Dick Meyer Year 2001 Observations
I continue to see many growth opportunities for c-store operators, yet I sense too many retailers facing potential problems. As we surmise the results of the current year and ponder the next, I thought I'd pause and present just a few thoughts for your evaluation.
To begin, competition is obviously getting more intense. Not only do we find other retail segments (drug stores, mass marketers, supermarkets) challenging us to expand their "share of customer", I feel that, sometimes, we are our worst competition. As example, I am confident that no more than 25% of businesses in the U.S., as a whole, don't have a plan or know where they're headed.
Make sure that your company, regularly, asks the question "Who are we and where are we headed?" Recently, at the request of two of the trade publications I thought about these issues and, for their largest single issues in the year (those distributed at the Annual Exposition for the National Association of Convenience Stores) I decided to put some of my key thoughts together. Apparently these feelings were on target and timely as the response from many of you has been as hoped.
In the issue for CSP I wanted to compliment operators who overcome hurdles, while challenging those who aren't as resourceful. A long time ago I deliberated the intent of a "manager" title and I surmised it's an individual that makes something happen! On the basis of that thesis, then, I refer you to "Meeting Profitability Threats." Hopefully you'll find my simplified Profit Sensitivity Capsule a tool that your Company can employ near term.
In the issue for Convenience Store Decisions, I welcomed the dialogue with their inquiring editor. Perhaps since I predicted a few company demises in the recent past, Jay Gordon welcomed me sharing a few "Symptoms of Stress" with the industry. With the help of his probing questions I think we provided some reasonable definition to that quest. Then, to finish that article on a positive note, CSD asked that I develop a "Top 10 List of Attributes of a Healthy Company."
As your company continues to invest in the convenience store industry, I hope you'll do so with hard ("smart") work, discipline and integrity. I suspect if this is your modus operandi, whether you're a retailer or supplier, those personal attributes will translate to enhanced profitability for your company.
Your feedback is always welcome. Email Dick Meyer at