5 Tips for Starting the New Year

As we settle back into life-after-holidays and begin the New Year, it’s time to spruce up your Street Corner Convenience Store. Take note of these five tips for beginning the New Year with a fresh new energy:

1. Check out the competition.

Call it a reconnaissance mission. A quick visit to other convenience stores in the area can give you important insight. What niche is left unfilled? Is there a local product that no one else is carrying? Understanding what your competition is doing and not doing presents an opportunity to fill a service gap. Don’t miss that opportunity.

2. Spruce up.

Start outside and work your way in. Clean muck off the walls and windows. What is the condition of any welcome mats? Dust the shelves and sanitize cooler handles and restroom doorknobs. Touch up the paint. Be obsessed with the details. You’ve likely seen a significant increase in foot traffic throughout the holidays and may be due for deep cleaning and decluttering.

3. Weed out.

Spend some time on your shelves and displays. Remove outdated offerings and any seasonal products no longer relevant. Spend a little extra time at the counter. What is on display? How long has it been there? Has it sold well? (The amount of dust accumulated offers an excellent clue that something isn’t selling.) What older and under-performing products can you relocate?

4. Identify your Product Champions.

What do your sales records tell you about high-performing products? Are you treating these products as your store’s VIP’s? As you’re sprucing up and weeding out, look for ways to reconfigure your displays to better emphasize your profit makers.

5. Direct traffic.

Walk through your store as if you are a customer. What is the traffic flow like? Compare traffic flow to your use of space and product placement. Are like-products consolidated together to be easily found? Or are they scattered? Are there “dead zones” in the store–wasted spaces or congested areas? How can you redistribute and reorganize displays and products to make things easier to find and keep traffic moving?

The start of a new year is as an excellent time to introduce a new life to your store. May you enjoy much success in 2014!