Success Stories

YCM January | February 2009 www.conveniencecentral.ca

New Year brings fresh ideas

Another year means people start talking about New Year's resolutions. Sometimes it is just that all talk, but for retailers a resolution made for your store means a little more.

BY JEREMY DICKSON

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Two retailers not far from each other and near a major stretch of highway straddling the Ontario-Manitoba border see the New Year as a fresh start, as a means to create more sales drivers for their c-stores.

The small town of Mitchell, Manitoba is only an hour and half drive from the small city of Kenora, Ontario, and both are a short drive from the States.

Patty Whorpole, store manager of Kenora's Lake Vu Motel, which also includes a convenience store, gas station, Chester Chicken, and co-op, and Dick Penner, owner-operator of Dickie's Convenience in Mitchell, just put a wrap on the holiday season and are already making resolutions and wish lists for their upcoming summer seasons.

American tourists travelling from Minnesota and North Dakota account for a portion of both stores' sales in the summer months, meaning Penner and Whorpole need to be prepared.

"It's a tourist community," says Whorpole. "In the winter we get the hunters up from the States, and in the summer we get the cottagers from the Winnipeg area. This year we want to bring in more summer souvenirs and items for seasonal holidays like Christmas and Easter."

Whorpole and Penner both agree that adding more SKU variety to their coolers for the summer would be a wise resolution.

"I want to add more frozen ice cream, soft-serve ice cream, cones, sundaes, floats and cold drinks like energy drinks and ice caps because there is a demand for it in our community. It would increase my sales and traffic," says Penner.

Whorpole says Lake Vu Motel could use a cooler revamp.

"We're thinking about updating our ice cream coolers because it's needed, and it would be nice to have a few more frozen goods products."

Penner says his gas and convenience store could also offer more snack foods like nachos and cheese, a bigger variety of hot drinks, coffees and fresh food.

 
     
     
 
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