Keeping It Relevant

CSP looks at what it takes to get consumers into your stores, out of your competitor's

Abbey Lewis, Editor in Chief, CSProducts

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- As the industry map becomes tattered with the news of more and more companies filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection-as retail giants such as Circuit City and Linens 'N Things, previously thought untouchable, also find themselves unable to stay solvent in today's dicey economy-small and big retailers alike are working hard to keep themselves in the black.

In an exclusive special report in the March issue of CSP magazine, editors looked into what will keep convenience stores relevant in the coming turbulent year. They asked: What makes customers [image-nocss] turn left into your store, instead of right into your competitor's? What makes your store different than the one down the street? Are you relevant?

Through an online survey, extensive interviews and a thorough review of the past year in news, the team narrowed the solutions down to a few vital components (customer service, product assortment, loyalty programs, brand identity and pricing strategies) and put together a list of the year's 25 most intriguing ways some c-stores are making themselves different.

25 Ways to Keep Them Swooning

Here are five of the most unique things retailers are doing to set themselves above their competition. Check out the complete list in the March issue of CSP magazine.

Get to the heart of the matter. Dallas-based 7-Eleven reinforces its commitment to logistics efficiencies, working on plans to reduce the number of product deliveries to its stores and place them on a more rational schedule.

Compete for their attention. From soup-making contests to Super Bowl family packs, new chicken items to inside graphics, Quick Chek, Whitehouse Station, N.J., keeps customers interested by spicing up the mix.

Let your imagination take flight. Groups ranging from motorcycle clubs to helicopter enthusiasts are making Pops 66 in Arcadia, Okla., a destination for organizing tips, or what they call "poker runs."

Nothing beats a rewarding experience. Speedway SuperAmerica, Springfield, Ohio, boasts three customer-service awards and continues to dominate with its pervasive loyalty program.

Open a new window. Pak-A-Sak in Amarillo, Texas, and other retailers in Ohio and Rhode Island have opened new drive-thru windows.

These and the remaining 20 innovators are just a few among the many reported on in 2008. CSP Daily News has constructed a series of PowerPoint presentations that feature these and many others, organized into nine topic-specific sections. Click each of the links below to explore industry innovation in each topic.

Coming soon, this tool will be available in an interactive format on

Abbey Lewis of CSP By Abbey Lewis, Editor in Chief, CSProducts
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