MSA

Management Science Associates Inc.

Part 3 - View graphic - "Urban Hispanic and Smaller Metro Cigarette Store" segments

Part 2 - details of "traditional" and "mom & pop" segments

Part 1 - overview of the Independent C-store Study

“But I’m different!!!”….or are you?  Each convenience store owner or operator believes in his/her heart that his/her store is “different” from the independent store across the street or the chain store down the road.  The dynamics and variability of the convenience channel have indeed created an extremely diverse and fragmented trade-class.  But just how different, or similar, are you to other stores and what are the factors that drive differences in store performance? 

MSA, in collaboration with several major manufacturers, conducted a segmentation study to understand this 70,000+ independent-retailer universe.  This study revealed that eight distinct store-segments exist based on these factors. Many of these segments are nationally-represented, with several regional groups identified.  The segments are:

1.            National segment of “traditional” high-volume, full-service c-stores
2.            National cluster of low-volume, small-town “mom & pop” type stores
3.            Urban Hispanic segment on both coasts
4.            Smaller metro cigarette stores
5.            Smaller variety-type stores found heavily in the northeast
6.            Smaller stores with a focus on snuff/chew and confections in the south
7.            Extremely high-volume, suburban stores in the southeast
8.            Large, high-volume, full-service stores in the northeast & Rust Belt

Read more to learn about the characteristics of the Urban Hispanic and Smaller Metro Cigarette Store segments.  Do either of these two segments describe your store(s)?  

Check back for upcoming details about the characteristics of each segment.

More MSA articles: Click here.

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
C-store Segmentation
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA
All Articles

Part 2 - details of "traditional" and "mom & pop" segments

Part 1 - overview of the Independent C-store Study

“But I’m different!!!”….or are you?  Each convenience store owner or operator believes in his/her heart that his/her store is “different” from the independent store across the street or the chain store down the road.  The dynamics and variability of the convenience channel have indeed created an extremely diverse and fragmented trade-class.  But just how different, or similar, are you to other stores and what are the factors that drive differences in store performance? 

MSA, in collaboration with several major manufacturers, conducted a segmentation study to understand this 70,000+ independent-retailer universe.  This study revealed that eight distinct store-segments exist based on these factors. Many of these segments are nationally-represented, with several regional groups identified.  The segments are:

1.            National segment of “traditional” high-volume, full-service c-stores
2.            National cluster of low-volume, small-town “mom & pop” type stores
3.            Urban Hispanic segment on both coasts
4.            Smaller metro cigarette stores
5.            Smaller variety-type stores found heavily in the northeast
6.            Smaller stores with a focus on snuff/chew and confections in the south
7.            Extremely high-volume, suburban stores in the southeast
8.            Large, high-volume, full-service stores in the northeast & Rust Belt

Part 2 shows the characteristics of the “traditional” high volume and “mom & pop” segments.  Do either of these two segments describe your store(s)?  

Check back for upcoming details about the characteristics of each segment.

More MSA articles: Click here.

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
C-store Segmentation
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA

Click to view the first of the eight segments identified by the Independent C-store Study

“But I’m different!!!”….or are you?  Each convenience store owner or operator believes in his/her heart that his/her store is “different” from the independent store across the street or the chain store down the road.  The dynamics and variability of the convenience channel have indeed created an extremely diverse and fragmented trade-class.  But just how different, or similar, are you to other stores and what are the factors that drive differences in store performance? 

Which segment describes your store(s)?  Read more here to see a summary of these eight segments, and stay tuned for upcoming updates to learn more about the characteristics of each segment.

More MSA articles: Click here.

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
C-store Segmentation
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA

Click to view cciPanel shopper insights-Part 2

The Convenience Consumer Insights Panel (cciPanel), a first-of-its-kind mobile research panel from Management Science Associates and Paradigm Sample, was designed to capture purchase-decision and attitudinal information among convenience store shoppers, including the millennial segment most likely to shop the channel.

cciPanel examined the recent market baskets among 18+ year old shoppers between April and September, 2012. Among 5,000 recent trips to convenience stores, 78% trips were made to chain stores, 17% to non-chain stores and 5% were unsure of store type.

In this Part 2 of shopper insights about non-chain convenience store visits, we learn:

  • Approximately 6 in 10 trips were made by shoppers employed outside the home.  Retailers should differentiate their store so that it becomes the destination for these in-transit visits to fulfill shoppers’ convenience needs.
  • While the majority of visits to C-stores occurred between the typical working hours of 9am and 5pm, retailers should offer special promotions to increase foot traffic and buyers during slower day parts, such as reduced price or combination deals on packaged beverages, salty snacks and confections.
  • Buyers who made last-minute stops spent less than buyers who planned their trips. Retailers should utilize outdoor signage and social media to drive more traffic inside the store and place impulse items in high traffic areas to increase dollars per trip.

More MSA articles: Click here.

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
C-store Shopper Behavior
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA

Click to view cciPanel shopper insights

The Convenience Consumer Insights Panel (cciPanel), a first-of-its-kind mobile research panel from Management Science Associates and Paradigm Sample, was designed to capture purchase-decision and attitudinal information among convenience store shoppers, including the millennial segment most likely to shop the channel.

cciPanel examined the recent market baskets among 18+ year old shoppers between April and September, 2012. Among 5,000 recent trips to convenience stores, 78% trips were made to chain stores, 17% to non-chain stores and 5% were unsure of store type.

Some shopper insights from these non-chain convenience store visits:

  • Visitors to convenience stores have varied missions; some routinely visit to buy tobacco and lottery tickets, while others make last-minute stops for beverages, gas and on-the-go immediate consumption snacks.
  •  Retailers should employ tactics, such as using social media and prominently displaying signage at the gas pumps, to drive traffic into their stores to build a loyal customer base and attract new customers
  • Differentiate your store and product assortment and provide superior customer service so that you become their preferred C-store.
  • Reward your regular customers with promotional offers to increase their trips to your store and dollars per trip

See more MSA articles: Click here

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
C-store Shopper Behavior
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA

Click to view E-cig presentation

The electronic cigarettes category is growing rapidly, with industry experts projecting $1.7B category sales at retail in 2013.  There will be jockeying for market leadership position among the earlier entrants such as Lorillard’s blu and NJOY; the more recent entrants from the remaining Big Tobacco manufacturers, Reynolds American’s Vuse and  Altria’s MarkTen; and among smaller, entrepreneurial manufacturers.  According to independent store level data from Management Science Associates, the top 7 brands account for over 80% of e-Cig equivalent unit volume, with Lorillard’s blu dominating with 45 share based on year-to-date volume through August 2013.

However, the size and market leaders of this innovative category could be influenced by any of the following factors:

  • Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products possible regulation of this innovative category. Regulation could place limits on:
    • flavors, variety or strengths
    • online sales
    • minimum legal age to purchase
    • standards for television, radio and print advertising
  • Potential for increased taxation at the state and local level
  • Possible local ordinances restricting consumer usage in public
  • Consumer perceptions:
    • acceptance or rejection around the safety of electronic cigarettes versus traditional tobacco
    • acceptance or rejection of electronic cigarettes as a device to reduce usage of traditional cigarettes
  • Consumer awareness, trial and long-term category acceptance, as indicated by high depth of repeat, as a complementary or replacement product to traditional tobacco and/or as an alternative smoking reduction/cessation product

The manufacturers who are best able to navigate through these market influences and deliver the products that satisfy consumers’ needs will have the greatest potential to benefit from this emergent category.

View E-cig statistics

Channel: 
Image: 
Caption: 
Electronic Cigarette Trends
Image Credit: 
Courtesty of MSA