Active shooter situations are increasing. What can grocery store and convenience store owners do to prepare for these terrifying situations? It is no secret that active shooter cases have been on the rise over the last several years, and with the recent grocery store shootings in Colorado, Florida and New York, grocers need to be prepared should this ever happen in their stores.
Merchant Snapshot: AJ Jabr
Our Merchant Spotlight for September goes to AJ Jabr, a multi store owner in Michigan. The family owned business has been successfully running Citgo Gas for 3 years and 2575 Dix Station Inc for 12 years.
Owning two stores, AJ knew they had to be aggressive with their selling and willing to take chances to keep ahead of the competition. They make sure they are staying up to date with the latest trends, offering the newest products. They’ll see what stores like 7- eleven are selling and start carrying some of the same products in their store. When asked how that tactic has worked for them he said “ Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t, but it’s about taking a chance.” Some other things that have made them successful is by offering a lot of deals:
- Mondays → Buy 1 get 1 free on snacks
- Tuesdays → $2 off a minimum $5 purchase
- Fridays → 2 liter bottles, buy one get one free
The deals bring in a lot of customers as well as getting them repeat customers. Offering deals and great prices is just one of the ways they make sure they are beating the competition. They also advertise on social media to attract customers and run advertisements in the newspaper once a month as well as offering U-Haul Services. Their store 2275 Dix Station Inc also has a car wash that brings in a lot of business as well.
They recognized quickly that their area had a big SNAP need, they make sure they are attracting these customers by hanging up a lot of goEBT signs inside and outside of their store. He said it has helped increase their sales as well as drive traffic to their stores.
Their food services have helped gain attention to the stores also. With breakfast sandwiches and pizza from Buscemis and Cassab's Pizza, customers often walk in to buy one thing and leave with more. In the future, they plan on opening a yogurt or a ice cream self-serve machine in their stores. Self-serve options are growing popular among big name convenience stores. This is just one more way AJ plans to take what the competition is doing and improve it for HIS customers.
We asked AJ what’s the reason their store has been successful. He said taking pride in their store, even when it comes to the smallest details is what has made them be successful. They want to ensure that their store is the best in every way. Between AJ, his mom, dad and sister, they make sure someone is at each location during all business hours. They also have a manager and an assistant manager on staff as well as several employees. Their employees are held to high standards offering great and friendly customer service, in uniform wearing a name tag at all times, making sure the shelves are stocked, and keeping the store clean.
AJ Jabr also makes sure that they are giving back to the community. They work with Citgo Gas participating in a program called Spirit Program where once a month, they donate money to the local elementary schools. For 5 days every month, a percentage of all gas sales will go to help the local schools.
AJ's family has taken all of the right steps to keep attracting new customers and getting repeat customers. Their innovative ideas and dedication to their stores makes customers want to keep coming back. It doesn't stop there, they are currently looking to open a third location in early 2019. For AJ's family, this is only the beginning and more growth and success is to come.