Tag Archives: Convenience Store News



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

October 3, 2013



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AB’s October Common Sense: Promotions so good, it’s frightening.

October savings are not a TRICK and definitely a TREAT. Check out Tootsie’s best selling items, Dubble Bubble’s NEW Ball peg bag, and Goetze’s NEW Caramel Creams and Cow Tails peg bags. Hershey’s Brookside delicious fruit flavored centers, Pomegranate and Acai flavors, covered in dark chocolate are the perfect Fall indulgent snack!  Don’t miss ‘perfect for the season’ pumpkin flavored coffee for your in-store coffee station and our new ECIG brand V2 from National Tobacco! October’s Common Sense is packed with great offers, new products, and stock-the-shelves necessary grocery items.  “Spot the Dot” and Save!

Front Cover

Click to see October’s HOT BUYS!SAVE SEALs FOR BLOG


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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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A recipe always tastes better with extra TLC

One of the most important ingredients to the AB recipe is keeping your store, just as that, YOURS. We want your store to reflect who you are and who your customers are.  Our talented and personable sales team will spend face time with you; designing a specialized game-plan that fits your store’s needs.  We will shake your hand at the end, and most importantly, offer solutions about adding in profit driving food stations and/or new products that will work for you.   Next, our team of design professionals can add a modern look to your store while strategically developing a store layout that encourages quick decision-making purchases from your customers. The end result: soaring profits, a stress-free store management process, and a specialized store that fits your needs and the demographics of your location and customer base. For stores already operating or new stores in development, we are here to help.

After Coffee Station Re-Design

After Coffee Station Re-Design

Before Pic

Before Pic


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Onward and Upward: What to Expect in 2012

Happy New Year from Allen Brothers

2012: A new year is upon us! At this time of year, there are many who prefer to look backwards and reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and shortcomings. While contemplation and reflection are integral components of growth, that’s not the purpose of this posting. The goal here at Allen Brothers is to ride the 2011 tide of momentum right into 2012. The economy began to show some signs of improvement, and many prognosticators are encouraged by early signs of progress in the employment numbers and housing market. This is great news for everyone in business, especially those in the retail sector.

With that thought in mind, the insightful writers at the online periodical Convenience Store News came out with their “Top 10 Predictions for 2012”, a worthwhile read and insightful look into our industry. In an effort to avoid redundancy, I will not go through each of the points listed. By now, owners and operators should all be aware of the strains on tobacco sales. There are, however, two (2) major takeaways that I noted of utmost importance to the convenience channel that we exist within.

The first major note of interest, not surprisingly, is the first subject addressed in the article: more buying and building of stores. The key to the resurgence of the retailer market in convenience will be risk-taking, no doubt about it. Store owners that have succeeded of late are those willing to take calculated risks in expansion in order to grow their presence in the market. It’s not an easy task to expand your reach and acquire new customers when you’re stagnant. With rates for renting remaining low, retailers now have at least the option to open or acquire new stores. Those who are able to take advantage of the current economic state are in position to profit substantially as the economy and consumer spending continues to rebound.

Grow Foodservice Sales in 2012

The second extrapolation falls in line with one of the leading objectives for Allen Brothers in 2012: putting “fresh” first in c-store foodservice. Thanks to the expansion of the Allen Brothers Foodservice Department, we are now equipped to outfit an entire foodservice operation at any and all convenience stores. Customers are now accustomed to purchasing fresh products at the convenience store, so capitalize on the trend. The key to success will be the ownership of store operators in presentation and product quality. If one of your goals is to increase sales in foodservice, a clean store and proper lighting should be a major emphasis. As noted in the article, having a “fresh” fruit and vegetable option is a great way to highlight the existence of a fresh food program.

As we enter into our 102nd year of operation here at Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution, we remain as committed as ever to our core values of customer service and satisfaction. Our mission is to help our customers grow their business, and as you grow we will continue to support your needs and grow with you!

Happy New Year and Happy Selling!


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AB Alert: Implementation of Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes Blocked by Federal Judge

Graphic Images Halted on Cigarette Packs and Ads

Big news coming out of Washington, D.C. today, where U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon granted a request by five tobacco companies seeking to postpone the September 22nd, 2012, deadline for implementation of graphic warning labels on cigarettes packages, cartons, and advertisements. Special thanks to the fine people at AWMA & CSP Daily News for publicizing the story!

While the long term implications of today’s legislation are still undetermined, here’s what we currently know. Judge Leon’s ruling lays out a preliminary injunction barring the implementation of these graphic labels. This is certainly no guarantee that these labels won’t still be enforced, but it’s an indication that the tobacco companies listed below may win their claim that the warnings violate freedom of speech, a right guaranteed by our First Amendment.

In case you are unaware of what Judge Leon is reversing, we’ll quickly review. This past June the FDA unveiled a marketing campaign designed to repel potential tobacco-buying customers with graphic colored images of a diseased lung, a disfigured mouth, a weeping woman, and a smoker exhaling through a tracheotomy hole, to name a few. These images were to be positioned to dominate a half of the front and back of each carton, and 20 percent of most ads.

The five tobacco companies who fought the initial ruling are listed below:
1.) Lorrilard
2.) R.J Reynolds Tobacco Co.
3.) Commonwealth Brands Inc.
4.) Liggett Group LLC
5.) Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.

Allen Brothers will continue to follow this story and keep you informed of any updates.


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A Look at the Credit Card Swipe Fee Reform: What Will be the Impact?

What Do Swipe Fee Reforms Mean for the Convenience Store Owner?

What will be the lasting impression left by the swipe fee reforms on credit & debit card transactions? The answer remains to be seen. Rest assured, however, that there will be many more twists & turns throughout this reform process. For those not familiar with the situation, let’s take a step back to look at it from the vantage point of a typical convenience store purchase with a payment card. When a customer pulls out their card and swipes it through the machine to make peyment, the operator is charged an interchange (or swipe) fee that typically ranges from 1 – 3% but can scale as high as 5% for some merchants. This comes out to an average of 44 cents per card transaction, and in 2008 operators nationwide spent just under $48 billion in interchange fees.

Following early reform proceedings, many industry experts anticipated a substantial reduction in costs shouldered by the retailers. But there has been push-back & pressure from major bank lobbyists, and changes to the initial reform bill have already been made. When the bill was first laid out, the proposed ceiling on interchange fees was 12 cents. This past June, however, after intense lobbying on behalf of the big banks, the maximum interchange fee was set at 21 cents. This modification goes into effect on October 1st, 2011.

As this article on NACS Online summarizes, there is still a lot to learn regarding the benefits and pitfalls of the swipe fee reforms. Allen Brothers echoes the considerations from NACS in encouraging retailers to take caution in regards to pricing until the full impact of the swipe fee reform becomes more comprehendible. Feel free to contact Allen Brothers if you’d like more information on the swipe fee reform movement, and as always, happy selling!


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