coolers, plastic gas cans, flashlights, candles, windshield cleaners and cleaning fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil are some of the additional items that may be found in a convenience store because they are products consumers may need in an emergency or impulsively purchase because they happen to be in the store.

Congratulations Cott – One of the Worlds Largest Producers of Beverages

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By , October 29, 2015 10:14 am


portfolio_energy-drinks2Cott is one of the world’s largest producers of beverages on behalf of retailers, brand owners and distributors, and has one of the broadest home and office bottled water and office coffee service distribution networks in the United States, with the ability to service approximately 90 percent of U.S. households, as well as national, regional and local offices.

Cott produces multiple types of beverages in a variety of packaging formats and sizes, including carbonated soft drinks, 100% shelf stable juice and juice-based products, clear, still and sparkling flavored waters, energy drinks and shots, sports drinks, new age beverages, ready-to-drink teas, beverage concentrates, liquid enhancers and freezables and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, as well as hot chocolate, coffee, malt drinks, creamers/whiteners and cereals.  Cott’s large manufacturing footprint, broad distribution network, substantial research and development capability and high-level of quality and customer service enables Cott to offer its customers a strong value-added proposition of low cost, high quality products and services. In addition, Cott is now a national direct-to-consumer provider of bottled water, office coffee and water filtration services offering a comprehensive portfolio of beverage products, equipment and supplies to approximately 1.5 million customer locations through its network of over 200 sales and distribution facilities and daily operation of over 2,100 routes.

With approximately 9,500 employees, Cott operates approximately 60 manufacturing facilities and 180 distribution facilities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico.  Cott also develops and manufactures beverage concentrates, which it exports to approximately 50 countries around the world.

Third Quarter 2015 Highlights 

  • Revenue increased 41% to $756 million ($776 million excluding the impact of foreign exchange) compared to $535 million.

  • Gross profit increased 234% to $233 million compared to $70 million, which resulted in gross profit as a percentage of revenue of 30.8% compared to 13.0%.

  • Adjusted EBITDA increased 103% to $95 million ($98 million excluding the impact of foreign exchange) compared to $47 million. Reported EBITDA increased 114% to $86 million compared to $40 million.

  • Reported free cash flow increased 28% to $64 million, reflecting $92 million of net cash provided by operating activities less $28 million of capital expenditures. Adjusted free cash flow increased 29%.

  • Cott continued to focus on its strategic priorities designed to build long-term shareowner value.
  DS Services completed the acquisitions of two home and office delivery (“HOD”) water businesses towards the end of the quarter, which together are expected to generate approximately $9 million in annual revenues. Three additional Asset Purchase Agreements have been signed for the acquisition of small HOD businesses with expected combined revenues of over $1 million per year. The acquisitions, which are subject to customary closing conditions, are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015 or first quarter of 2016.

Fall is in the Air – Time to Add Pumpkin Spice Coffee to Your Inventory

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By , October 7, 2015 12:05 pm


Yes, its that time of the year again, fall is in the air – the flavorth

of Pumpkin Spice coffee is everywhere.

Fast food establishments have know this secret for awhile.

Do you offer seasonal

flavored coffee in your vending machines? If not, you may want to

start.  Flavored coffee is popular and mixed with cooler temps

it’s a must in your vending business.


VendaCarts Cuts Expenses In Labor and Inventory

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By , October 7, 2015 11:21 am

Below is a recent article from C-Store Decisions and you can only guess where I am going with featuring it.  Two ways to save on expenses Labor and Inventory.  That is why VendaCarts – Mobile Retail C-Store is perfect especially when it takes only 1 person to operate a successful business. C-Store Decisions is my go to location for the latest facts, stats and new ways to make money with convenience stores.  Other than fuel, our VendaCarts – Mobile Retail C-Store can just about sell most items that a c-store would.


How to Control Operating Costs

zarcopumpThe two largest expenses a convenience retailer often faces are labor and inventory, but costs can creep up anywhere. Experienced c-stores, however, have learned how to combat such costs.

By Howard Riell, Associate Editor

It is a truism in business that you cannot save your way to prosperity. Somebody probably also said once that containing operating costs will allow you to operate another day.

Probably many convenience store operators will attest that containing operating expenses must always be part of any well-rounded strategy. The two largest expenses a c-store often faces are labor and inventory. Cutting either category—especially when adding foodservice or other programs—requires careful upfront planning.

You’ve Got MAIL – Email Leads the Way in Marketing

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By , October 5, 2015 2:13 pm


You’ve Got Mail!

Retail Email Marketing: Benchmarks and Trends in the US

Along with search, email marketing remains one of the most tried-and-true tactics for retailers. Growing mobile usage among consumers, as well as the ability to better segment or personalize messages, are creating new possibilities for gradually improving its effectiveness.


In todays market every business knows to get your customers email address.  Social media is here to stay and to benefits from the unlimited marketing potential begin today by taking advantages of email blast for upcoming sales, new merchandise or just to say HI.

Email Marketing needs to be in the forefront of your marketing plan.

Even though many are calling email marketing old fashioned and ineffective, it is still one of the top sources for lead nurturing and management.

Consumers enjoy receiving emails. And at least 91% of consumers check their email everyday. Which makes email the leading communication channel.

Everything from the content within the body of the email to the length of your subject line to the ratio of pictures to text can effect the open and click through rates of your messages.



Hispanic Buying Power Increased 2015 by 50% From 2010

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By , October 5, 2015 10:11 am

CStore Decisions highlights the market for Hispanic and importance of attracting this diverse population .

How to Market to the Hispanic Consumer

Before convenience stores can effectively attract more Hispanic customers, they have to strive for cultural competence. This only happens through due diligence and time.

By Sylvia Meléndez Klinger and Kate Brogan, Hispanic Food Communications Inc.

There are more than 55 million Hispanic consumers in the U.S. today, and the Hispanic population is expected to double by 2050.

According to Nielsen, Hispanics represent $1.5 trillion in buying power in 2015, an astonishing 50% increase since 2010. This is great news for convenience retailers—especially c-stores that offer diverse foodservice programs. That’s because Hispanics spend a higher percentage of income on food compared to the U.S. population as a whole.

Attracting and keeping Hispanic consumers is a smart growth strategy for c-store retailers. Successful marketing involves recognizing the diversity among Hispanics based on country of origin and level of acculturation, or the process of adapting to a new culture.

The Hispanic segment isn’t homogenous, so be careful not to generalize in your marketing plan. In the past, Hispanic marketing focused on language and translation of promotions into Spanish. This is a helpful first step, but truly effective marketing involves understanding regional differences between Hispanic subgroups that set them apart, not only in their food choices, but also in how they prepare their food every day.

Foods and flavors that are popular in Mexico may not appeal to Dominican or Puerto Rican consumers. Store managers should understand the origins of their Hispanic consumers and offer product mixes that appeal to regional tastes.

Despite regional differences, Hispanics often share core cultural values. Many retain core elements of the traditional Hispanic diet, with its heavy reliance on grains and beans as well as fruits and vegetables. Family life has traditionally occupied a pivotal place in Hispanic culture, which has influenced dietary behaviors: Hispanics value home cooking and family meals more highly than other ethnic groups.

Also, the contemporary diet of Hispanics is heavily influenced by their adopted communities. Hispanics who have lived in the U.S. for several generations are more likely to blend popular American foods with traditional Hispanic choices than more recent immigrants.

The following are some key points for c-store operators to keep in mind when trying to reach Hispanics in your community:

  • Get to know your customers. Get to know your Hispanic community in your area. What is the dominant subgroup? Nearly 65% of Hispanics have origins in Mexico, followed by Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

Hispanics who were born outside the U.S. are more likely to retain the tastes and traditions of their home country than later generations. What is the prevalent socioeconomic situation? A deeper understanding of who your Hispanic consumer is lets you tailor your products and services more accurately.

  • Provide cultural relevant messages. Create culturally relevant messages that resonate with Hispanics. For example, provide signs or promotional materials written specifically with Hispanics in mind, rather than a literal translation of English materials.

Reference culturally relevant food items they eat frequently, classic recipes and messages that move their hearts. Embrace their culture—watch Spanish TV, read their magazines, read and use their favorite cookbooks. And, it doesn’t hurt to learn a little Spanish to make them feel special and accepted.

  • Respond to valued meal traditions. Since home-cooked meals are valued by Hispanic families, offer convenience foods that can become part of a home-cooked meal such as packaged sliced fresh vegetables or fruits, shredded cheese or cooked chicken. Herbs, spices or seasoning blends also appeal to the home cook. These products allow Hispanic consumers to maintain their meal traditions with ease.
  • Build trust. Acknowledge and embrace cultural nuances and differences. Build trust by customizing messages and acknowledging challenges that many Hispanic consumers face such as lack of transportation, not being fluent in English or having trouble finding familiar food staples.

Learn about your customers’ diets and food habits so you can stock items that are commonly used in their diets. Hispanics are known for their brand loyalty, so ask customers which brands they prefer and try to stock products accordingly. These actions demonstrate respect for customers and help build trust.

  • Create a gathering area. Many Hispanics enjoy eating together with family and friends. Offer a seating area with a few chairs and tables. This welcoming gesture builds a sense of community and will keep Hispanic consumers coming back to your c-store.
  • Offer a variety of Hispanic foods. When planning inventory, include food items that reflect Hispanic consumers’ country of origin. Fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables are particularly popular with Hispanic consumers. Items that are considered healthy entrée options, such as chicken, are also popular.

For example, a variety of cold beverages from different countries, such as horchata, are sought by Puerto Ricans and Cubans, or agua fresca de Jamaica, sweet breads (pan dulce) and gelatins (gelatinas) can be great options for Mexican patrons. Also, carry favorite items prepared by local Hispanic vendors, such as tamales or burritos.

  • Connect on a personal level. Provide superb personal service that is unmatched by any competitor and respect your customer regardless of their color and socioeconomic status. You can build trust by engaging with customers every day and getting to know their needs and wants to keep them coming back.
  • Be patient. If Hispanics resist initial marketing efforts, it is probably because they are still building trust with you. Be persistent and continue to develop those cultural values that are important to Hispanic consumers.

Get creative when offering new food items: keep new items visible and let Hispanic consumers know you are stocking favorite items that they requested. Go the extra mile to cater to their needs.

  • Ask for feedback. Encourage your Hispanic customers to provide feedback frequently and make sure to respond promptly. Actions speak louder than words.

The growing Hispanic market is evolving, and your ability to understand your local consumers can set you apart from the competition. If you are able to address the needs and wants of Hispanic consumers successfully, you can increase your share of a growing and valuable market segment.


Digital Signage and VendaCarts Makes Additional Revenue Easy

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By , October 5, 2015 9:11 am

Have you considered adding the revenue opportunities of mobile digital signage to your vending portfolio and business plan?

VendaWorks Picture ARMVendaCarts offers you additional opportunities to grow your business

through Digital Signage Marketing & Advertising.

Over the wheel well is ample space for Multiple Content Display Options.

doPublicity is just one of many companies that offer digital signage solutions

that will perform with High Visibility Under Sunlight and Durability Against Rain/Dust


doPUBLICITY – Digital Signage Made Easy


Digital Signage with 1,000+ Templates

  • Manage Remotely
  • Display Images, Video, Websites
  • Daily / Weekly Weather
  • Scrolling Banner
  • No Monthly / Annual Fees
  • Phone / Email Support

doPublicity provides a comprehensive and easy to use digital signage software that works on a Media Player / Windows PC connected to a TV (LED / LCD / Plasma / Projection) or Monitor. The Digital Signs software is all-inclusive and does not require any complex hardware or software setup.

doPublicity is a solution that lets users Remotely Manage Display Screens, Signage Content, Banner and Playlist setting for all installations, from a single location. This is a good fit for Business Owners and Display Signage Network Integrators and Operators looking for low cost and flexibility with loads of features. Check out their website and see all features of doPublicity Digital Signage Software and Remote Service http://www.dopublicity.com/Digital-Menu-Boards.aspx.

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