Tag Archives: Convenience Store Advice



The CANDY CLASSIFIED Series of AB’s Blog will provide store owners & management with the best industry information to help carry out new ideas for marketing and management in 2014.

CANDY CLASSIFIED #1: Creating Combo Promotions

Marketing products to customers in a c-store should be based on one thing –  Happiness.

What is going to make c-store customers happy?

1)      Full Tummy

2)      Full Tank

Based on your customers’ behaviors, you can approach selling product in your store in a NEW way; both profitable and creative.FastBitesSandCoffeeComboNE8FastbiteCombo8

First, start to tally your customers’ behaviors…

  • Are my customers buying gas and coffee?
  • Are my customers buying coffee and a breakfast sandwich?
  • Are my customers buying a soft drink and candy bar?
  • Are my customers purchases related to the weather?

Based on your research, begin to develop new ways to tie these behaviors together with the brands and products that fit; creating a “Sure Sale”. Or a “Double Whammy; sell two things for one price.  Maybe even a trifecta!

Start a “FAST BITE BREAKFAST SANDWICH WITH A CUP OF COFFEE FOR $1.99″ promotion in your store today.  We have seen GREAT successes with our stores already participating.

Contact the AB FOOD SERVICE EXPERTS today at 800-207-2553 x 133 to discuss coffee programs, sandwich programs, or more.


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Trick or Treat – AB’s Favorite Halloween Chocolate!

Trick or Treat

Halloween draws in $2 billion in candy sales every year – proving to be a major opportunity for convenience stores to increase profits during the fall.  The majority 

(74%) of consumers say they are okay with treating themselves to chocolate around Halloween.  “It’s very convenient and it’s on my way to work,” shopper Dr. Ann Craig said.  Customers will pay for convenience even if it’s a few cents more.  Do not miss out on the opportunity for SCREMING SALES from impulse or last-minute shoppers. Halloween is 22 days away.

AB’s favorite Halloween Picks:




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Bloomberg Businessweek highlights the enhanced foodservice programs that are emerging in the industry. October 3, 2013

October 3, 2013



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On A Roll! Foodservice in C-Stores is an $11 Billion Industry!!

Grill Frank #1104CONVENIENCE DISTRIBUTION September-October 2013 Page 63.

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores “Annual State of the Industry Report,” food prepared on site (which includes roller) was $242,976 per store per year in 2012. This was an increase of 2.7 percent over 2011. 

This article begins with our sales manager, John Quisito, speaking about Allen Brothers continued growth in Foodservice over the past few years.  The article is a great source of information to help you make the most of your roller grill program and build your profits by increasing the quality and food service programs you offer your customers. Take away key elements to help you develop or improve your food service plan!


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AB’s September Fall Savings…Its Common Sense, Order Today!

Fall is here. School has started. Make sure to take advantage of all the SUPER SAVINGS Allen Brothers has to offer. New products, great school stock up items, store management products, healthy selections, and so much more. Our variety is always getting better. We distribute the top trend items for CSTORES and the most popular food products in the market. Check out this month’s Common Sense; SPOT THE DOT and Save!



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Increase Gloomy Day Sales

Is a gloomy, rainy day causing slow sales? Try putting a sign outside of your store on the sidewalk; visible to those walking by or at the pumps. List items that pair with the weather. For example “Rainy Day? We are always open! Umbrellas, RainX ®, Coffee, Hot Pizza, & more. Come dry off and grab a delicious snack”.

Use cardboard and a visible marker for practically no cost at all. 

If you have extra marketing funds, a better idea would be to create and laminate poster size signs for different needs of attracting customers; weather, open on holidays, special offers (Hot Dog & Soda for one price). Also, you can buy a sign with an erasable board. Your goal is to bring customers in the door and signage is the first impression your customers receive. You can purchase signs and sign holders on signage websites (Google: Sidewalk signs or store signs) and at a Home Depot or Lowes. A sidewalk sign is called an A-FRAME sign.


sidewalk sign


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AB Is Back On The Blog!

Allen Brothers is back on the BLOG!  Sorry it’s been a while but we are back in the creative neighborhood and more fun than ever.  You should know we have a new writer, new products, and lots of new information coming your way to help you build your business and reach your highest potential.

Allen Brothers has been operating since 1910 and there is definitely one thing that has not changed!  AB cares about their customers, provides quality products, and continues to be innovative; staying ahead of the times with product selection and communication.

The sales flyer that started it all! And now 103 years later, it’s just Common $ense to buy from AB!  Stay connected. Find us on FB and Twitter also. COVER FINAL

Original  flyer!


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BIC Orange County Chopper Lighters Display

Are you taking advantage of mass-marketed branding in your stores? If not, check below for the deal on the 50 count BIC Orange County Chopper Lighters. The deal is available today through March 23rd, 2012 only through Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution.

This is a no-brainer! Just a heads up, the television series “American Chopper” carried a viewership of 3.16 million, not too shabby! People know this brand, so take advantage of this sale and get a great deal before March 23rd!

This counter unit can be ordered via fax, through your sales person or customer service representative, or by emailing the Allen Brothers Marketing Department with your account number and number of counter displays you’d like to pre-book.

Orange County BIC Lighters

BIC Orange County Lighter Display


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5 Tips for the Convenience Store Owner

This business, the retail convenience industry, is unlike really any other trade in our country. With the proliferation of corporate chains and big-box conglomerates, the little guys (independent convenience stores, mom and pops, bodegas) are still achieving a great deal of success daily thanks to their business ingenuity and know-how. Sure, we all experience trials and anxiety, but the real advantage of this business is that you have a great deal of control in the success or failure of your endeavor.

Allen Brothers

Allen Brothers: Back to Business in 2012

With that being said, the marketing team at Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution polled a wide array of industry associates (salesman, vendors, manufacturers, customers) to compile a short list of tips to take into the New Year in hopes of helping you drive your business forward in 2012. Without further ado, here are 5 tips that we hope will be of value to you this year.

1.) Treat Customers with Respect: It seems so simple, and indeed it is simple, but a smile and a “Thank You” can go such a long way for a customer. Think about it: with pricing and product selection relatively consistent from store to store, what makes the difference? Customer Service. Work at remembering faces and names, and make that person feel special. There’s nothing wrong with letting a patron know how much you appreciate and need their support, especially with the current economic conditions in our country. Invest in human resources and hire quality people to run your operation; they are a reflection of you. Ask questions, show an interest, and you will be rewarded.

2.) Customer Retention: Learn It, Live It, Love It. Are you doing enough (and by enough, I mean all that you can do) to bring that customer back through the door time and time again? Loyalty programs, low prices, cleanliness, and product selection are ALL key to long-term success! And as we know, recurring customer purchases is how we succeed in the industry. According to industry statistics, a minimum of 63% of annual purchases are made by repeat customers. Go out of YOUR WAY to create an atmosphere that keeps customers coming back.

3.) Marketing: Sure, invest in the bright lights, but realize that tastefulness is key. Remember, many of the independent convenience stores are located in neighborhoods and communities where your store can have a real impact on the local economy in more ways than one. Don’t turn your store front into a jumbled clutter of signage. Instead of littering your store windows, display only the most important information. Or, perhaps you can invest in a sign tower on your property (if you own it) to announce specials and pricing.

Creative Marketing Efforts

Marketing Convenience Store Deals

4.) Point of Sale: This ties in almost directly with the tips on marketing, but point of sale (POS) deserves its own listing because of its fundamental importance to product success (especially new items). As with any of your marketing efforts, tastefulness is crucial. If you have gas pumps at your store, utilize them as powerful agents in your marketing campaign. What better venue could you ask for to showcase your offerings to an attentive audience already on site? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes; think about what you have in your store that will drive a customer from the pump to your register. In my opinion, the best items to flaunt to your customers are foodservice items. If the weather is cold, show coffee and hot sandwiches. If it’s warm outside, why not capitalize by presenting slushy or ice cream? If you want to drive incremental sales, you have plenty of opportunities to make that happen!

5.) Separate from the Corporate Model: This is the single most important note to take away from this article. Independent convenience store owners can’t operate their business the same way that a national or global chain can. This creates obstacles, there’s no denying that, but it also creates opportunities. As an independent store operator you have the ability to control most (if not all) of your store’s everyday operations. From presentation to product selection, it’s all you! You don’t have to deal with the bureaucracy and red-tape, so put your mark on the store and take steps to create a unique buying environment. If you have the time to visit other stores, do it. Make notes after your visit and consider improvements you could make to your operation. While doing so, be sure to remember the things that you do well and work to emphasize your strengths and improve upon your weakness.
Happy Selling!


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Allen Brothers in Action

Take a look at these rack renovations implemented by the Allen Brothers Merchandising Department. It might seem simple, but product presentation is KEY to your sales! When you have a chance, compare your aisles and presentation with the two images below. If you find that your layouts are more similar to the BEFORE, contact the team at Allen Brothers and we’ll get you back on track towards growing your business.

BEFORE: A Look at a Retailer Rack Prior to Receiving the Allen Brothers Advantage. Take notice of the uneven spacing and inconsistency of product placement.

AFTER: A Look at a Retailer Rack Following the Allen Brothers Advantage Upgrade. A much more unified display designed to enhance the aesthetics and maximize the amount of products.

Get tips and advice on how to maximize your in-store design by emailing Allen Brothers at Our Merchandising Team of specialists, led by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton, would be happy to arrange a time to visit your store and help you experience the Allen Brothers Advantage.

Happy Selling!


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