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Forecourt Performance Report 2019

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Digital solutions keep operators ahead of the game

Five strategies to reduce turnover

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JULY/AUGUST 2019

Volume 24 | Number 4

CONTENTS

15

ADVERTISERS

07 Bulloch Technologies ................................ 17 Canada China Commercial Gas Station Association ............................................... 7 Convenience U CARWACS Show .............11 Erb & Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd ................11 Forte Products ............................................7 FuelMaster/Syntech Systems, Inc ........... 20 Genesis Modular Carwash Building Systems .......................................22 Greenergy Fuels Canada Inc .................... 14 Hamilton Manufacturing Corp ..................11 Leak Technologies Solutions Ltd. ............ 20 Mondo Products Co. Ltd. .......................... 2 Oasis Car Wash Systems, Inc. .............19, 21

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12 Power Pressure Systems Inc ......................11 Pumps & Pressure Inc. ................................7 Tommy Car Wash Systems ....................... 18 Transchem Inc ........................................... 16 Velocity Water Works .................................7 WashLinks/Sonnys ................................... 13 World Fuel Services Canada, ULC............. 4

05

Editor’s Message Clean Fuel Standard remains murky

06

5 strategies to reduce staff turnover

08

Digital Edge With disruption on the rise, fuel and wash sites are relying on digital solutions to stay ahead of the game

10

Top regulatory concerns CFIB’s Dan Kelly suggests you can address them and still stay in business

12

A Marriage of Convenience NationWide Self Storage pairs with car wash for future developments

15

COVER STORY Forecourt Performance Report 2019

23

Product News

STAY CURRENT DON'T MISS OUR E-NEWSLETTERS! Car wash, petroleum, and convenience news & insights, delivered twice weekly. Sign up today at www.CCentral.ca

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EDITOR’S MESSAGE 20 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 1800, Toronto, ON M4R 1K8 (416) 256-9908 | (877) 687-7321 | Fax (888) 889-9522 www.CCentral.ca PRESIDENT, ENSEMBLEIQ CANADA Jennifer Litterick | jlitterick@ensembleiq.com GROUP BRAND DIRECTOR - CONVENIENCE Kathryn Swan | kswan@ensembleiq.com VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER - EVENTS Michael Cronin | mcronin@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL EDITOR, CSNEWS CANADA Michelle Warren | mwarren@ensembleiq.com EDITOR, OCTANE Kelly Gray | kgray@ensembleiq.com TRANSLATION | Danielle Hart ADVERTISING SALES NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Elijah Hoffman | ehoffman@ensembleiq.com NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Jacquie Rankin | jrankin@ensembleiq.com SALES & EVENTS COORDINATOR Claudia Castro DESIGN AND PRODUCTION VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCTION Derek Estey | destey@ensembleiq.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Michael Kimpton | mkimpton@ensembleiq.com ART DIRECTOR | Linda Rapini DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Alexandra Voulu | avoulu@ensembleiq.com AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Lina Trunina | ltrunina@ensembleiq.com WEB OPERATIONS MANAGER Valerie White | vwhite@ensembleiq.com CORPORATE OFFICERS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN | Alan Glass CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER | David Shanker CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER | Dan McCarthy CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | Joel Hughes

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER | Jennifer Litterick CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER | Tanner Van Dusen CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER | Ann Jadown EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS & CONFERENCES Ed Several

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Subscriptions: $65.00 per year, 2 year $120.00, Outside Canada $100.00 per year, Single copy $12.00, Groups $46.00, Outside Canada Single copy $16.00. Email: ycm@convenienceu.ca Phone: 1-844-694-4422, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST weekdays Fax: 1-844-815-0700 / Online: www.ccentral.ca/subscribe LICENSING AND REPRINTS Please contact Wright’s Media | ensembleiq@wrightsmedia.com 1-877-652-5295

Clean Fuel Standard remains murky The price of fuel in Canada will experience another uptick with the coming implementation of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), the other shoe to drop in the federal government’s carbon reduction policy. To be clear, the Carbon Tax that rolled out earlier this year angering premiers in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, targets the fuel consumer, while the Clean Fuel Standard is directed to-ward manufacturers and importers. Regardless, consumers can expect prices at the pump to jump by a nickel a litre shortly after roll out (liquid fuels 2019, gas and solid fuels 2020). Ottawa’s plan is to use these ‘incentive’ taxes to help Canada reach our international climate change commitments under the 2016 Paris Agreement. With CFS, the hope is to make all fuels cleaner. As a result, expect more ethanol in gasoline and a greater reliance on renewable fuels made from landfill and compost off-gassing. According to industry organizations, including The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, a plant using Alberta

oil sands bitumen will pay more for the natural gas it needs to separate the sludge to create fuels and petrochemicals. The plant will also have to source ethanol to mix with the fuel before it can be sold at dispensers. Not surprisingly, costs to produce are expected to rise, as is the cost to the consumer. The challenge in Canada, the first country in the world to introduce a policy such as CFS, is that the government has failed to run the numbers. It is believed that the impact of CFS will go well beyond transportation fuels. To date, the government has failed to provide solid transparent da-ta to assist those in the industry with long-range planning and navigating these major changes. For CFS to succeed it must make economic sense and stakeholders must have an incentive to follow the plan. Much is at stake.

kgray@ensembleiq.com

CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS CANADA / OCTANE is published 6 times a year by EnsembleIQ. CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS CANADA / OCTANE is circulated to managers, buyers and professionals working in Canada’s convenience, gas and wash channel. Please direct inquiries to the editorial offices. Contributions of articles, photographs and industry information are welcome, but cannot be acknowledged or returned. ©2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including photocopying and electronic retrieval/retransmission, without the permission of the publisher.

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5 strategies

to reduce staff turnover

Good hiring practices set the stage for employee retention Staff turnover is expensive. Operators who fail to hire and keep good employees can run heavy costs for recruitment, training and supports. According to Peoplekeep, a US-based benefits provider, the cost of replacing an employee is about 16% of annual salary in highturnover, low-paying jobs where employees earn less than $30,000 a year. For instance, the cost to replace a full-time worker earning $10/hour is more than $3,300. Here are five tips to help stay on the right side of employment challenges.

1 Thoughtful recruitment Have a solid hiring plan and stick to it. This includes a formal interview and hiring process. Go beyond simple basics—‘Can you wipe a car window?’ or ‘Can you work the POS system?’—and look for soft skills that will make a difference in customer experience. Is the applicant energetic? Does the applicant have good social skills? At Valet Car Wash, an Ontario-based multi unit operator, compliance and training manager Karen Smith sees recruiting as an ongoing process. “Even if you don’t have a position available, be prepared to find something if a ‘perfect’ applicant comes along.” She recruits through organizations, such as Second Chance in Guelph, Ont. and the YMCA, while using federal government programs to assist with training. Valet Car Wash also relies on Indeed, Facebook and word of mouth. “Friends tell friends if the employment environKaren Smith, ment is good,” she Valet Car Wash

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says adding that the company looks for employees with similar core values. “When the fit is there, retention is high. During our interview I tell applicants about Valet’s values and ask them to give two examples of core values they possess.” Valet also works with local universities and colleges to post job openings on online career pages and the company has had some success with local high school co-op programs, resulting in hiring after the coop term finished. “This includes students with disabilities, who have developed into valuable employees,” says Smith.

2 Show, don't tell When workers see management creating positive interactions with customers this goes a long way toward connecting the dots in an operation. The same is true of simple tasks that need to be done well. As part of an effort to get everyone on the same service page, management must be prepared to clean floors to demonstrate standards and techniques. At Tony Heembrock’s Dreams Eco XPress Car Wash in Okotoks, AB, new staff participate in three four-hour introductory shifts to shadow a co-worker. “Then, new workers do a full shift with a supervisor. You can’t just let new people take on a roll in the business without meaningful supports. There is too much at stake,” says Heembrock, adding his company’s HR process has earned respect from workers, many of whom have been with the company since the beginning.

3 Set high standards for training Don’t wing it, instead be prepared with a full training and intake program that includes manuals and expectations regarding the job itself, as well as how

workers should behave with one another: Negative employee interaction stands out as a leading cause of staff turnover. As well, your training program should take applicants to higher levels of understanding. Create a culture of success and support, and then follow through with on-going training to keep staff up-to-date regarding industry innovations, such as new chemicals and systems. Heembrock uses a substantial employee handbook to clearly outline the job, performance expectations and details about the company. Dreams Eco Wash relies on suppliers to provide added information on new products and technical data for items, such as waxes. All the information is shared with staff.

4 Think benefits It’s a competitive world and businesses that offer more to employees experience lower turnover. A good wage is a starting place, but benefits, including monthly prizes and recognition, as well as health plans, go a long way toward keeping workers happy at work.

5 Communicate with workers If you don’t ask, you don’t know. Conduct exit interviews to gather valuable information and help management get on the right track. Take this one step further by talking to satisfied workers to find out why they stay. Take the information and fine tune it as part of your employee retention plan. While Valet doesn’t do exit interviews with general labourers, they do so for managers and supervisors. Smith says this offers tremendous insight and helps shape how the company operates: “The goal is continuous improvement in everything we do.” OCTANE CCentral.ca


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Digital edge With disruption on the rise, fuel and wash sites are relying on digital solutions to stay ahead of the game by Kelly Gray

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Global market analysts at Accenture recently looked at forecourt and the retail fuel sector to determine leading forces of change in the industry. Key among the discoveries is that digital systems provide the tools necessary to navigate the considerable changes impacting the forecourt and related services, such as car wash.

Disruption is accelerating In Fuel Retail Digital Survey 2018, authors Neale Johnson, managing director of Fuel Retail Europe, and Brian Gray, managing director of Retail Fuel North America, found that disruption to the market, from electric vehicles (EV), consumer behaviours and other factors, are accelerating.

CCentral.ca


Here in Canada, EV sales are moving forward at breakneck speed. In fact, sales have increased by more than 66% every year for the previous five years. These days about 8% of vehicle sales in Canada are electric. The provinces and federal government are helping drive this change. For example, Quebec uses a quota system to push EV that requires auto dealers to sell a minimum percentage of EV or pay a penalty. British Columbia has recently expanded its zero emission vehicle policy to ensure that no gas-powered vehicles be sold in the province after 2040. Also, The federal government has increased its rebate program for electric vehicles.

With chargers taking about 30 minutes to juice electric vehicles, fuel centres have longer periods during which to sell customers convenience and culinary products.

CCentral.ca

Here, opportunities exist to develop more charging sites alongside traditional fueling centres. Canada sports just 5850 EV charging stations, a number that shows fewer than one charging station for every 100-km of road across the country. The uptick is that with chargers taking about 30 minutes to juice electric vehicles, fuel centres have longer periods during which to sell convenience and culinary products.

Commitments to digital investments In the survey, 80% of respondents said they planned to make significant investments in digital solutions during the next five years. Operators said that these investments would allow them to better engage with customers and improve services. Investments include apps and POS systems to boost speed of service and enhance loyalty. Already we are seeing wash-site operators take up the digital challenge and run with it. For instance, Ontario-based operators such as Valet Car Wash and Klassic Car Wash have developed their own apps that are available via the App Store, Google Play and other sites. Users can load cash, activate washes, earn loyalty bonuses and explore other features. In the App store alone, there are more than 100 wash and fuel site operators, including Shell, McEwan Oil and Co-Op. According to Mike Black of Valet Car Wash, Canada is more advanced than the U.S. when it comes to digital payment systems. He says that in the U.S. the wash business is 70% cash, with operators using coin boxes, while sites in Canada are exploring contactless payment, cards and apps. At fueling sites, the coming fifth generation of Internet connectivity (5G) will bring huge enhancements to marketing and convenience at the pumps. Already auto manufacturers, such as Honda and Land Rover, have are installing features so that vehicles can facilitate payments for gas and other items. In Canada, our systems are not prepped for this activity and gas apps, including Shell and others, are not

ready yet to perform purchase functions at the pumps. With 5G, however, everything is on the table, such as beacon technology delivering marketing messages to onboard visual displays and digital payment portals effortlessly taking payment.

Analytics enhances performance With the increase in digital investment comes the ability to enhance analysis. Operators are now better able to predict customer behaviour thanks to sales tracking made easier through apps and POS tools. In wash systems, for instance, sensors now measure and work with electronic dispensers to more accurately deliver chemicals and water to the wash process. Operators are able to examine every stage of the system and fine tune for performance that can increase profits, as well as customer satisfaction. At the forecourt, digital analytics creates greater efficiency in fuel delivery, margin control and staffing. And, the tools are all accessible remotely, allowing management to review and input from anywhere at anytime.

Digital maturity is the goal The report emphasizes the need to continue investments in skills training, automation and partnerships. The authors say these are essential for operators to realize their digital aspirations. Already 42% of fuel operators report they are digital savvy and have launched systems to take advantage of the shifts in technology.

Better foundations needed to realize digital value “Fuel retailers may only be at the start of their journey, but they know where they are headed,� says Accenture’s Brian Gray, adding that 75% of retailers surveyed saw digital systems as a major benefit to their business. OCTANE

July/August 2019

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Top regulatory concerns You can address them and stay in business by Dan Kelly President & CEO Canadian Federation of Independent Business

The auto sector is undergoing rapid change, from new technology and alternative fuels, to new taxes and regulations that hit your bottom line. The key to staying competitive is to understand the challenges you’re facing and how to manage them. The business counsellors at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) field questions from gas bar and car wash owners all the time. Here are the four most common concerns we hear about – and some solutions to consider.

■ LABOUR LAWS Many businesses face challenges filling vacant positions. An understaffed gas bar or car wash raises some perplexing HR questions. For example, if an employee is working alone for longer than five hours, do they need to close up shop for the 30-minute break they are entitled to – potentially losing customers for that half-hour? Unlike a big business, you may not have a full HR department, leaving you to navigate questions like this related to hiring, labour laws, breaks and holidays alone. CFIB’s business counsellors can help provide resources and advice. In this case, our counsellors often advise employers to consider splitting their employees’ breaks into 15-minute intervals, before they have worked a full five hours, in order to avoid having to close up for longer periods of time.

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Dan Kelly

■ CANADA REVENUE AGENCY Dealing with the CRA, whether you’re being audited or just looking for basic information, can be intimidating. Many small business owners say they feel the CRA treats them as if they’ve done something wrong. CFIB’s work with CRA has led to many improvements to their customer service, including getting CRA to honour written responses sent through My Business Account. That said, being proactive in managing your tax records can help keep the tax man at bay. A good payroll solution is a great way to ensure your payroll taxes and T4s are submitted accurately and on time. CFIB has partnered with Payworks to offer members an exclusive discount on services to make managing payroll affordable and easy.

■ CREDIT CARD FEES It can feel almost mandatory to accept credit cards these days. Unfortunately, the processing fees involved can cut into already razor-thin profit margins, especially with more customers using specialty and reward point cards. CFIB has been advocating for independent businesses with government and credit card companies for more than a de-

cade, and we’ve scored some great wins, including the implementation of a Code of Conduct that protects small businesses from unfair treatment by the payments industry. In 2015, we secured lower fees and a five-year freeze from Visa and Mastercard – and another rate reduction just last year.

■ FEDERAL CARBON TAX The federal carbon tax, introduced in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick this April, is already causing regulatory headaches for gas stations, which need to display the fuel charge on their receipts. Some independent gas bar operators have told us that they’ve had to switch their systems entirely to accommodate for the new line on receipts. In its campaign against the carbon tax, the Ontario government is introducing a new rule that forces gas stations to display a sticker on every pump or face a fine of up to $10,000 per day. This kind of regulatory overreach eats up gas bar operators’ time and resources, with no benefit in return. I encourage all business owners who are negatively affected by the carbon tax in one way or another to contact CFIB and reach out to their elected representatives and make themselves heard. Remember: you are not alone. Owning an independent business can be a lonely calling, particularly when you’re up against big players like government and large corporations. Having someone in your corner, with the right mix of policy solutions and support, can make all the difference. Visit cfib.ca to discover this business edge. OCTANE CCentral.ca


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CARWASH ASSOCIATION President Scott Murray EZEE CLEAN Vice-President Carwash Owners/Operators Diane Parker

OCTOBER 2011

INDUSTRY FORUM

Sales, Service, Repairs

SECOND QUARTER WASH VOLUME IMPROVES

RIMS AND ROVERS AUTO AND PET WASH Vice-President - Oil Companies Mike Dietrich PIONEER PETROLEUM

W

hen the second quarter of 2011 is compared to previous second quarters since the Wash Volume Report (WVR) started reporting data in 2004, it ranks either first or second depending on how you are counting. The average wash cycles per site were 6,459, compared to 5,982 for 2010, which was a 10.7 per cent gain yearto-year. The only other second quarter to have better results was in 2007, which saw average wash cycles at 6,668. The second quarter’s average cycles per site was down significantly from the previous quarter, which had been 8,801 cycles. This decline from the first quarter to the second is a normal occurrence as the first three months of the year remain the best wash volume months. Average revenue per site was the highest ever for a second quarter, at $49,644. The increase in revenue per site was up 6.4 per cent from the $46,666 average of the second quarter of 2010. The closest second quarter average revenue was the average revenue for 2009, which was $46,957. Average revenue per cycle, the measure of an average wash price, declined 1.5 per cent from the previous quarter in 2010, however, it was up 3.2 per cent from the first quarter of this year. Average revenue per cycle was $7.69 in the second quarter of 2011, $7.80 in the second quarter of 2010 and $7.45 in the first quarter of 2011. The average price has climbed continuously since the inception of the WVR. After starting out at a low of $5.95 in the first quarter of 2004, it saw a high of $8.42 in the last quarter of 2010. The trend is to have prices at their lowest in the first quarter, often dipping below the previous fourth quarter average, but then continuing to climb up to the fourth quarter.

Coverage is Nationally Available Vice-President - Secretary/Treasurer Al MacDonald

CANADIAN TIRE CORPORATION LIMITED Vice-President -

Manufacturers/Distributors/Suppliers Nancy Schmautz ODESSA DEVELOPMENTS Past President Richard McKinnon MIAMI CAR CARE CENTRE INC. Executive Director Jorge de Mendonça Operations Manager Karen Dalton

Directors Brad Baldwin – ECOLAB/BLUE CORAL Nick Dudley-Smith – SUNCOR/PETRO-CANADA Nathan Ewing – TRANSCHEM INC. Brad Goetz – MONDO PRODUCTS CO. LTD . Brad Laurier – MACNEIL WASH SYSTEMS LTD. Bob Walsh – FERNROB PCS Inc. JJ Woodley – RED HIlL CAR WASH INC. NATIONAL OFFICE Canadian Carwash Association 4195 Dundas Street West, Suite 346 Toronto, ON M8X 1Y4 Tel: 416.239.0339 Fax: 416.239.1076 office@canadiancarwash.ca www.canadiancarwash.ca

The average revenue per cycle has risen an average of 5.5 per cent each year since the inception of the WVR. At the same time, AVERAGE

CYCLES

PER

SITE

12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

AVERAGE REVENUE PER SITE $90,000 $80,000 $70,000 $60,000 $50,000 $40,000 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 0

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

AVERAGE REVENUE PER CYCLE $8.60 $8.40 $8.20 $8.00 $7.80 $7.60 $7.40 $7.20 $7.00 $6.80 $6.60 $6.40

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q1 Q2

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

AVERAGE CYCLES PER YEAR 28,000 27,000 26,000 25,000 24,000 23,000 2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

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A marriage of convenience NationWide Self Storage pairs with car wash for future developments

by Kelly Gray

L-R: Boundary Rd. location under development, South Surrey site coming soon to the Lower Mainland

Shane Doyle President, NationWide Self Storage

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The marriage of self-storage sites and carwash locations is a growing business opportunity, especially in areas where land values are skyrocketing. Last year Octane profiled Vancouver-based Shine Auto Wash, a company that has been making tremendous gains in a market where land can cost $25 million an acre. Now NationWide Self Storage is getting in on the action, with three self-storage sites under construction in British Columbia and a fourth planned for next year.

Shane Doyle and Hugh Cartwright are the duo behind NationWide Self Storage; a B.C.based company bankrolled by multi-million dollar investment trust Maple Leaf Funds. According to Doyle they did a lot of homework to establish the right type of business to marry with the self-storage portion of the program. “We looked at everything from multi-family residential to trailer parks and decided on self-storage facilities teamed with car wash operations,� says Doyle, president of NationWide Self Storage, which is to open its first self-storage site this summer at 1223 East Pender Street in Vancouver. CCentral.ca


The team believes British Columbia is under-serviced in terms of car-wash sites to population density. They also note that car-wash operators are positioned to benefit from rising per capita disposable income, which will help fuel an increase in demand for discretionary consumer services, including vehicle care. More, the total number of vehicles in Canada is projected to rise steadily during the next decade. As a result, Doyle and Cartwright project that car wash industry revenue will increase at an annualized rate of 1.4% during the next several years. “While we understood the value of car wash to the overall plan, we offered only self storage at the 1223 East Pender Street location because of space constraints. Property of the size necessary for a proper profitable wash site is hard to find in Vancouver and if something is available it can be very, very expensive. We learned a lot with the East Pender development and as we grew we were able to move forward on the car wash side of things for coming projects in Kamloops (2019) and in Vancouver (2020),” says Doyle, adding shovels are in the ground at the Kamloops facility, which is expected to open in the last quarter of this year. The Vancouver site is in the permitting stage and a fourth site is in the works.

Kamloops going Extreme Doyle and Cartwright hired Vancouver-based business consultants Evans & Evans to evaluate the projects and determined Kamloops is an attractive market with a younger population, high median disposable income, no CCentral.ca

established chains, high-employment and people who tend to drive to work. Further, they believe Kamloops offers access to land at prices that could be beneficial to investors. “Car washes generally begin generating revenues very early in their lifecycle, as they are high volume businesses. Comparatively, storage facilities take time to reach target occupancy levels,” says Doyle, adding the car-wash facility is expected to offset short-term losses as the storage facility gains momentum. The group is planning to use an Extreme Express wash in Kamloops and the up and coming Vancouver location. In Kamloops, a Sonny’s hybrid 160-EDT (Exterior Detail Tunnel) system does the heavy lifting. Kamloops will have 160-foot tunnel and Vancouver will have an 80-foot tunnel, which can accommodate up to 120 and 80 cars per hour respectively. In Kamloops the facility will comprise 60,000-sq.-ft. on the Trans-Canada Highway, which is central to city services and adjacent to big box retailers. About 50,000 sq. ft. will be dedicated to storage with 600 individual lockers, while the car wash will be about 4,000 sq. ft.. Cost for developing the 1.3-acre parcel of land into a storage site and car wash is expected to hit approximately $15 million (the wash site alone is approximately $4 million). The Kamloops tunnel system will be capable of washing, waxing, sealing, tire shining and drying up to 120 cars per hour. “Users will be able to select many levels of wash options such as the Bronze level wash offering a complete wash and dry, the

“CAR WASHES GENERALLY Silver level wash offerBEGIN GENERATING ing Bronze plus triple REVENUES VERY EARLY foam polish and clear IN THEIR LIFECYCLE, AS coat, the Gold level THEY ARE HIGH VOLUME wash offering Silver BUSINESSES.” plus tire shine, undercarriage wash and rust guard protectant and the Platinum level wash offering Gold plus lava foam and waterfall rinse,” says Doyle. Add-ons include, Rain X and Armor All Extreme Shine for about $3 each. Wash options will be available for purchase at automated touch-screen drive-through kiosks and prices will range from $7.95 to more than $25 per wash. Kamloops new car wash will feature 10 vacuum stations, detail products, including window cleaner, dash cleaner and micro fibre towels, as well as air fresheners for an extra charge of approximately $3 each. Doyle says NationWide is making an effort to be forward thinking in their use of water and chemicals at the new facilities. “We went with the full enviro program that allows us to recycle the water and have the effluent from separators treated off site. Here in B.C. we can have substantial water restrictions three months a year. We see our processes as the most water friendly. And, alongside convenience, price and wash quality, this provides a key attraction to our facilities that are best-in-class.” OCTANE

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Forecourt Performance Report 2019 Change is the only constant for Canada’s evolving fueling sector Canada’s fueling sector is an industry that has experienced considerable change in recent decades. The upstream side of the business has undergone consolidation and brand shifts leading to a shrinking number of stations, while technological evolution brings greater efficiency. For the fuel sector change is the standard norm. CCentral.ca

July/August 2019

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Forecourt Performance Report 2019

This year, Octane is again partnering with the Kent Group Ltd., a data-driven consultancy that is a leading authority on fuel sector marketing economics, performance measurement and benchmarking, as well as price/margin reporting/analysis, regulation, and industry economic research and analysis, to bring you a comprehensive snapshot of the industry. Since 2004, the Kent Group has generated a complete site census that lays bare the downstream side of Canadian petroleum. Kent reports that brand diversity continues to grow, while refiner controls over pricing are in decline. Canada now offers 67 distinct companies marketing 88 brands of gasoline. Refiners’ position as a controlling force has declined since 2004: Today, only 23% of Canada’s fuel is price controlled by one of the seven refiner marketers. This is a 9% decline over 14 years and shows how refiners have divested their forecourt holdings in favour of more emphasis on their downstream operations.

Lay of the land In 2017 Canada was home to 11,948 retail gasoline outlets. This year’s survey establishes the 2018 national site count at 11,929, a 0.2% decrease. Kent reports that this ends a three-year run of site increases, which followed 25 years of steady site decline (Figure 1). “Our estimates show that the Canadian retail gas station population peaked at about 20,360 in 1989, declining at a steady pace until about 1999, and then at a moderately slower pace through to 2014,” says Kent Group managing director Jason Parent, adding that since 2015 the number of retail gasoline outlets moved marginally higher until the slight decline in 2018. On average, consumers enjoy 3.2 outlets per 10,000 persons (Figure 2), with Ontario having the most stations per customer. Overall, operators offered 88 brands of gasoline, a number than has declined by 10 from 2004. The two largest refiners, Shell and Suncor,

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“OUR ESTIMATES SHOW THAT THE CANADIAN RETAIL GAS STATION POPULATION PEAKED AT ABOUT 20,360 IN 1989, DECLINING AT A STEADY PACE UNTIL ABOUT 1999, AND THEN AT A MODERATELY SLOWER PACE THROUGH TO 2014”

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22,000

Figure 1: Historical gasoline retail outlet counts 1 The outlet counts for the period 19882003 are based on Octane Magazine’s estimates.

THIS YEAR’S SURVEY ESTABLISHES THE 2018 NATIONAL SITE COUNT AT 11,929, A

20,000

18,000

0.2% DECREASE.

16,000

14,000

11,929 12,000

1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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Forecourt Performance Report 2019

Figure 2: Retail outlets per 10,000 population Historical Site Counts

CONSUMERS ENJOY 3.2 OUTLETS PER 10,000 PERSONS NATIONALLY WITH ONTARIO HAVING THE MOST STATIONS WITH

14

A TOTAL

12 10

also have a smaller share of the forecourt, with just 11% of stations taking price direction from these companies. And, while only 23% of forecourt sites are price controlled by big name players, 40% still use the big names, such as Esso, Shell and Petro-Canada, on the canopy. In 2018, a notable change to the retail fuel landscape is the rebranding of BG Fuels’ Loblaw fuel networks to Mobil. This move impacted more than 200 sites across Canada. Mobil is now

8 6 4 2 0 BC

AB

SK

MB ON QC

NB

NS

PE

NL

YT

NT

OF 3257

CAN

Figure 3: Share of Market by Number of Outlets – by Marketer 2018

Parkland Fuel 15.9% Suncor Energy 10.5%

Others 31.1%

Couche-Tard 9.5% Shell Canada 5.9% BG Fuels Federated 2.0% Cooperatives Wilson 4.6% Sobeys Fuel Co. Philippe 3.6% 2.0% Husky Energy Gosselin 3.4% Canadian 2.6% Harnois 7-Eleven Tire 2.5% 3.3% 3.1%


the ninth most common brand in the country, representing about 2% of all sites. One of the biggest shifts is among the group of non-traditional gas marketers. These operators include grocery chains (Sobeys and Federated Co-operatives), big-box retailers (Costco) and others, such as Canadian Tire, 7-Eleven and Couche-Tard, where the main business is something other than fuel. This group has grown from a 15% share of the market in 2004 to 23.5% in 2018 (Figure 3).

Figure 4: Share of Market by Number of Outlets – by Brand, 2018 Esso 15.6% PetroCanada 12.8% Other 33.5%

Shell 11.1% Ultramar 6.6%

Crevier 1.5%

Irving 4.0% Co-op 3.9%

Husky 3.6%

Mobil 1.8% Canadian Tire 2.5%

Chevron 1.5% Fas Gas 1.6%


Forecourt Performance Report 2019

Figure 5: Annual Average Provincial Throughputs – 2018

ML 5.00 4.50 4.00 3.50 3.00

LAST YEAR, THE NUMBER OF LITRES DECLINED BY A MODEST 1.8% (THE NUMBER OF OUTLETS DECLINED BY 0.2%) TO REVEAL A TREND THAT INDICATES SALES PER OUTLET MAY WELL HAVE SPIKED

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Regionally, there are a variety of companies marketing leading brands of gasoline. For example, Esso products are marketed by 11 companies. Both Shell and Suncor also market under similar arrangements (but to a lesser degree). Kent suggests this format works to manage relationships with former brand associates and gives the refiner-marketer more leeway as they focus on higher value outlets (Figure 4).

Sharper tools The rise in consumer demand for fuel, coupled with the decline in the number of outlets, work to create considerable unit efficiency. Back in the early 1990s, when Canada had more than 20,000 gas stations, average throughput was about 1.5 million litres per site. By 2017, the average hit close to 3.8 million litres at just 11,948 retail gasoline outlets. Last year, the number of litres declined by a modest 1.8% (the number of outlets declined by 0.2%) to reveal a trend that indicates sales per outlet may well have spiked (Figure 5). Non-traditional marketers of fuel, such as grocers, vehicle repair and big box retailers reported gains of 15% from 2004 to 2018. “Since 2004, non-traditional marketers have increased their presence more substantially in central and eastern regions of the country, more than doubling in Ontario and Quebec, and growing at an even much higher rate in many Maritime provinces,” says Parent. He points out that big-box outlets, such as Costco, as well as couponing and cross-promotions between the gas bar and chain store, can create significant impact on retail fuel markets even though these outlets have a relatively limited market share. Retail outlets under this category tend to be high volume retailers (HVR). This means that throughputs are much larger than market averages. “HVRs generally have a pricing advantage over traditional retailers due to their low operating costs per litre and the ability to cross-merchandize with their non-petroleum offerings, meaning markets with a high concentration of HVRs are generally characterized by lower average pump prices.” (Figure 6)

THE RISE IN CONSUMER DEMAND FOR FUEL, COUPLED WITH THE DECLINE IN THE NUMBER OF OUTLETS, WORK TO CREATE CONSIDERABLE UNIT EFFICIENCY.

CCentral.ca


Forecourt Performance Report 2019

Figure 6: Non-Traditional Market Penetration Percentage, 2004 to 2018 BC

AB

SK

MB

ON

QC

NB

NS

PE

NL

YT

NT

CAN

2004

Percentage

16.3

29.0

43.1

30.3

7.4

12.8

8.1

4.6

3.8

2.9

5.0

0.0

15.0

2018

Percentage

17.3

29.9

37.6

26.3

18.5

25.9

31.8

32.3

22.6

13.7

3.6

2.0

23.9

MARKETS WITH A HIGH CONCENTRATION OF HVRS ARE GENERALLY CHARACTERIZED BY LOWER AVERAGE PUMP PRICES. SINGLE PAGE.qxd:WINDOW CLEANING.qxd

12/14/18

11:46 AM

Page 59

Gas versus Diesel Conceptual Rendering

Wash Bay On Truck For Delivery

Full Vision Roof On Truck For Delivery

Wash Bay Being Set Into Place

Equipment Room Coming Off Of Trailer For Setting

Complete Roof System Being Set Into Place

Finished View From Wash Bay Side

Inside Completed Carwash

Finished View From Equipment Room Side

To get a better understanding of what a project of this magnitude involves, Charlie Zimmerman offers the following steps and photos to show how a modular additional profit center is added.

• Find a modular building company that will act as your architect, design and engineer your project. • Work in conjunction with your equipment manufacture for specifications and recommendations. • Complete Drawings for State Approval Certification to speed up the process through the local planning office. Every state has its own modular approval certification process. • Hire a General Contractor for foundation and site completion.

• The building is manufactured with equipment, concrete floors, plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems installed, delivered and erected with onsite completion done in a few days. • Your contractor provides utility hookups, and your distributor makes the final connections. • Your contractor completes the final paving and landscaping. • Once the building is ready, your marketing and grand opening planning can begin.

• Determine the square-footage available on your property. Make sure the model you choose can deliver maximum production. • Hire a civil engineer to draw up a blueprint containing site elevations.

THE GENESIS FULL VISION CAR WASH

Diesel penetration is up at Canada’s fuel sites and diesel is available at 76.5% of reporting sites. This represents a significant climb from 2014, when just 47.3% of sites sold diesel. Even so, the diesel market remains small in comparison with gasoline sales. In 2018, diesel accounted for 7.3% of total retail petroleum sales.

76.5% DIESEL IS AVAILABLE AT 76.5% OF REPORTING SITES.

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CCentral.ca


Backcourt remains essential

500 TO 1500 SQ. FT.

85%

40%

In 2004, Kent reported that about of c-stores were 500 to 1500 sq. ft. Today, the most common configuration exceeds 1500 sq. ft. This illustrates how retail is tapping in to higher margin sales at locations, as well as increasing development from convenience leaders, such as 7-Eleven and Couche-Tard (Circle K).

In Canada, of fueling sites feature a backcourt offering, such as convenience store, car wash or quick service restaurant (QSR).

The Kent Report found 2,034 car washes associated with the 10,153 fuel stations that reported ancillary offerings. This representation is up 0.2% from 2017 (19.8%), but down slightly from the high of 2014 (20.6%). The three largest brands, Petro-Canada, Shell and Esso increased their car wash market penetration slightly. Kent reports these players took their share to 13.2% in 2018, from 12.9% in2017.

QSR opportunity

1,188

In 2018 there were quick service restaurants associated with Canada’s fueling sites. Here, the 10,153 locations that responded to the survey showed an 11.7% market penetration rate. This is up from 7.8% in 2004, but remains virtually unchanged over the last decade, revealing what could be a significant development opportunity.

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July/August 2019

| 23


Canadian CANADIAN

CaRWaSH CARWASH aSSOCiaTiOn ASSOCIATION Directors Christopher Armena – Morgan Arnelien –

MArk VII

CArwAsh ProgrAM

Co-ordInAtor, EnErgy ProduCts, FEdErAtEd Co-oPErAtIVEs lIMItEd

jeff Beam –

Mondo ProduCts Co ltd

Cristina Caruso –

CAtEgory PortFolIo MAnAgEr,

CAr wAsh, sunCor EnErgy

domenic diMonte – sameer haidari –

Crosstown CAr wAshEs CAtEgory MAnAgEr,

CIrClE k - CEntrAl CAnAdA dIVIsIon

jason kaye –

BAyVIEw CAr wAsh ltd.

sean McBride –

ClEAnIng systEMs InC.

karen smith –

VAlEt CAr wAsh

kirsten Vaive – tim walker –

MosAIC

rEVInMEdIA

rudy van woerkom – BIg CIty Auto n truCk wAsh

Mark Vella –

7-ElEVEn

Q1 Wash Volume RepoRts noW aVailable The 2019 first quarter results of the Wash Volume Report (WVR) have just been released by the Canadian Carwash Association. Total Q1 revenues for 1038 sites was just over $86 million compared to $90 million for Q1 last year. Canadian average revenue per site of $83,103 was 8% lower compared to the first quarter of last year. Average cycles per site at 9,670 were down 9% compared to the 2018 first quarter results while the average revenue per cycle of $8.59 in 2019 compared to $8.65 was largely unchanged from last year’s Q1 results. CCA Members now have exclusive access online to three years (12 quarters) of results by province or region. In addition, average precipitation data in millimetres has been added to the average cycles per site charts by province or region which shows the clear impact of weather on carwash operations. Undertaken for the CCA by Kent Group Ltd., a research firm specializing in the gas station and car wash industry, the WVR is a national quarterly survey of carwash sites. Members of the CCA may participate in the WVR program and receive results specific to their regional at no extra cost beyond their membership fee. All CCA members can access the full first quarter results on the CCA website. Also available online is information on how you can add your carwash location to the WVR. c a N a D I a N av e r a G e r e v e N u e P e r s I T e $90,475

NATIONAL OFFICE Finance director

july 2019

$76,660 $62,334

Karen Dalton cae

$45,501

$72,958 $56,787

$52,409

$83,103

$68,621

$60,037

$64,581 $52,323

operations director Kiki cloutier

Canadian Carwash Association 411 richmond st. E., suite 200

19 20 1 Q

18 20 4 Q

18 20 3 Q

18 20 2 Q

18 20 1 Q

17 20 4 Q

17

17

20 3 Q

20 2 Q

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Jorge de Mendonça

16

Manager Membership

caNaD IaN avera Ge c Yc L es P er s IT e 10,454

10,097

toronto, on M5A 3s5 tel: 416.239.0339

7,495

office@canadiancarwash.ca

6,881

6,906

5,956

5,478

9,760 7,604

6,947

6,594

5,677

20 19 Q

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canadiancarwash.ca/search http://canadiancarwash.ca/search on the CCA website has close to a thousand member sites on it. Is your carwash listed? Member sites are listed for free, so contact office@canadiancarwash.ca for more information.

$9.02

c a N a D I a N av e r a G e r e v e N u e P e r c Y c L e

Q

› The carwash search feaTure ‹

Q

CaRWaSH

20 16

Find a

20 16

www.canadiancarwash.ca


INDUSTRY FORUM INDUSTRY FORUM DeDIcaTe D TO sharING KNOw LeDGe aND BesT PracTIces IN The carwash INDusTrY

CCa membeRs neWs

CFib/CCa beneFits tRade maRk ReFoRm: What you need to knoW!

Your business name, brand names, corporate colours, slogans, and logos are all part of your corporate image. Customers do business with companies they recognize and trust, which is why it’s important to protect your corporate image. One way to do that is by registering those aspects of your business image that are uniquely yours. Canada has completed a thorough overhaul of its trademark legislation, harmonizing with other countries to make it easier for you to protect your company’s image across the globe. New regulations came into effect on June 17, 2019.

What’s a tRademaRk? Why should i get one?

A trademark is one or more words, sounds or designs used to identify the goods or services of a person or organization. Your trademark helps distinguish your goods or services from those of other businesses. A trademark registration is proof of ownership. If you find yourself in a dispute, the registered owner does not have to prove ownership; the duty is on the challenger. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office has more information on trademarks, and you can call your CFIB Business Counsellor with any questions. All CCA qualified members are automatically registered as a member of CFIB. Learn more about your CFIB benefits on the CCA website. Read more https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/tools-resources/canadian-trademark-reformwhat-need-know

golF touRnament – maRk youR CalendaR FoR septembeR 12 cca carwash owners and operators as well as industry suppliers will be teeing off for 18 holes of golf, networking and dinner at the annual canadian carwash association golf tournament taking place at the Blue springs Golf club in action, Ontario on Thursday, september 12th, 2019. Plan now to get in a few practice swings over the summer and be ready to tee off at 9:00 a.m. and finish the day with a great meal and raffle prizes. for hole sponsorship opportunities, contact the National Office at 416-239-0339 ext 228 or office@canadiancarwash.ca.

In June, CCA Board member Sameer Haidari was promoted to Senior Global Car Wash Category Manager and Accelerator for Circle K Stores Inc. Part of Alimentation Couche-Tard. ›› New cOMPaNIes whO have receNTLY JOINeD cca INcLuDe: 1632719 ontArIo InC.,woodBrIdgE, on 2126543 AB ltd., CAlgAry, AB 2289966 ont InC., BArrIE, on 5h CAPItAl InC., thornBury, on AquA CAr, wAsh kIngston, on BAsk dEVEloPMEnt InC VAnCouVEr BC hAE ChAI sAskAtoon, sk doug MCgrAth, dIEPPE, nB FArsIght dEVEloPMEnt CorPorAtIon, EdMonton, AB hungErFord ProPErtIEs, VAnCouVEr, BC MAzur FAMIly MAnAgEMEnt CorPorAtIon, CAlEdonIA, on PEtro sErVICE lIMItEd, sAInt john, nB stArBurst CAr & truCk wAsh, CAlgAry, AB tErrAPoInt CoMMErCIAl wAsh, wInklEr, MB tItAn BuIld & MAnAgEMEnt InC., toronto, on wIllIE’s CAr & VAn wAsh, AllIston, on

›› chaNGes aT The OffIce

kaRen dalton

who has served as Executive Director, newsletter editor and a member of the events team with the Association over the past 19 years has decided to pursue an active workfree life and will be leaving effective July 31st. A new association management firm, Managing Matters Inc., (MM) is now responsible for the day to day operations of CCA. The CCA Board of Directors expressed their appreciation for Karen’s commitment to advancing professional carwashing in Canada and welcomes the new team at MM.

CANADIAN CARWASH ASSOCIATION CANADIAN CARWASH ASSOCIATION


SPECIAL ISSUE

< KERRY ANN NICHOLSON CORE-MARK

KAITLIN > MINSKY CONAGRA BRANDS

< JAN MCCALLUM RICOLA CANADA

ST R WOMEN CAROLINE > EVANS JTIMACDONALD

< WENDY KADLOVSKI NICHOLBY’S

JULY/AUGUST 2019 CCentral.ca @CSNC_Octane PM42940023

CCentral.ca

P. 14 ➦

JULY/AUGUST 2019

|

|1


5 key in-store technologies

Chocolate satisfies all tastes

PLUS Popular diets shape snacking

< ANNE NIELSEN ITWAL

VANESSA > THEORET OLG

< ANNE P. KOTHAWALA CICC

Meet our Star Women in Convenience

< MARIEHELENE JAURON PEPSICO


PROTEIN SNACKS FOR EVERY SHOPPER .

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Conagra Brands would like to congratulate all the winners of the 2019 Star Women in Convenience!

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JULY/AUGUST 2019

Volume 2 | Number 4

COVER PHOTO: MIKE FORD

14 CONTENTS

Nova Grocery

Dépanneur Le Pick-Up

ADVERTISERS

28

CCentral.ca .................................................... 37 Conagra Foods ............................................. 3-4 Convenience Industry Council of Canada ..25, 37 Convenience U CARWACS Show ..................31 Core-Mark International .................................18 Hershey Canada Inc..................................22-23 ITWAL Limited .........................................20, 39 JTI-Macdonald Corp. .............................. 34-35 Mondelez Canada Inc .....................................18 National Smokeless Tobacco Company ..........6 PepsiCo Foods Canada .................................. 16 Regal Confections ...........................................13 Ricola..............................................................20 Star Women in Convenience ......................... 27

CCentral.ca

32

STAY CURRENT

07

Editor’s Message Celebrating star power

08

The Buzz People, places, news and events

10

Quick Bites Diet trends reshape snacking

12

Top Ops Tech talk

14

COVER STORY Star Women in Convenience 2019

28

Spotlight InNOVAtion defines Nova Grocery

32

Spotlight Dépanneur Le Pick-Up: The heart of the community

38

Category Check Chocolate: Always evolving

40

Backtalk Elisa Swern, PwC Canada: Delivering Return on Experience

CONVENIENCE NEWS & INSIGHTS DELIVERED TO YOUR IN-BOX TWICE WEEKLY. The latest on foodservice, store solutions, tobacco/vaping and more. Don't miss our e-newsletters! Sign up today at www.CCentral.ca

JULY/AUGUST 2019

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EDITOR’S MESSAGE 20 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 1800, Toronto, ON M4R 1K8 (416) 256-9908 | (877) 687-7321 | Fax (888) 889-9522 www.CCentral.ca PRESIDENT, ENSEMBLEIQ CANADA Jennifer Litterick | jlitterick@ensembleiq.com GROUP BRAND DIRECTOR - CONVENIENCE Kathryn Swan | kswan@ensembleiq.com VICE PRESIDENT/GENERAL MANAGER - EVENTS Michael Cronin | mcronin@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL EDITOR, CSNEWS CANADA Michelle Warren | mwarren@ensembleiq.com EDITOR, OCTANE Kelly Gray | kgray@ensembleiq.com TRANSLATION | Danielle Hart ADVERTISING SALES NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Jacquie Rankin | jrankin@ensembleiq.com NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Elijah Hoffman | ehoffman@ensembleiq.com

Star Power

SALES & EVENTS COORDINATOR Claudia Castro DESIGN AND PRODUCTION

I can't think of a better way to kick off my first issue of Convenience Store News Canada than by recognizing and celebrating the women shaping and redefining the Canadian convenience industry. We are thrilled to present the 2019 Star Women in Convenience, who represent the spectrum of this dynamic and evolving business, from those working the frontlines as owner-operators to strong leaders in manufacturing and distribution, as well as solution providers, consultants and luminaries. CSNC launched Star Women in Convenience in 2018. Now in its second year, Star Women is quickly gaining momentum. We received nominations from across the country (thank you to all who submitted nominations) and our panel selected 17 of the industry’s finest, up from 11 in 2018. This issue is dedicated to sharing their stories—careers built on hard work, dedication, innovation and leadership. Whether they climbed the ranks or made their way to convenience from other industries, their stories are inspiring. It’s an honour to learn from and shine a spotlight on the exceptional women making a difference to their companies and the world of retail convenience. The celebrations aren’t over yet! We’re inviting you to help honour the 2019 Star Women In Convenience at an inaugural awards ceremony and breakfast event on October 8th. As well, we will take this opportunity to recognize the 2018 Star Women in Convenience. Once a Star Woman, always a Star Woman: Congratulations to all the winners!

VICE PRESIDENT, PRODUCTION Derek Estey | destey@ensembleiq.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Michael Kimpton | mkimpton@ensembleiq.com ART DIRECTOR | Linda Rapini DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Alexandra Voulu | avoulu@ensembleiq.com AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Lina Trunina | ltrunina@ensembleiq.com WEB OPERATIONS MANAGER Valerie White | vwhite@ensembleiq.com CORPORATE OFFICERS EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN | Alan Glass CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER | David Shanker CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER | Dan McCarthy CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER | Joel Hughes

CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER | Jennifer Litterick CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER | Tanner Van Dusen CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES OFFICER | Ann Jadown EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EVENTS & CONFERENCES Ed Several

SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES Subscriptions: $65.00 per year, 2 year $120.00, Outside Canada $100.00 per year, Single copy $12.00, Groups $46.00, Outside Canada Single copy $16.00. Email: ycm@convenienceu.ca Phone: 1-844-694-4422, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST weekdays Fax: 1-844-815-0700 / Online: www.ccentral.ca/subscribe LICENSING AND REPRINTS Please contact Wright’s Media | ensembleiq@wrightsmedia.com 1-877-652-5295

Michelle Warren, Editor

CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS CANADA / OCTANE is published 6 times a year by EnsembleIQ. CONVENIENCE STORE NEWS CANADA / OCTANE is circulated to managers, buyers and professionals working in Canada’s convenience, gas and wash channel. Please direct inquiries to the editorial offices. Contributions of articles, photographs and industry information are welcome, but cannot be acknowledged or returned. ©2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including photocopying and electronic retrieval/retransmission, without the permission of the publisher.

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THE BUZZ

CROSS-CANADA ROUND-UP

PACKAGING GOES PLAIN

Health Canada says Canadian cigarette packs will have to be plain drab brown with standardized layouts and lettering. Manufacturers will have to begin complying with the new labelling rules for packages and dimensions for cigarettes by Nov. 9, 2019, while c-stores and other retailers have some leeway to get rid of current stock, but will have to sell only products meeting the new rules by Feb. 7, 2020. Health Canada acknowledged there could be a shortage of the new packs during the transition. The regulations also standardize the size and appearance of cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products inside the packages.

A CANADIAN FIRST FOR THIRST

REFUELING STATIONS AROUND THE CORNER IN B.C.

The Hydrogen Technology & Energy Corporation (HTEC) and 7-Eleven Inc. are joining forces to build two retail hydrogen-refueling stations in British Columbia. The station locations—one in North Vancouver and another proposed for Vancouver Island—will be part of the six-station network HTEC is building to support the rollout of the first 1,000 zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles in the province. “Reducing our impact on the environment is an important priority for many of our customers and a strategic imperative for 7-Eleven globally,” says Doug Rosencrans, vice-president and general manager of 7-Eleven Canada.

Circle K and Calgary-based District Ventures are working together to make Canadian food and beverage products more accessible to consumers. Entrepreneurs who have received capital and programming from District Ventures, which also helps companies with marketing, are now listed in more than 400 Circle K locations in Ontario. The first brands entering Circle K under the newly formed partnership are Bow Valley BBQ from Canmore, Alta., Little Tucker from Calgary, Maze Bar from Toronto and Zak Organics from Moose Jaw, Sask.

MINIMUM WAGE RISES IN SEVERAL PROVINCES

The minimum wage in New Brunswick has increased to $11.50 an hour up from $11.25. Moving forward, the rate will remain tied to the province’s consumer price index, a process currently in place in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Yukon. Nova Scotia is to hike its rate by roughly 55 cents an hour over each of the next three years. Manitoba’s rate is to rise in October by 30 cents an hour to $11.65.

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PEOPLE, PLACES, NEWS AND EVENTS

C-STORES TO SELL ALCOHOL IN ONTARIO It’s happening. The Ontario government is promising to make beer, wine and cider available in more than 300 corner stores, grocery stores and big box stores as of spring 2020. It passed a bill ending a 10-year agreement with The Beer Store that limited the number of stores that can sell alcohol. According to then-Finance Minister Vic Fedeli, Ontario has the lowest density of retail outlets selling beer, wine, cider and spirits in the entire country, with fewer than 3,000 stores selling alcohol. In Quebec, this number is roughly 8,000. The Ontario Convenience Store Association, which long lobbied for the change, is “thrilled” with the decision. New legislation also allows municipalities to make rules about where alcohol can be consumed in public, such as parks, and allow sports fans to drink alcohol at tailgating parties during eligible sporting events. CCentral.ca


COURT SUPPORTS CARBON TAX

SAVE THE DATES

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal quashed the province’s constitutional challenge to the federal carbon tax, prompting the Saskatchewan government to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The carbon tax will adversely affect small businesses, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Small companies are contributing nearly 50% of the revenues from the carbon tax, which is in effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. In return, they will receive back just 7% in the form of rebates and grants. Many large emitters are receiving carbon tax exemptions, according to the CFIB.

September 22-23, 2019 Toronto The Canadian Coffee and Tea Show coffeeteashow.ca September 24-26, 2019 National Convenience Industry Summit convenienceindustry.ca

REBATES FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT UPGRADES

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled details for two carbon-tax rebate programs designed for small businesses. Participating c-stores in the four provinces with a national carbon price will have an opportunity to share $1.4 billion over the next four years to help them reduce their energy use. McKenna is promising quick turnaround time for the direct rebate program that is to offset up to half the costs when buying energy-efficient equipment or appliances. It’s expected the rebates will be worth $44 million this year: The maximum rebate for any individual business will be $20,000. McKenna said the idea is to include things like refrigerators, dishwashers and anti-idling devices for vehicles: “We wanted very practical things that will help small businesses save money.” A separate program will give rebates for retrofits that reduce energy use. That program, which is to cost about $106 million this year, will be for projects of up to $1 million. Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, called the rebate program “underwhelming” as it doesn’t come close to helping businesses cope with the added costs of the carbon tax.

CCentral.ca

October 1-4, 2019 Atlanta, GA NACS Show 2019 nacsshow.com

TIME TO CELEBRATE

National Convenience Store Week is August 26-30 and the industry is gearing up to mark the occasion by making wishes come true! Community leaders across the country are being invited to volunteer for 20 minute "shifts" in local convenience stores, to interact with customers and work with store staff to help raise money for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. For information and to register in your area, visit conveniencestoreday.ca.

October 8, 2019 Toronto Star Women in Convenience Breakfast ccentral.ca/starwomen October 22, 2019 Halifax Retail Convenience Awards Gala Atlantic Convenience Stores Association theacsa.ca October 29-30, 2019 Greater Vancouver Area Abbotsford, B.C. The Convenience U CARWACS Show west.convenienceu.ca

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QUICK BITES

BY DARREN CLIMANS

Watching what they eat Diet trends are changing snack habits and reshaping what consumers are hankering for at the c-store How do diet and food trends start? In the pre-internet age, there were a handful of celebrities and legacy print/mass media opinion leaders with broad influence. Food trends in today’s cyber-charged world are now fully democratized and far-reaching. For instance, every month more than 250 million people—professionals, amateurs and topic enthusiasts—visit Pinterest to discover and share ideas about a seemingly endless array of topics, including diet and food. “Pinterest 100: The top trends for 2019” is a result of tracking views and searches (if a topic increases each month on a compound basis, and that upward trajectory holds steady for more than six months, it’s an official trend). One of the notable trends is ‘Going Pegan’—a diet regime that is part paleo and part vegan. According to Pinterest, the pegan diet is taking root with people on the hunt for healthy habits and searches jumped 337% in 2018 (Exhibit 1). In their ranking, Healthline.com listed gut health, plant-based and keto (protein-based) as the top consumer diet trends for 2019 (Exhibit 2). The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation 2018 Food and Health Survey found that 36% of Americans follow a specific eating pattern or diet—considerably higher than previously measured. Paleo, followed by 7% of respondents, is the top-rated diet by mentions. Paleo is a diet plan emphasizing animal proteins, vegetables and fruits, while eschewing dairy, grains, legumes and refined sugar. Retail and foodservice are taking

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note of dietary demands. One product category gaining significantly from the protein-centric diet trend is meat snacks. Data from Nielsen Canada tracking grocery stores and mass merchants showed 15% dollar growth and 18% volume growth in the meat snacks category in 2018. Some snack companies are going one step further. California-based Caveman Foods, for instance, is capitalizing on the paleo trend with a portfolio of paleo-inspired snack foods—nutrition bars, protein bars, grain-free granola bars, chicken jerky and paleo bites—all of which translate seamlessly into convenience stores.

Impulse vs. mindful choices Kathy Perrotta, a vice-president of marketing with Ipsos Canada, lead the FIVE service; a daily diary panel tracking what 20,000 respondents ate and drank yesterday across all categories, brands, occasions and venues. The FIVE database quantifies shifts in both behaviour and attitudes. Canadian consumers are increasingly making mindful choices about food. “The gap between ‘what I say’ and ‘what I do’ is closing, as consumers increasingly evaluate their snacking choices. More than half (51%) of Canadian adults today report regularly reading labels and ingredient information. Among those, more than two-thirds (69%) report that the information they obtain informs their decision to buy a product.” FIVE began tracking trends in 2013 and Perrotta reports the concept of health and wellness continues to evolve and expand. Consumers are now looking for “stacked benefits” from products—reduced calories, protein-centric, low/no carbs, clean label and fresh to name a few.

More than half (51%)

of Canadian adults regularly read labels and ingredient information. Among those, more than two-thirds (69%) report that the information they obtain informs their decision to buy a product.

Technomic’s 2018 “Canadian C-Store Foodservice Consumer Trend Report” cites many examples of c-stores marketing prepared foods that align with greater consumer demand for healthy options. For instance, Toronto-based Popbox MicroMrkt offers drinks with functional ingredients like turmeric, upscale coffees and specialty beverages that highlight healthy ingredients.

Fad or future? Fad diets come and go, but broader underlying eating patterns set the tone. The great news for c-stores is that snacking is more popular than ever. According to Ipsos data, snacking occasions (67%) outpace meal occasions (33%), and, most importantly, half of all food and beverage items are consumed as snacks. However, Canadians are undeniably updating their approach towards snacking. Taste and convenience remain baseline wants, but effective targeting of emerging snacking needs informed by diet and wellness trends will help operators to find the sweet spot at the intersection of indulgence, functionality and health.◗ Darren Climans is a foodservice insights professional with close to 20 years’ experience partnering with broadline distributors, CPG suppliers, and foodservice operators. His practice is to understand issue-based decisions by taking a data-driven approach to strategic decision making. CCentral.ca


SNACKING IS MORE POPULAR THAN EVER:

Snacking occasions (67%) outpace meal occasions (33%), and half of all food and beverage items are consumed as snacks.

Exhibit 1

The magic of Pinterest health, wellness and diet +337%

GOING PEGAN - PART PALEO, PART VEGAN

The pegan diet is taking root with people on the hunt for healthy habits

Exhibit 2

Diet trends that will dominate 2019

1

MOVE OVER ALMOND MILK

+186%

Everyone’s new favourite dairy-alternative oat milk is delicious and environmentally friendly. Vegan too!

CAPE NOT INCLUDED

+144%

Add matcha, maca and other superfood powders to juice or a smoothie for a superhero boost

+685%

Elderberries are on the rise thanks to their healthy and anti-inflammatory effects

+659%

Ginger isn’t just for ale and bread anymore. People are using the soothing oil for baths, massages and even condiments

+64%

Nutrient-packed mushrooms are springing up everywhere from coffee drinks to chocolate bars

+76%

People won’t get bored of this versatile gourd. A superfood, chayote (“chocho”) complements all kinds of cuisines

+475%

Diligent diners are using nutrition plans to be more mindful about what they eat

RESPECT YOUR ELDERS

NATURAL GINGER

THE MIGHTY MUSHROOM

PASS THE CHOCHO

People are ditching the alcohol and opting for a sober life, turning to Pinterest for motivational quotes and non-alcoholic drink ideas

BEE EARTH FRIENDLY

+146%

No more plastic wrap! Get stung by the freshest zero-waste trend: reusable beeswax wraps Source: Pinterest 100, 2019

CCentral.ca

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HEALTHY HABITS

DRY IDEA

+746%

2

5

GUT HEALTH Examples: • Fermented food and drink, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea, • High-fiber foods like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. • Shelf-stable probiotics—in items such as nut butters and pastas

PLANT PROTEINS Health, environmental, and ethical concerns will cause more people to eat less animal proteins or switch to plant-centered diets. Examples: • Bean pastas and soy, tofu, or quinoa burgers • Increased the consumption of avocado, kale, and quinoa, dandelion greens, rainbow carrots, beets and amaranth

KETO DIET This eating plan aims to induce the metabolic state of Ketosis, which occurs when the body uses calories from fat, instead of carbs, to create energy. It requires consumption of mostly fats and proteins, with less than 10% of calories coming from carbs.

HEMP ON THE HORIZON Cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) are expected to be a growing trend, in particular when it comes to hemp. Examples: • Hemp hearts, seeds and oils in everything from waffle mix to dried pastas • CBD will continue to infiltrate products

BRING IN THE BITTERS Bitters help detox the GI tract, aid digestion and offers slimming and overall health benefits. Examples: • Asparagus, cucumbers, grapefruit and cacao will be more popular in diets Source: Healthline.com

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TOP OPS

BY GERRY SPITZNER

Tech talk 5 in-store technologies to drive sales and improve customer experience It’s hard these days to keep up with the speed at which technologies are developed. In fact, it can be downright mindboggling. And for smaller independent retailers with fewer resources to draw from than their larger competitors, understanding which technological solutions to invest in can be daunting. Retailers are seeking out any advantages in a time of unprecedented retail competition. In-store technologies that help retailers create more engaging and positive retail experiences with convenience and speed are essential.

1

Update your router. Speed

matters in a world that’s not only moving fast, but also accelerating. Routers are now required to work harder. With smartphones, tablet computers, Internet-enabled store equipment and more all competing for the same Internet connection, the router must work harder than ever before. If you’re not getting the Internet speed you expect, it could be due to your wireless router. Even if you upgrade your Internet plan to a higher speed tier, you might not enjoy a faster Internet connection until you update your wireless router. And, make sure the router features the latest firmware.

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Consider context. It’s no

longer only about the screen, device, platform or the physical store. Does your business’s mobile experience match where it’s being used? I.e. on the bus, watching TV, at the coffee shop or in your store? A tiny version of your website that’s unreadable on a smartphone screen is totally unacceptable. Make sure your online marketing activities and website adapt to the size of screen that it’s being viewed on. Responsive web design is mobile-friendly, helping increase visibility on search engines, which can mean more visitors to your website. More traffic results in better lead generation, added conversions and increased sales—three big reasons why you need a responsive web design.

3

Get your Google on. The

increased visibility that Google has placed around Google Local listing results on mobile means that Google My Business is essential for local SEO. It’s free to set up and will enable you to appear in local search results for enquiries specific to your products or services. Keep your business listing information up-to-date: Change your address, hours, contact info and photos to help potential customers find you and learn more about

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your business. Encourage customers to leave reviews, which can help your search ranking. If you haven’t already, add or claim your business, then verify your business listing so it’s eligible to appear on maps, search and other Google services.

4

Tap free research services. Uncover

the latest marketing research and digital trends with data reports and articles from Think with Google. Use Diagnostic Tools & Industry Benchmarks to measure your brand’s site and campaign performance, and then get tips on improving key metrics. Use Culture & Trends to find out what your potential customers are engaging with and searching for. See what’s trending in your category or market. Use Competitive Analysis to see how you stack up against the competition. Find opportunities to differentiate your brand, product or service. Use Consumer Insights to explore real-time data to glean insights about consumer research, shopping and purchase behaviours. Make more strategic decisions about your marketing campaigns and ad spending. Use Google Ads Keyword Planner to choose the right keywords. The keyword research tool will help you find the keywords that are most relevant for your business.

5

Embrace email marketing.

Some say email marketing is dying or dead, but that’s a myth: It remains the best way to engage. People still open emails. In modern business, email dominates marketing channels. If you’re thinking about using this proven technique, my advice is to start harvesting email addresses. This is where you should consider using a CRM system like Constant Contact or Mailchimp to market prospects that have opted into receiving your email newsletters. Also, make sure to investigate and follow the requirements of CASL. There’s no question that, in the modern business landscape, a big part of your operations and marketing strategy is digital. Whether it’s to better serve the customer; to enhance experiences for the customer to improve operational efficiencies; or to exploit previously unseen opportunities, retailers are constantly seeking ways to leverage technologies that can help them drive traffic to their stores and loyalty among their customers. ◗ Gerry Spitzner helps retailers develop marketplace strategies to create, engage and keep customers for life. For more information about his approach, connect at retailSOS@gmail.com. CCentral.ca


ITEM NUMBER

DESCRIPTION

PACK

LS130

Lotus Biscoff XL

6 x (20 x 25g)


BY DONALEE MOULTON, DANNY KUCHARSKY AND MICHELLE WARREN

T

his yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Star Women in Convenience come from all facets of the c-store spectrum: sales, management, distribution and product development. While their backgrounds, career paths and experience all vary, one thing is constant across all the 2019 winners: these are women who get things done. Accomplishments are second nature for the 17 honourees this year. They have broken through glass ceilings to sit on boards once the exclusive domain of their male colleagues. They have tackled controversial issues hand-in-hand with frontline c-store retailers and impacted the course of those issues across Canada. They have exceeded national sales targetsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;consistently. The Star Women in Convenience Award was launched to recognize exceptional women making a difference in the convenience industry. Women demonstrating commitment, innovation and leadership. Mission accomplished.

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CCentral.ca


2019 WINNERS CCentral.ca

In 2012, Bonnie Birollo was working as a director with RONA, the Canadian home improvement company, when a call came from a recruiter. Following that call—and a sit down with members of the leadership team at Circle K—Birollo found herself in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the role of regional director of operations and responsible for more than 100 convenience and fuel sites. Today she is back in Western Canada and vice-president of operations with the convenience store chain. For Birollo, c-stores are much more than a place to pick up milk and lottery tickets. They are places where memories are made. “Who doesn’t remember that first taste of independence, when mom and dad finally gave you permission to ride your bike with your friends to the local store? Or the sweet/savoury treats that served as a reward for a game well played or a test well taken?” she says, noting that many people get their first job working in a c-store. “It can serve as a foundation to their future contributions and careers.”

Birpoeralltioons e i n n o B resident, O ada Division

se s Bellero ople Service JaccutikvieeVice-PresidInecn.t - Pe ent Exe anagem Carey M

Diversity describes Jackie Bellerose’s career. She started in the coal mining industry and helped raised substantial funding for children’s hospitals in British Columbia and Alberta through the Mining for Miracles campaign. She worked with Cerebral Palsy of Alberta before joining Wallace & Carey, one of Canada's largest independent distributors. “The distribution industry was new to me, but after a short while, I knew that this was an industry that I loved,” says Bellerose. “I was able to build a team in our People Services department, which I am responsible for, and we support our teammates as well as support our customers.” Next year, she notes, Wallace & Carey, one of only a few Canadian companies that is family owned, will celebrate 100 years in business. Bellerose is the first woman named to the Wallace & Carey board and the first woman chair of the National Convenience Stores Distributors Association (NACDA). Now she is also the first woman co-chair of the newly formed Convenience Industry Council of Canada.

rn Can Vice-P - Weste Circle K

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NEW

NEW SIZE

NEW SIZE


201 9 WINNERS

ansand Communications e Ev n i l o airs r ff a A C orporate C Head of onald Corp. cd JTI-Ma

As a teenager in Toronto, Caroline Evans’ first paid job was in a convenience store. She worked Sundays, which enabled the family who owned the business to spend the day together as a family—for the first time. The job, says Evans, “gave me a firsthand understanding of what was involved in running a c-store.” That understanding has proven useful in her role as head of corporate affairs and communications with JTI-Macdonald Corp. Now responsible for government relations, community outreach and communications, Evans is actively involved with the c-store sector in addressing such critical issues as illegal tobacco, which accounts for one-third of all tobacco sold in the province. “That represents huge tax losses, and it is a real hit for convenience stores,” says Evans. On a more positive note is the ongoing interest in vaping, which offers adult smokers a less-harmful alternative to cigarettes. “The vaping market has exploded,” says Evans, and convenience stores are central to this growth. “One of the great strengths of [c-store] retailers has been demonstrating how seriously they abide by age-restricted products.”

To call Maryse Gagnon a multitasker is an understatement. For many years, she worked as a physiotherapist while also running Dépanneur Métabetchouan with her husband. Now, in addition to operating a convenience store, she has Production MiDo, a music production company that produces everything from albums to shows. Her entertainment bent extends online, where she stars in a number of lively marketing videos on the dépanneur’s Facebook site. Given that her 5,000-sq.-ft., two-level store is 30 minutes away from the nearest shopping centre, Gagnon is expanding the term dépanneur to meet local needs, opening several mini-boutiques in the store’s basement. With a passion for beer, Gagnon has also created an expansive craft beer section in her store that promotes regional brews. When she is not running her business, Gagnon is an active runner, who completed her second Ultramarathon Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean in June to raise funds for Leucan (an association for children with cancer). “If you want to drink beer, you have to run,” she says.

Gagnon e s y r a M wner tchouan Co-o tabe eur Mé Dépann

CCentral.ca

Jaeu&rGoan e n s e l e c nvenien Mactorireof-SH ales, Co Dire Inc. PepsiCo

Marie-Helene Jauron’s career started with Hershey Canada in the convenience channel. In 2016, after working almost 10 years in the grocery store arena, Jauron was offered the opportunity by PepsiCo to return to her c-store roots. “I’ve had a chance to experience the diverse elements of the convenience channels,” says Jauron, who is responsible for $300 million in retail sales annually and oversees a team of nine people. “I’m in this position today because I had really great leaders and coaches throughout my career. People who leveraged my strengths and helped me understand my areas of opportunity to reach my full potential.” Jauron wants to do the same for her employees. “My biggest achievement is the development and the success of my team,” she says. “I’m really proud when I can help develop and coach someone to grow and take on a new role.” That commitment to working well together extends to Jauron’s c-store clients. “Successful programs are everyone’s success,” she says. “Partnerships with customers should be a win-win. It’s about finding common ground.”

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Congratulations to Kerry Ann Nicholson and the other Star Women in Convenience!

Core-Mark® understands that there are dynamic swings in the retail market all the time. And that innovation, consumer-driven, market-based programs and rapid response are key to the success of your business. Core-Mark has focused its efforts towards the advancement of your business with our Vendor Consolidation Initiative (VCI), Focused Marketing Initiative (FMI), Fresh and Foodservice Marketing Programs and technological breakthroughs in ordering solution platforms. To keep on trend and support our health-conscious customers, Core-Mark provides a wide variety of ‘good-for-you’ snacks and beverages. All of which, allows your business to increase foot traffic, efficiency and profitability. The future is now. Become a partner today! Contact your local Core-Mark representative or visit: www.core-mark.com

CADBURY CADBURY DAIRY MILK DAIRY MILK OREO Bar OREO Bar cookie & delicious Canada’s favourite 1

1 Canada’s favourite cookie & delicious CADBURY DAIRY MILK coming together CADBURY DAIRY MILK coming together Now Available in 38g and 95g

Now Available in 38g and 95g CADBURY DAIRY MILK OREO 38g is already ranked #10 among Singles CADBURY DAIRY MILK OREO 38g is bars within the Convenience Channel! 2 already ranked #10 among Singles bars within the Convenience Channel! 2

HELP DRIVE SALES HELP DRIVE SALES Contact your Wholesale Representative or your Mondelēz Canada Sales Representative for more information at 1-855-219-6672. Contact your Wholesale Representative or your Mondelēz Canada 1. By penetration, Nielsen Home Scan Panel, National All Channels, L52 weeks ending March 3, 2018.

2. NielsenRepresentative MarketTrack - YTD period ending Marchinformation 30, 2019 - National at C&G1-855-219-6672. - ranked to TI Everyday Chocolate Singles. Sales for more 1. By penetration, Nielsen Home Scan Panel, National All Channels, L52 weeks ending March 3, 2018.

2. Nielsen MarketTrack - YTD period ending March 30, 2019 - National C&G - ranked to TI Everyday Chocolate Singles.


201 9 WINNERS

dlovski a K y d Wectonr of Operations ed Dire y’s Limit Nicholb

When Wendy Kadlovski was 16 years old she worked in a Shell gas bar. Today, she is director of operations with Nicholby’s Limited in Unionville, Ont. Before joining the convenience, souvenir, and gift retail company in 2003, Kadlovski held numerous retail and related jobs with Shell, including running a large gas bar operation that had both a Wendy’s restaurant and Tim Hortons coffee shop. That experience, she notes, has given her an added advantage in the convenience store sector: credibility. “It is important to understand the grassroots of the industry. You need to understand the challenges of working in a store.” For Kadlovski, who oversees Nicholby’s operation across Canada, her goal as operations director is also her greatest accomplishment: growing the business. “You can’t stay in one spot,” she cautions. That insight applies to the industry as well as individual stores. Kadlovski has been actively involved with the Ontario Convenience Store Association and currently serves as treasurer. “It’s important to have a voice as an industry. Changes don’t happen overnight.”

When opportunity knocks, Azra Khan answers the door. Her brother, a former c-store operator, let Khan know about a corporate Esso site looking for an owner. That was 13 years ago and the retailer has gone on to win numerous awards, including being the Esso outlet with the highest c-store and car wash sales and being recognized as the Top Performing Site several times. She switched to Shell about a year ago and continues to excel. But Khan’s proudest success: her children. “They have been by my side since day one and have helped me achieve all my crazy goals and targets, whether it was washing the sidewalks at the site to working 14-hour days with me to creating fun, innovative ideas to increase sales and exceed targets.” That commitment to working well together extends to her employees. “I train my staff to not only give each customer the best service, but to work together as a team to keep our convenience store running fully stocked and cleaned,” says Khan. “You can't demand results if you don't work hard alongside your people and show them by example.”

an

Kh Aznrea r

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thawala o K . P e Anidnent & CEO y Council of Canada Pres dustr ience In Conven

It’s been a big year for Anne Kothawala, with the launch of the new Convenience Industry Council of Canada. She is building the brand and raising its profile within the industry and at all levels of government. Kothawala is responsible for leading the organization’s vision, as well as all activities and advocacy during a time of massive change in convenience. Kothawala, however, is no stranger to being a trailblazer. In her early 30s, she became the first female president and CEO of the Canadian Newspaper Association and went on to build an exciting and varied career. She is an outstanding relationship builder with a reputation for helping build consensus and achieving results for the various industries she has represented, including convenience. Kothawala brings this passion and drive to all aspects of her life. She is the recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, in recognition of her contributions as former chair of the Daily Bread Food Bank, chair of French for the Future and an executive committee member with ParticipACTION.

/A She Ow rp Inc. O RanaCo

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CONGRATS JAN A big congratulations to Jan McCallum on being chosen as a 2019 Star Women in Convenience Award winner. Jan’s passion and commitment within the convenience channel has been invaluable for the company, as well as her customers. From all of us at Ricola, we thank you Jan for all of your hard work. We are very proud of you. JAN McCALLUM National Account Manager Ricola North America

0490_July_Aug CNSC Winner_Eng.indd 1

2019-06-25 4:39 PM

On behalf of ITWAL and all of our Distributor and Supplier partners, we want to congratulate

ANNÈ NIELSEN

on being recognized as one of the

STAR WOMEN IN CONVENIENCE AWARD WINNERS!

Congratulations to all of the 2019 Star Women in Convenience Award Winners!

Canada's only national network providing suppliers with innovative and measurable distribution, selling, marketing and information solutions to retail and foodservice operators


M

201 9 WINNERS

aliektro-Canada aM se P SaabRieh n e ic L tail a Are and Are Calgary

Sabiha Malik is a professional juggler. As manager of 10 Petro-Canada locations in Calgary, four of which have car washes, Malik manages more than 60 employees. She is also responsible for buying and managing the inventory for all the stores. Two keys to success, she says, are assigning tasks to the right people at the right place. Training staff to meet and exceed the Petro-Canada service standards is also essential. It’s a process that pays off. “Since I started my career as an area retail licensee, I have grown my sales year over year,” says Malik, who began working with Petro-Canada in 2006. Indeed, when promotions and contests come from the head office, Malik can be counted on to surpass targets. It’s not surprising she has won Associate of the Year honours five times and been nominated eight. Giving back is also part of what drives Malik. She has been working with numerous charities and actively helping to raise funds for such organizations as the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Food Banks Alberta and the CIBC Run for the Cure.

Growth has defined Jan McCallum’s work with Ricola Canada: she has taken the business from minimal presence in the channel to having distribution and related activity in multiple banners across the country. “Ricola is a small brand, yet with perseverance, leveraging my network, and having a great story about what makes our brand different, we have had great support from our customers,” says McCallum, whose first experience in the c-store industry was as a sales rep in New Brunswick with Imperial Tobacco in 2006. She held various roles, including district manager in Ontario and trade marketing manager at the head office. McCallum moved to Hershey Canada as key account manager where she led national C&G accounts. “I loved the opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding, while actively contributing to the overall category growth of each of my customers.” Now, her category is cough drops and 15% to 20% of these are purchased at convenience and grocery stores. “What’s great about this channel,” says McCallum, “is that personal business relationships still matter, and buyers are open and transparent about expectations.”

m ager Camlelu c M t n n a J iness Develop Man

Minsky cks KaidtMliannager – Pronatedina Sna Ca Bran Brands Conagra

There’s nothing Kaitlin Minsky likes more than to sink her teeth into a good snack. Among her favourites are Slim Jim and Duke's meat snacks and BIGS sunflower seeds. As Conagra Brands Canada’s brand manager in Toronto, Minsky has ample opportunity to indulge; she leads the protein snacks business in Canada. Her leadership skills are noteworthy. “Kaitlin has a strong focus for results, while using strategic thinking to help grow Conagra protein snacks within Canada,” notes Tebbie Chuchla, head of marketing at Conagra. A key member of the team that develops annual strategy plans, Minsky is focused on innovative and established ways to grow her brands within the convenience, gas and grocery channels. Indeed, the Ryerson University marketing graduate has successfully led programs across all of her brands, recommending efficient program elements and spends. “She has identified key customers and channel opportunities to drive growth for all brands, and makes strategic recommendations on driving the business,” says Chuchla.

Bus anada Ricola C

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201 9 WINNERS

ashish w é N e CharityrlOèwnner Majo ri eur Ene Dépann

Charlène Néwashish has operated Dépanneur Eneri since 2012 and is considered an inspirational model for her Indigenous community, the Atikamekw Nation of Manawan in the Lanaudière region of Quebec. She’s in charge of everything from hiring and training to logistics—many shipments are sent to a warehouse 86 kilometres away from her remote community, which is reachable only by gravel forest road. She often makes 450-kilometre return trips to pick up goods vendors won’t ship. In order to meet the needs of the community, the c-store goes beyond traditional offerings by filling propane tanks, hosting a video club, featuring readyto-eat fare and stocking shelves with toys, as well as hunting and fishing equipment. Although it is often difficult for Indigenous people living on reserves to obtain bank financing, Néwashish has worked to build her business with support from the reserve, an Indigenous credit union and government. In 2017, she moved the dépanneur from a 400-sq.-ft. RV to a 2,000-sq.-ft. store. She would like to eventually expand and build on a full concrete foundation to better serve the community.

Kerry Ann Nicholson joined the convenience store industry in 2002 as the human resources director at Karrys Bros., Limited, a broad-line wholesale distributor. “Gaining a sound knowledge of the business allowed me to transition to a variety of operational, sales and leadership roles,” says Nicholson, who went on to become executive director of operations, overseeing the day-to-day business until Core-Mark acquired Karrys in 2015. Nicholson was an important part of the transition; she worked closely with the acquisition team through the due diligence process then continued in the company and the industry in a sales leadership role as director of national accounts. Yet her leading accomplishment is not primarily professional, it’s personal. “My greatest achievement is raising my nine-year old twin girls to be happy, confident and caring people who embrace learning and challenges while growing my own career,” says Nicholson. That career goes beyond any one company. “It is important to contribute positively to the convenience industry to be able to anticipate and meet the changing needs of our customers.”

cholson i N n n ts Accoun Kecrtorr,yNA ational onal, Inc. Dire rnati ark Inte Core-M

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ielsDeevnelopment Ancntoèr, BN usiness Dire Ltd. ITWAL

Pride, passion, drive and tenacity are just a few of the words used by clients to describe Annè Nielsen. She has built a reputation for ‘walking the walk’ and providing selling solutions that create opportunities and drive growth for all members, suppliers and vendors. “My passion and ongoing willingness to work 24/7, is most definitely fuelled by our ITWAL Members and our Suppliers,” says Nielsen. “We are all striving to increase sales and distribution in the convenience channel. Being ‘Committed to Performance’ and utilizing our ITWAL Insights platform to drill into this trade class is paramount to delivering the results.” Nielsen knows first hand how important it is to have those supports in place: She cut her convenience teeth at Hershey Canada where she held a variety of positions and is grateful for being “mentored by many wonderful people.” One of her proudest moments was being recognized as the Hershey National Sales Representative of the Year in 1990. Today, Nielsen is a respected and powerful industry leader, who is known for the creativity and energy she brings to the business every day. CCentral.ca


Congratulations ANNE AND JACKIE for outstanding leadership, commitment and contribution to the Canadian convenience store industry.

JACKIE BELLEROSE ANNE P. KOTHAWALA

President & CEO Convenience Industry Council of Canada

Executive Vice-President - People Services Carey Management Inc. Distributor Co-Chair Convenience Industry Council of Canada

The Convenience Industry Council of Canada also celebrates all the winners of the 2019 Star Women in Convenience Award BONNIE BIROLLO

Vice-President, Operations Circle K - Western Canada Division

CAROLINE EVANS

Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications JTI-Macdonald Corp.

MARYSE GAGNON

Co-owner Dépanneur Métabetchouan

MARIE-HELENE JAURON

AZRA KHAN

Owner RanaCorp Inc. O/A Shell Canada

SABIHA MALIK

Area Retail License Petro-Canada Calgary and Area

JAN MCCALLUM

Director, National Accounts Core-Mark International, Inc.

ANNÈ NIELSEN

Director, Business Development ITWAL Ltd.

SOPHIE PROVENCHER

Business Development Manager Ricola Canada

Vice-President, Operations, Quebec West Couche-Tard Inc.

KAITLIN MINSKY

ÉLAINE ROY

Director of Sales, Convenience & Gas PepsiCo Inc.

Brand Manager – Protein Snacks Conagra Brands Canada

WENDY KADLOVSKI

CHARLÈNE NÉWASHISH

Director of Operations CCentral.ca Nicholby’s Limited

KERRY ANN NICHOLSON

Partner Dépanneur Eneri

Owner Petro-Canada

VANESSA THEORET

Director, Channel Delivery JULY/AUGUST | 25 Ontario Lottery2019 and |Gaming Corporation


201 9 WINNERS

er c West ensc, h v o r u P Q e hi ent, Operation ebe Sop -Presid Vice c. -Tard In Couche

Sophie Provencher takes pride in the fact that she’s the first woman to head Couche-Tard’s operations in Quebec West since the business unit began 40 years ago. Since February 2018, she has led a multi-billion dollar business unit with a steering committee of 15 directors. She oversees 465 corporate stores and 500 affiliated Provi-Soir and Dépanneur 7 Jours stores in areas including, Montreal, Sherbrooke and Gatineau. “For me, it’s a great accomplishment,” she says. While Couche-Tard already has a predominant share of the Quebec market, she’s been tasked with the challenge of ensuring its “very aggressive” financial goals continue to grow. Starting in September, Provencher will be striving to meet those objectives while taking the McGill-HEC Montreal Executive MBA program, which she says will take her strategic skills to another level. Since last year, she has also served on the board of directors of the Dr. Clown Foundation, which provides therapy to improve the quality of life of hospitalized children and lonely seniors, and she is the honourary president of Moisson Laval (food bank). It’s very important to give back to the community when you’ve reached a top executive position, she says.

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Overachieving is second nature to Élaine Roy. She opened her first convenience store when she was only 20 years old and today operates a network of 12 Petro-Canada stations in and around Quebec City. “Our 30 years of experience and the quality of our staff allows us to be a leader in Quebec,” says Roy, who learned much about running a successful retail company from her mother, who ran her own grocery store for almost 10 years. As owner, Roy is responsible for all aspects of the c-store business. She meets regularly with her 12 branch managers to discuss sales and opportunities for growth. She oversees hiring and training of new managers, and she manages the ongoing relationship with suppliers. Roy also works closely with Petro-Canada. That work is highly regarded. The national retailer has nominated Roy 11 times for its highest honour: the Associate of the Year award. For the Quebec c-store owner, the key to success comes down to customer service. “This,” she says, “is my priority.”

oy Élaneirne R Ow anada Petro-C

eoryret a Tl h s s e n e a D V ctor, Channe Glivaeming Corporation and Dire Lottery Ontario

Vanessa Theoret sees the forest and the trees. At the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Corporation in Toronto, Theoret is responsible for all lottery accounts, which encompass more than 6,000 retail locations, including 4,000 regional and national convenience and gas partners. The convenience industry represents more than 78,000 jobs in Ontario alone, serving 2.7 million customers daily, and for many retailers, lottery is the number one traffic driver, notes Theoret. “My commitment is to preserve the integrity of the programs we offer to our convenience partners ensuring that there's mutual growth benefits and to maximize profitability.” “Partners” is a key word. Theoret is not content with the status quo, as demonstrated in OLG’s standing as a top partner by many convenience retailers. A focus on consumer-centric insights; evolving, adapting and optimizing programs; and empirically proving the strong return on investment in convenience retailers are key to this success, says Theoret. “This has translated into a consistent increase in investment and support, ultimately maximizing revenue for both convenience retail partners and OLG.” CCentral.ca


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SPOTLIGHT

InNOVAtion TEXT BY DONALEE MOULTON PHOTOGRAPHY BY DEAN CASAVECHIA

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Nova Grocery packs old and new favourites in small space

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“Brand new” but also “wellestablished” may be the best way to describe the 40-year-old Nova Grocery in Halifax.

In 2015, Mostafa Khallaf purchased

the convenience store in downtown Halifax after having worked there for a friend who owned the shop. In 2017, he learned the building where the store was located was being torn down to make way for a more modern three-storey structure. Khallaf negotiated a lease with the owner, but had to wait a year for construction to be completed. On January 19, 2018, Nova Grocery opened its doors to the neighbourhood once more. “This is a great location,” says Khallaf. “It’s a very busy corner. Students are walking to Dalhousie University. Employees are making their way to work. Shoppers and tourists are strolling to Spring Garden Road, one of the busiest streets in the city.” In addition to the foot traffic at most hours of the day, Nova Grocery’s location is distinctive in one

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other, more modern way: it’s located literally feet from the only licensed cannabis store in downtown Halifax. “That gives me a distinct advantage,” notes Khallaf. He points out that sales are increasing, but have not yet reached pre-2018 levels. Khallaf is working to change that. First, he’s very price-conscious. “I try to keep prices down (because) this is a very competitive area. There is a Shoppers Drug Mart on the corner and a dollar store nearby.” In addition, Khallaf is increasing the store’s profile through social media. He has opened an account on Instagram and uses Facebook to highlight product areas, such as cold beverages and snacks. Staples like lottery tickets, cigarettes and potato chips account for many sales, but Khallaf is adding to the mix in new and established ways. For instance, given his clientele, he offers a selection of cellphone accessories. There is also a choice of smoking accessories, including tins of XXX Amsterdam tobacco. For winter walkers, Nova Grocery offers a selection of toques with a built-in wireless headset for only $19.99. For the first time, Khallaf is also introducing unique items from Egypt, where he was born. A wide selecJULY/AUGUST 2019

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If someone comes into the store and leaves without purchasing anything, I always ask them what they were looking for and how I can help. I want to be sure they find what they want at Nova Grocery.”

tion of certified papyrus artwork, framed and unframed, is now available. “I brought these back from with me from a trip and will promote them on my new Instagram page,” says Khallaf. Despite the diversity of products, Nova Grocery doesn’t feel cramped or crowded. There is natural light from large windows on both sides of the front door and space is maximized by the efficient use of shelving around the walls. While inventory and aesthetics are important, equally critical to the store’s success is the personal and friendly atmosphere that imbues Nova Grocery. “Customers like a wave and a smile. They want to feel welcome,” notes Khallaf. That insight comes from reaching out to customers directly. “I’m always looking for feedback,” says Khallaf. “If someone comes into the store and leaves without purchasing anything, I always ask them what they were looking for and how I can help. I want to be sure they find what they want at Nova Grocery.” ◗

Nova Grocery’s top tips for a successful store: Invest time and money in the store. Take the time to understand what works and what doesn’t, says owner Mostafa Khallaf. He stresses the need to do your research. Meet with suppliers to determine who will offer the best products at the best price. Invest in yourself. Being hands-on is essential, says Khallaf, who is in his final year of a four-year Bachelor of Business Administration at Mount Saint Vincent University. “You need to understand inventory, accounting, marketing.”

Snapshot Opened: First opened in the 1970s. Reopened in 2018 as part of a new building at the same location in downtown Halifax. Size: 600 sq. ft. Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eclectic items: “The Wall of Fame” features dozens of items, including Canada cowboy hats, five-hour energy drinks, LED lightbulbs and Halloween masks.

Invest in the future. While it is important to understand what fuels the business today, looking ahead is critical. “If you don’t expand, the profit margin is very limited. Business will stop growing,” says Khallaf.

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SPOTLIGHT

The heart of the community Dépanneur Le Pick-Up becomes a hip destination by remaining true to its roots TEXT BY MARK CARDWELL PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHANTALE LECOURS

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Sometimes the heart trumps reason. Just ask Montreal dépanneur owner Penny Pattison. Ten years ago she and friend/business partner Bernadette Houde were aspiring entrepreneurs looking for a small business they could buy and run together. “We were both at a point in our lives where we wanted to do something different,” recalls Pattison, who worked in business management. Houde—aka Bernie Bankrupt from the band Lesbians on Ecstasy—previously owned and operated a café. The duo’s search led to Chez Maurice, a once-popular convenience store and lunch counter in a hardluck industrial area north of downtown Montreal, but notably close to the Jean-Talon Market, Little Italy and the bourgeois Mile End neighbourhood. “All the needle trade businesses in the area were gone CCentral.ca

and the store wasn’t doing very well, which is why it was for sale,” says Pattison. “From a strictly business standpoint it didn’t look too promising. But the store looked cute, we had friends in the area and we really believed the neighbourhood needed a place like this. It was a unique opportunity and we went for it.” They changed the name to Dépanneur Le Pick-Up, but otherwise Pattison and Houde kept the business looking and operating much the way it had since it opened in the 1950s. “We kept the original lunch counter and stools, which we love and really give the place a lot of charm and make it unique—there just aren’t many places like this anymore,” says Pattison. “The business was really centred on the food. And we kept everything from the original menu, like burgers,

steak subs, hot dogs and breakfast sandwiches, which are the most popular items. There’s no fries or anything like that. We don’t do any deep frying.” The partners also maintained the popular variety of items that stock the store’s fridges and shelves, including beer, wine, soft drinks, chips, candy bars and snacks, as well as cigarettes and simple household items like toilet paper. “There are two large grocery stores nearby that have everything and are open all the time, so we just stock the essentials,” says Pattison. Much to Pattison and Houde’s delight (and perhaps due in part to the confidence and vibe they brought to the neighbourhood) Dépanneur Le PickUp is now a hub in what’s considered the hippest square-mile enclave on the Island of Montreal.

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Rock-bottom rents in the area’s abandoned industrial buildings attracted a host of new businesses that span garages, body shops, ethnic restaurants, small food processing companies, white collar professionals and even a documentary production company that sometimes works with Hollywood stars (Bill Pullman was a mealtime regular while in town filming). “The neighbourhood is very popular and there’s a really dynamic mix of businesses and people,” says Pattison. “And, many of our suppliers—the butcher, the coffee maker, the fishmonger— are within walking distance, as is the Jean Talon Market. How cool is that?” Equally cool is the nickname— Mile-Ex—bestowed on the area by Montreal media. The buzz and action drive a steady stream of customers through Dépanneur Le Pick-Up, where convenience item sales account for about a

Dépanneur Le Pick-Up's top tips ➦ 36

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third of revenue, but fresh food is the big attraction. “The items on the original menu remain popular and so are the things we’d added like good coffee and fresh baked goods that we make here,” says Pattison. “We also added picnic tables to seat a dozen more people outside at lunch. There are always people there when the weather’s nice.” During the first few years, the owners worked the store all day every day, but today responsibilities are shared with the dozen or so employees hired during the busy summer months. Pattison and Houde also own and operate a nearby gay bar called Alexandraplatz, which is open most nights from May to October. “Over time we’ve kind of stepped back into a more managerial role,” says Pattison of Dépanneur Le Pick-Up’s evolution. “We’re really happy with how things have turned out.” ◗

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Respect your customer base. “Know

what they want and what are looking for.”

| JULY/AUGUST 2019

Snapshot Name: Dépanneur Le Pick-Up Owners: Penny Pattison and Bernadette Houde Location: 7032 Waverly, Montreal Atmosphere: Ultra hip. This corner store in Montreal’s Marconi-Alexandra (aka Mile-Ex) neighbourhood features a vintage lunch counter and fun back patio where you’ll find local meat packers and mechanics rubbing shoulders with members of Montreal’s arts community. Employees: Two to four during winter months, up to 15 in summer. Hours: Vary by season, open later during the summer months. Website: www.depanneurlepickup.com

2|

A fair product for a fair price. “That’s been our motto from day one. It’s who we are.”

3 | Hire good people. “You want people who like what they do and will help make the work environment more pleasureful.”

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eNEWS

Get the latest industry news on convenience, gas and car wash, to help your business thrive. ALL CONVENIENCE + BACK COUNTER + FOOD FOCUS + SHOP TALK + MONTHLY RECAP

SIGN UP FOR FREE AT CCentral.ca

SEPT 24 - 26

TORONTO

Join us in Toronto September 24 - 26, 2019 to listen to inspiring and informative speakers, network with colleagues at the trade exchange and celebrate excellence in our industry.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the industry event of the year

for details visit www.convenienceindustry.ca


CATEGORY CHECK

BY TALBOT BOGGS

Never boring From new formats to fresh flavours, chocolate is always evolving: satisfy customers with a balance of trend and tradition Canadians’ love for chocolate is alive and well, as they visit convenience stores for old favourites, as well as new flavours and sizes to satisfy cravings for the “food of the gods.” The latest figures from Nielsen Canada show that sales of chocolate in the convenience and gas channel in Canada for the year ended March 2, 2019 grew by 2% to $178 million. Sugarless chocolate led the growth (up 35%), followed by seasonal chocolate products (6%), and every day/ sugared chocolate products (2%). Only every day seasonal chocolate showed a decline in sales (3%). There are several new trends emerging in the chocolate category. Joel Gregoire, associate director of Mintel Canada Food and Drink Reports, says there’s been an evolution in chocolate confectionary with the introduction of larger-sized tablet chocolate bars, thins and more seasonal chocolates. “This can be interpreted as being a shift in the formats that Canadians are turning to for their chocolate fix and points to the importance of chocolate confections that are sold not just at the checkout line, but in other areas of the store,” he says, In addition, chocolate manufacturers can learn from the makers of alcohol beverages, who are infusing products with exotic new flavours and highlighting interesting twists, such as cask-aged bourbon and strawberry champagne. Ruby chocolate, for instance, is taking the industry’s colour palette beyond white, milk and dark. Barry Callebaut introduced ruby chocolate in September 2017, calling it “the biggest innovation in 80 years.” Arti-

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san chocolate makers quickly embraced the flavour and now confectionary manufacturers are giving old favourites a new spin. “The new ruby Kit Kat, made from the natural ruby cocoa bean, has a characteristic pink hue and unique flavour that consumers are raving about,” says Ryan Saunders, vice-president marketing, confectionary at Nestlé Canada. Flavour infusion is also the secret to creating popular better-for-you products. “While white chocolate will always be an indulgence, there are ways to infuse elements of nutrition through superfood ingredients, such as chia seeds, matcha, honey lavender, turmeric, orange chunks and coconut into dark chocolate, which now has a well-established reputation for offering added antioxidants,” says Gregoire. In addition, convenience retailers have an opportunity to drive sales and satisfy customers’ desire for new experiences by mixing chocolate delights with other snacks, such as pretzels, popcorn and nuts. “We know that indulgence is a key driver of food selection in the evening for a snack in front of the television, for example,” says Gregoire, adding the picture is more complex in the afternoon when people are looking for a boost. Convenience stores can answer all needs by offering snack kits with chocolate, as well as a solid mix of new format and entrenched brands “to satisfy conflicting wants of convenience, portability and energy.” The chocolate category is abuzz with new tastes and trends, however old favourites still reign.

“While there are always fun and interesting new products in the category, nothing comes close to the old classics,” Saunders says. “While we sometimes get excited about what is new, if you don’t have the top products within arms’ reach you’ll lose sales opportunities. Retailers can maximize sales and profit by continually understanding and responding to local and macro trends as they change and evolve.” ◗

Bite-size tips Offer new size options, such as tablets and thins, which give customers the option to snack now and save some for later.

Display better-foryou options and exciting new flavours for a fresh snacking experience.

Pair chocolate products with other snacks, such as pretzels, popcorn and nuts.

Stay true to traditional favourites that keep your customers coming back for more.

CCentral.ca


We would like to THANK OUR SUPPLIER PARTNERS for donating to this charity and supporting this event!

AUGUST 26-30, 2019

NATIONAL

CONVENIENCE WEEK OUR ITWAL FULL SERVICE DISTRIBUTOR’S WEST

Coldstar Solutions Inc. - BC J & F Distributors Ltd. - BC Morton Clarke & Co. Ltd. - BC Pratts - AB/SK/MB Shoppers Wholesale Food Co. - BC Wallace & Carey Inc. - BC/AB/SK/MB

ONTARIO

Beech Brothers Ltd. Campbellford Wholesale Co. Ltd. Courtney’s Distributing Inc. Falls Wholesale Ltd. Farquhar Massey Wholesale Ltd. Fortier Beverage Ltd. Hyde’s Distribution J.N. Webb & Sons Ltd. Loudon Bros. Ltd. Ritchies Wholesale Ltd. Wallace & Carey Inc.

QUEBEC

Beaudry Cadrin Inc. Ben Deshaies Inc. Consultants de L’Arctique Distribution Regitan F. Charest Ltée.

ATLANTIC

Brown Derby Wholesale Ltd. - NL Capital Foodservice Ltd. - NB Carol-Wabush Distributing - NL C.L. Comeau & Cie Ltée - NB E.L. Bugden Ltd. - NL F.J. Wadden & Sons Ltd. - NL Goulding’s Wholesale Ltd. - NL J.B. Hand & Sons Ltd. - NL Kays Wholesale Inc. - PEI Nor-Lab Ltd. - NL


BACKTALK

BY MICHELLE WARREN

Experiential learning PwC Canada’s Consumer Insights Survey shows that on top of traditional Return on Investment (ROI) metrics used to determine success, companies need to introduce another metric that zeros in on consumers: Return on Experience (ROX).

Elisa Swern, partner, consumer markets, PwC Canada, on what c-stores need to know about the evolving consumer and delivering ROX.

CSN: PwC Canada’s Consumer Insights Survey highlights the importance of the consumer experience: How does that play out for c-stores? ES: Regardless of the type of store, consumers want convenience and ease. They want a seamless experience that will draw them back to the store. Retailers should focus on technology

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to capture as many insights as possible to understand consumers’ preferences for products. Convenience stores can focus on their consumers and how their employees impact this seamless experience to generate sales and repeat consumers. C-stores are a community hub with small footprint stores that provide the potential for unique and friendly experiences between customers and employees.

How do c-stores deliver ROX? Return on experience helps companies understand the return they’re getting on investments made into parts of the organization directly related to how consumers interact with their brand. PwC Canada’s Consumer Insights report indicates that more Canadians are engaging in micro-trips to the grocery store throughout the week rather than going only once per week. CCentral.ca


They want fast and convenient shopping experiences and convenience stores can offer it. Consumers who go to convenience stores are usually there for a few minutes to pick up what they need. Anecdotally, we know that consumers are now expecting convenience stores to have more items than just newspapers and gum. They are looking for hot food options, health food and even more toiletries.

How are consumers changing and what does this mean for the future of c-stores? PwC Canada’s Consumer Insights report indicates that some consumers prefer in-store trips versus online ordering because they like to see and touch products, while others enjoy the experience of discovering new products in-store. Nearly half of respondents said they have concerns over the quality of products. Seeing items firsthand and with assistance from knowledgeable employees can help with their decisions. Also, sustainability is becoming a top priority for Canadian consumers, regardless of the type of shop. Food items being organic, sustainably packaged and ethically produced are top of the shopping list. Finally, consumers still like their loyalty programs. Tracking what consumers normally buy and acting upon it, demonstrates that the retailer has applied their knowledge of what’s important to the consumer to improve their return on experience. Providing this value back to the consumer in exchange for their data is important.

What role does technology play in building these relationships? Voice-enabled tech is creating a new communications channel for retailers and consumers: 17% of Canadians we CCentral.ca

What needs to evolve in stores to deliver these experiences? A greater focus on data and insights. Collecting insights about consumer behaviour will help c-stores focus on the right product mix and services—making sure that items most important to consumers are available and increasing awareness of this with their customers is key. It’s equally important to deliver consistent experiences for consumers through employee training and investment. Experience doesn’t necessarily mean creating a VIP or niche one. It can be, and is typically, centered around creating a positive experience for the consumer. Where they leave the store with a feeling of ease and intent to return.

surveyed are already using smart home voice assistants to make purchases. Retailers need to start tapping into rich voice data information, as it adds context to consumer interactions. By tapping into this data, retailers will be able to improve their relationships and interactions with consumers. For instance, they’ll be able to suggest a new product while the consumer is shopping or direct consumers to their closest c-store to purchase the item searched.

Any specific insights for independent c-store operators? Get to know your consumers and their preferences. Typically, consumers will go back to their closest convenience store if they offer the right products and knowledgeable, friendly service. While investing in technology might be more difficult for independent c-store operators, they can start by using point-ofsale data to gain insight into the products consumers buy and record feedback on what they want and couldn’t find, for example, specific products and brands. Being knowledgeable about the product is always key for a strong consumer experience. If you know

the product and can share information with consumers, they are more likely to purchase it from you.

What macro retail trends do c-store retailers need to know about? Technology is key, but if retailers collect data they must treat it with respect and protect it to build a long and trusted relationship with the consumer. The consumer needs to see that there is an equal value of exchange between their data, and what they are receiving in return.

What is the biggest challenge for this industry? Rapidly changing and growing consumer demands because of technology. C-stores need to stay on top of technology trends if they want to keep interacting with their consumers and provide them with the products and the experience they are looking for.

What is the big opportunity? Making c-stores a community hub where consumers can do their onestop-shop. ◗ This interview has been condensed and edited.

JULY/AUGUST 2019

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Profile for ensembleiq

Octane English - Jul/Aug 2019  

Octane English - Jul/Aug 2019