Tag Archives: wholesale online shopping

Top Performers for July 2011

Today’s posting is part of a monthly guide on the top new-selling items, based on their previous month’s performance. The team at Allen Brothers acknowledges that the amount of new products constantly bombarding the market can feel overwhelming. We receive information on hundreds of new products every week, and it can be difficult to spot the diamond in the rough. To help you analyze the performance of new items, Allen Brothers has introduced “Top Performers”.

Top Performer: Hershey's Milk Chocolate Air Delight (Item#: 424075)

Today’s posting is just the second edition of Top Performers to date, and the Marketing and Buying Department’s ranking is placed in no particular order. When you’re done checking out the rankings, please take part in the “New Product Intro” poll below. It’s helpful to the team at Allen Brothers and also other convenience store owners. The items listed are done so based on unit sales from the previous month, which in this case is July 2011. If you’re not currently carrying these products, don’t worry! The team at Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding product performance, selling points, and suggested retail prices.

The rankings are listed in no particular order:
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Air Delight Bar (Item #: 424075)
Sheets Cinnamon Rush Energy Strips (Item # 500314)
Nu-1’s Disposable Electronic Cigarettes – Menthol (Item # 500213)
Nu-1’s Disposable Electronic Cigarettes – Regular (Item#: 500207)
Man-Up Now Male Enhancement (Item #: 530210)
Slim Jim Dare – Jalapeno (Item #: 414054)
White Owl Green Sweet Blunts (Item#: 201487)
Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster (Item #: 913457)
GoodWest Iced Coffee Program

Happy Selling!


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Allen Brothers Wholesale Web Specials Advantage

Good Morning and Happy Thursday,

With more and more of the Allen Brother’s community following our newsletter and visiting our website, the Marketing Team at Allen Brothers wanted to give you an inside scoop on a development occurring right now!

Web Advantage Special on Sweetart Chewy King Size

The AB Team has developed a Web Specials Advantage on the Allen Brothers Website for deals first publicized online. Whether you’re placing your orders online, over the phone, through your Allen Brothers salesperson, or via fax, you can take advantage of these product codes and great prices. I’ve highlighted above one of our first knock-out deals publicized on the Allen Brothers Website, a Chewy Sweetart King Size 12 Count Box for only $11.99!

Allen Brothers has other great deals available to our customers online right now, including blowout specials on Mentos Counter-Unit Displays and Wheaties Fuel Bites. To check out these and other great deals, follow these five simple steps:

1.) Go to
2.) Enter into the Store Owners Section
3.) Go To the Monthly Specials Tab
4.) Click on the “Web Advantage” Link
5.) From here, you’ll be able to scroll through the file as if it were your own digital flyer.

Please contact Allen Brothers today if you’re not setup online. You can call directly at 1-800-207-2553 to speak to an Allen Brothers Representative, or send a message to the Allen Brothers Inbox.

Happy selling!


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Todays’ installment of “Norton’s Notes, A Merchandiser’s Perspective,” sets its sights on point of purchase sales and owner/manager involvement in the store setup. Our merchandising and marketing department are happy to answer any and all of your questions. For feedback or to have your question answered, email the Allen Brothers Inbox today at

Question 1) How many items should a store owner carry at the counter-top?

Answer 1) The maximum that your space allows. There’s always apprehension about overloading a counter, and it’s a legitimate concern. But your customers can’t buy what they can’t see. The type of products at checkout have to be hot impulse items, this is no place for a slow-seller. Novelty candy, gum, mints, toys, this should be the focus. If an item has been on the counter for more than two weeks with minimal turnover, it’s time to shuffle product. But it’s never recommended to stack different types of products on top of one another. Give each item the opportunity to stand out to maximize your point of purchase sales, as shown below.

Desirable Counter Top Display at Convenience Store

Allen Brothers Specializes in Counter Displays

Question 2) Do you find that most store owners want to be involved in the process of merchandising and setting their store, or prefer to leave it up to you? And which scenario do you recommend?

Answer 2) Some owners are more hands on than others. They sometimes have specific plans for their store. Others will give me the freedom to setup their store as I see fit. Setting an appointment to plan the procedure is always a good idea so you’re not going in blind. Both scenarios have their ups and downs. But the more engaged a store owner is in the setup of a store, the more committed they likely will be to maintaining the allure of the store’s appearance.


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Norton’s Note — The man behind the merchandising

Since our last edition of Norton’s Notes, some of our website visitors were curious about our head of merchandising, Jim Norton, and his background in the convenience store business. I’d like to take a quick break from the industry info. & advice and peel back the curtain to reveal one of Allen Brothers’ biggest assets, Merchandising Manager Jim Norton.

A recent example of a store set by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton

Pictured above, a recent store set performed by Merchandising Manager Jim Norton

Jim has enjoyed an extensive career in the convenience retail industry, but for the sake of reading, I’ll try to keep it brief. Norton’s emergence into the retail side of business started in grocery in 1986. During his first few years in the business, Jim worked for a food broker in the mid-Atlantic region successfully calling on some of the most prominent grocery chains in his territory. During his time working strictly on grocery categories, Norton was responsible for placement of new items and was an instrumental part of a high-ranking reset team at the company.

Following a four year stint in the grocery sector, Norton then went to work for Wakefern Food Corporation as a sales and merchandising representative. It was during this stint that he realized his true passion for working with store sets and assisting customers in maximizing their store’s potential. Mainly working with ShopRites throughout the Delaware Valley, Norton played a crucial role in successfully implementing new products and programs that were customized to the needs of each store. He was renowned for his expert product knowledge. Norton held this position for six years before tackling his next career move at Gourmet Award Foods from 1996 to 1999.

It was not until his move in late 1999 to Heritage’s Wholesale that Jim Norton became immersed in convenience retail. With nearly 40 convenience stores to look over in Southern New Jersey, Norton discovered a renewed enthusiasm for convenience store merchandising. Working in tighter confines, Norton’s creativity came to the forefront. He developed entire layouts for stores to optimize sales volume. In addition, he developed a program for designating certain “high-sell” areas for maximum product profitability based on category.

Following a ten year stay with Heritage, Norton made the switch from the convenience retail side of the business to convenience wholesale. Since January 2009, Jim has been an integral part of Allen Brother’s sales and merchandising team. His past experience in the field as a sales representative and merchandising coordinator made him a perfect fit for Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution. Since joining Allen Brothers, Norton has successfully incorporated his core philosophy of a fresh and well-kept store set being a key ingredient for a store’s overall success.

To find out more about what Allen Brothers’ can do for your business, contact the merchandising department at, or call 1-800-207-2553 today!


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Smokeless Tobacco Use Sees Upward Trend

For today’s convenience store owner, there’s no mistaking the fact that cigarette sales are on the decline. But the convenience store business is healthier than ever. Were you aware that convenience store commerce forms nearly 12 percent of the U.S. retail industry? The statistics supporting a trend in the growth of the convenience business are staggering. I encourage you to visit CSNEWS and read more. But in case you’re like me and prefer having all your information in one place, I’ll lay it out for you. According to recently released statistics, “Growth in the convenience store industry will continue through 2013 at a CAGR of approximately 7.6 percent, market research consultant RNCOS reported. The convenience store industry, which currently forms nearly 12 percent of the U.S. retail industry, has seen several years of growth, with the number of individual convenience stores expected to increase as well,” (CSNEWS).

It’s easy to fret about lost units in certain categories, but rather than offer complaints our industry has found solutions! At Allen Brothers, we’ve seen first-hand how store owners, vendors, manufacturers, and distributors have become more creative  & resourceful in finding new ways to generate revenues. 

To that point, I came across an article regarding smokeless tobacco and wanted to share. The publishing syndicate Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner reports that the unit sales of smokeless tobacco products are offsetting declines in other areas of the tobacco industry. In fact, in a recent study it was found that  30% of the recent decline in cigarette sales is being offset by the robust sale of small cigars, snuff and roll-your-own products.

Smokeless tobacco products are certainly one way that the convenience world has adapted to declines in other areas. But it’s not all snuff. The emphasis on ready-to-eat foods at convenience stores is a growing trend, and many stores are stepping up their ready-to-eat food offerings to make up for declining cigarette sales. I’d like to open up the discussion to find out what other ways the convenience industry has not only survived, but excelled in today’s market. Post your thoughts and partake in today’s AB Poll below. Happy selling everyone!


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Food Service Announcement

Exciting developments being made by Allen Brothers Wholesale in their food service department. Food Service is exploding in the world of convenience store retail, and Allen Brothers has been and will remain to be in front of this wave. In the April sales flyer, you will notice a specialized “Food For All” section with specials relating solely to food service items. To find the best sale prices on your everyday convenience store needs, visit the Allen Brothers Hot Buys page at

Allen Brothers March Hot Buys

A Snapshot of the Savings

All the talks going on in the offices at Allen Brothers about food service got me thinking about the ruler of the roller grill, the hot dog. Is it just me, or do grilled hot dogs taste way better than those dogs that are boiled?  You may be wondering why, right? Well, as we get closer and closer to the Spring, the one device you’ll begin seeing more and more is the hot dog roller grill. Arguably one of the greatest convenience store contraptions ever developed, the roller grill brought convenience store owners into the world of food service with a bang. I don’t care who you are, there’s no question that a roller grill hot dog tastes better than a boiled one.

This is my tip for the Spring to any store owner in the Mid-Atlantic region: Grab yourself a roller grill if you don’t already have one. Baseball season is right around the corner, and nothing compliments a day at the ballpark like a dog in the bun. They can be a fantastic source of earnings for convenience store owners and help get your reputation as a food service retailer in your geographic footprint. Don’t let the opportunity slip by, send Allen Brothers an email at to find out how we can get you hooked up with hot dogs.

TRIVIA OF THE WEEK: How many bites does it take the typical eater to consume a roller grill hot dog?
~ I’ll give you a list of the 3 options, but no cheating!!

A.) 4.7
B.) 6.1
C.) 7.2

Post your answers below, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog on the right side toolbar. Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter for breaking news in convenience distribution.


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CEO & President Jeff Allen Featured on NBC10


Jeff Allen, CEO & President of Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution in Philadelphia, set to appear on NBC-10 & CEO IntroNet TV

Philadelphia, PA, February 10th 2011… Jeff Allen, President & CEO of Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution, has been invited to the NBC10 studios in Bala Cynwyd, PA, to partake in a three-part interview for the NBC10 news series “Survive and Thrive” and CEO Intronet.

The interviews will be broken into three sections: a video profile of Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution, a CEO Roundtable with Allen and other industry leaders, and finally a piece with NBC10 personality Tracy Davidson for broadcast on NBC’s Wednesday special, “Survive and Thrive.” The NBC10 programming will air either Wednesday, February 16th or February 23rd, 2011 between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM. The video profile and roundtable will be available Friday, February 11, at  Media outlet Convenience Store News has also linked to the story.

The video profile will cover a wide variety of subjects. Included in the topics covered will be Allen Brother’s 100 Year Anniversary and company history, a background of Jeff Allen, and a look forward at the company’s future highlighted by the first public announcement of Allen Brother’s new interactive website,

Following the video profile, Jeff Allen will sit down with CEO’s from a wide spectrum of businesses to discuss what it takes to lead a company in today’s economy. The conversation will focus on overcoming the current state of the economy from an array of angles. The CEO Roundtable will also delve into the qualities required to land a spot in the much-desired corner office.

The final segment, Survive and Thrive with Tracy Davidson, will air either Wednesday, February 16th or Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM on NBC10. The half-hour special focuses on career advice from the experts who best know how to capitalize on their professional opportunities. Jeff Allen will discuss, among other things, the keys to his success, advice for aspiring business owners, and his recommendations for job seekers in today’s challenging market.

Following the tapings, the interviews will be available publically beginning Friday, February 11th, 2011 at  and The taped appearance for “Survive and Thrive” will be appearing on an upcoming NBC10 news program on February 16th or 23rd.

About Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution

Allen Brothers Wholesale Distribution, a leading distributor for convenience stores and beverage outlets in the Mid-Atlantic region, is a primary distributor of candy, beverages, snacks, health & beauty supplies, tobacco, grocery, and refrigerated and frozen products. Headquartered in Northeast Philadelphia, Allen Brothers is a third-generation family owned company celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. With annual sales ranking in the Top 30 nationally, Allen Brothers is also ranked in the Top 10 nationally in sales per warehouse square foot.

 In addition to over 1,200 convenience stores, Allen Brothers also services gift shops in hotels and hospitals, liquor stores, drug stores, country clubs, supermarkets, grocery stores, superettes, and schools. The century-old family owned business employs over 80 employees.
Allen Brothers’ headquarters is located on the corner of Front and Erie Avenues in Philadelphia and stretches over six acres. The company campus houses a state-of-the-art facility which accommodates its corporate offices as well as a warehouse and refrigerated and frozen food facility. Allen Brothers’ location allows them to effectively service every county of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and DC with next day delivery.

About CEO Intronet

An industry original, CEO Intronet is the first private vetted social network designed exclusively for CEOs and owners of operating companies. CEO Intronet is the brainchild of a group of successful CEOs and serial entrepreneurs who realize the vital need for a private, secure, and trusted means for sitting CEOs, Presidents, Executive Directors, Managing Partners, and other chief decision makers to connect with each other across geographical, industry, and association boundaries.


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