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A Customer Favorite: Mom & Pop C-Stores

Nearly two-thirds of convenience stores are independently owned and operated. The single-store or family owned business has recently re-emerged as a major trend in convenience. Some large stores are even remodeling their locations to achieve the small business and more local aesthetic. With new and innovative trends still giving the larger companies and chains a competitive advantage, Mom and Pop c-stores are left wondering whether customers will be lured in by their large rivals or is the small business niche still secure in the industry?

Secrets of Success

For years the Mom and Pop c-stores have won over customers with their small shop style. Shoppers love how they are always open to change and letting technology work with them instead of against them. Although some Mom and Pop stores have only accepted cash in the past, many owners have adapted to provide card processing among other modern technology.

These stores also know their strengths: fast in and out times paired with friendly customer service. A part of providing the ideal customer service is trying to avoid price gouging or other sneaky tactics commonly used by some larger c-store chains. Some of these Mom and Pop c-stores have also taken the initiative to become a store within a store and a neighborhood staple by hosting farmer’s markets or allowing other local sellers to market their goods. Regulars of this small, family-owned store always know what to expect, which helps to secure long-time repeat customers.

A Popular Business Style

Many owners are embracing the "Mom and Pop" business style because the close-knit hardworking employees help guarantee a consistent customer base. Mom and Pop c-store employees typically:

  • are related to each other creating an easier work environment
  • are more reliable and value the business just as much as owners do
  • work with the business over a long period which gives them unique experience, knowledge, and skills
  • can better anticipate customer needs making sure the right products are stocked or ready for purchase
  • are familiar with regular customers
  • can better upsell by giving tailored recommendations that customers trust

These are just a couple of ways that this business style keeps customers happy and owners thriving. Along with great employees and an atmosphere customers love, the family owned c-stores that are known to be safe, and clean guarantee their success even further.

Human Connection Provides Future Security

This style of c-store has been around for many years, and does not appear to be going away anytime soon. Even with competition from Amazon or other large companies, the friendly small shop style has a human connection that automation and e-commerce simply cannot replace. As an owner of a Mom and Pop c-store, you should continually adapt and meet consumer demands to keep customers coming back.

Pay attention to the new technology and product trends that are being introduced. If you can find a way to make it work in your c-store, then you should focus on how it can make your job easier and improve your customer experience. Avoid anything that seems inconvenient and stay true to the simple, friendly nature of your store. Many customers may be intrigued by self-service, but many customers will still prefer good quality, reliable, and face-to-face service that you have always and will continue to provide.

in goEBT News