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Ten Big Ideas from Day 2 of the NACS Show 2015

LAS VEGAS — The show floor opened, educational sessions got serious and the term “technology” took on multiple meanings. Here are 10 highlights from day two of the 2015 NACS Show in Las Vegas.

Beer Pairings

Seen at the Anheuser-Busch booth: very smart ideas to drive foodservice sales during peak beer-selling hours, and vice versa. The two are conveniently inverse to one another.

Vaping & Technology

Does it seem like the vaping product you finally got used to six months ago is now like a 1997 Chevy. Speed of innovation is seemingly traveling faster than the speed of sound. One cutting-edge manufacturer featured seven different series of vaping innovation, with suggested-retail price hitting well over $100.

Five-Star Review

When it comes to employee performance reviews, Rich Schappert, vice president of IT for Casey’s General Store, said there’s no hard-and-fast rule, but reviews should reflect your company and its values. You wouldn’t take another company’s business model because it might not fit your store, and the same goes for the review process. 

General Merchandise & Technology

Electronic accessories are growing in popularity in the c-store space. Many booths featured ear buds, car chargers and rechargeable battery packs. “It’s just a hit,” said Chris DePriest, account manager at Pugs Inc.

Mobile Inspiration

Think there’s no ROI on mobile payments? Think again: Whole Foods reports sales through its digital Instacart service average a basket size 2.5 times the size of the average in-store basket. 

Tobacco Toes the Line

“I applaud industry efforts to remain compliant. It’s reassuring to see how seriously you take your responsibility to comply with the law.” –Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products

Bear Down!

Why is getting feedback from a supervisor so difficult? Coaching consultant Joanne Loce says research shows being critiqued by a boss unleashes the same chemicals in the body as being attacked by a grizzly bear! So being approached with negative feedback about the job you’re doing provokes a fight or flight impulse. How to get past this with your employees? You need to create a feedback-rich culture that encourages open communication and regular feedback, good or bad.

Sharing Customer Data with Other Chains

While the idea of sharing customer data goes against the grain of retailers wanting to build relationships with their own customers, Brian Sletten, Bosatsu Consulting, said people are developing “open” databases that allow disparate retailers to share information–not everything–but enough to help them make better merchandising and marketing choices. Information like the kinds of websites customers visit, what hobbies they persue and where they like to vacation, are all things that can come together to help a retailer use “big data” in a meaningful way.

Retail & Technology

“Mobile is more than an app–you have to start thinking about it as a channel. Think about when Best Buy switched from brick and mortar to online. This is the first opportunity for every day retailers to have that kind of experience. It’s a channel for communication, a channel for payments, a channel for convenience. How are we going to introduce this new channel?” –Doug Rodewald, W. Capra Consulting Firm Partner

Short & Sweet

From Kwik Trip leader Steve Loehr: “KT’s success is based on hiring good people and giving them the resources to succeed.” Boom!

CSP Staff


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