POS System Knowledge. Refer to your POS system operations manual for detailed instructions. Refer to your POS system dealer or the Street Corner home office for changes to your system.
Product Awareness. In a retail environment, product awareness is the key to selling. You can sell more when you have an abundance of knowledge about your products. As new products are received, franchisees and their employees are expected to become familiar with them. The following is a brief description of some of the items that may be stocked in a typical Street Corner store:
1. Specialty Tobacco/Cigarettes. With the disappearance of specialty smoke and tobacco shops, there has been a large void created in the tobacco marketplace. Imported cigarettes are a highly requested and profitable item. Of course, each region or area will have requests for certain types of cigarettes. Become familiar with these local favorites and have them available. Some of the more common requests are: Clove cigarettes, Dunhill, Sobranie Black Russians, Rothman’s, Export A, Nat Sherman, Bidi, American Spirit, and such novelty cigarettes as Black Death and Go to Hell.
2. Zippo Lighters – This is an American made fluid-type lighter which originated about the time of World War II. Zippos pull apart to fill. They have an absorbent wadding material in the fuel reservoir into which the fluid is poured. A wick carries the fluid to the ignition mechanism. The lighter does not burn the fluid, but rather the vapors from the fluid.
Note: most states do not regulate the sale of lighters to minors, however, you should consider an in-store policy age restriction.
3. Cigars. One need not be an expert or even a cigar smoker to be able to sell cigars successfully, however an effort should be made to learn about them. While most cigar customers already know what they want, a sales clerk should be knowledgeable in the field so that advice can be given to the novice cigar smoker or gift buyer. In addition, employees may need to suggest suitable substitutes to the more experienced cigar smoker in the event their favorite brand is out of stock or is not carried by Street Corner.
4. E-cigarettes/Vaping. While some jurisdictions are cracking down on certain e-cigarette brands, they have become increasingly popular products since their introduction in 2003. However, they also have a much higher cost.
5. Pipes and Pipe Tobacco. Pipes and pipe tobacco are still products are still relevant and used by a segment of the population. Stocking pipes and pipe tobacco may be worth considering depending on a store’s customer-base.
6. Lottery. State Lottery games generate a large volume of traffic in participating stores. Be prepared to handle this traffic during peak times. Lottery customers can be very faithul customers. Having a big win from a ticket sold at your store can result in a significant improvement in future lottery sale when promoted with approved marketing materials provided by your state lottery. If you do sell a winning ticket, please notify Street Corner Operations so we can promote the occurence through our corporate marketing.
Remember that speed of service is essential. Employees must be well trained on the lottery machine and must be familiar with all of the games offered.