The convenience top 101

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An Independent Perspective

Almost every Top 101 retailer started with just one store. With that in mind, CSP asked independent retailers to share their ambitions and growth plans for the coming year.

It’s Good Being Small

“As a small retailer, we can react on that stuff a little quicker. We’re known for being more involved in the community. We do fall festivals in each of the towns we operate in. We partner with local charities and regional groups, like the American Breast Cancer Association. We also partner with the national St. Jude Hospital.” --Tom Moser, general manager, Tevis Oil Inc., dba Jiffy Mart, Westminster, Md. (four stores)

“We lead with personality vs. lead with committees. [We’re] faster to react. You can call a company meeting without calling an event coordinator. You’re able to make changes fast.” --Sam Odeh, president and CEO, Power Mart Corp., Elmhurst, Ill. (five stores)

“We’re probably not going to be a 100-store chain. We’re happy being more than a single-store operator but a lot less than a Sheetz or a Wawa. We have a lot less corporate [overhead].” --Dwayne Cover, business manager, Tevis Oil, dba Jiffy Mart

Growth Aspirations

“Our company has set a goal of 50 stores between now and 2016. But we’ve found three distinct challenges: financials, cost and the operator. If we were doing them as a company corporate store, all three would be addressed. But because I have to do them through my dealer network, those are the challenges I face. I can present the concept and tell him it’s going to cost $2.5 million. And I’m going to hear, ‘Sam, I just don’t have that.’ ” --Sam Odeh

“It’s all about finding the right location. And let’s face it: A new store footprint today, you’re looking at probably a $5 million investment, easy. So it’s about having the money and getting the right location.” --Tom Moser

“We’re trying to move toward a website with coupons online. We’re trying to … get people who have liked us to share with a friend and get a larger database going.” --Josh Lund, owner, Beaudry Express, Elk River, Minn. (one store)