There are two types of convenience stores. One where you have to stop for eggs on your way home from work, and one where you stop for a quick snack and coffee halfway through your cross-country road trip. Either way, both types of convenient stores have customers needing last-minute items in convenient locations. But just like the age-old question, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” We also wonder, which came first, the term ‘Convenience Store’ or the phrase “Well, that’s convenient”? Either way, they’re called convenience stores for a reason. Whether you’re a local neighborhood convenience store, or a truck stop off a busy highway, customers expect a quick buying experience for what they need, when they need it. That’s the convenience store promise.
So how do c-stores make sure to keep that promise? Convenience retailing has some different and specific needs that require experts who understand and can manage the supply chain and inventory nuances. When a customer enters a store but then has to leave and go somewhere else to get what they need, the convenience promise is broken. And if a competing store had the item they were looking for, that customer is going to remember that in the future.
Convenience retailers need a team of supply chain and inventory planning experts that understand the ins and outs associated with convenience retailing, including localized demand trends that drive assortment and allocation planning, as well as fresh, deli services and QSR (quick service restaurant) product lines that drive demand and replenishment planning.
Not only is there pressure to have what customers need immediately when they need it, c-stores also struggle with factors that affect regular retailers as well such as natural disasters, labor shortages, phantom inventory, etc. These can impact convenience retailers and the imperatives for mitigating risk and optimizing inventory to grow the business.
4R’s One Predictive Engine helps convenience retailers keep their convenience promise with everything from convenience merchandise to the fresh deli counter- accurately forecasting prep/thaw quantities for the deli’s hot and cold foods. With AI and expert planners in the c-store sector, we help companies better forecast demand to optimize store-specific inventory and localized product mix. The One Predictive Engine is a single source of truth of “real demand”. When demand is at the core of supply chain and merchandise planning, it becomes the driver of forecasting and decision making across multiple processes. And with better forecasts come better replenishment, allocation and assortment planning to meet customer expectations and prevent them from going to a competitor.
What’s convenient for convenience stores is having a unified supply chain and inventory management system that improves forecasting and replenishment, localizes inventory allocation based on local demand trends and buying conditions and creates efficiencies throughout the entire supply chain. Reach out today and find out how we can help keep your convenience promise.