I recently discussed three trends convenience stores need to be aware of in order to stay competitive in this Convenience Store Decisions article. Here are some of the highlights:
The convenience store space is continuing to evolve to keep up with industry trends and consumer demands. We see the following three trends as important for leading convenience store operators to consider in 2016 and beyond:
Convergence through convenience and differentiation
Food retail concepts are converging. Shoppers are no longer surprised to see convenience stores that look more like restaurants or smaller format grocery stores that specialize in on-the-go offerings. Flexible infrastructures are needed as retailers adapt to changing store concepts, and there is a greater need for improved equipment operation and maintenance.
Increasing importance on freshness and food quality
While the idea of convenience stores offering fresh, prepared foods is not new, the trend has accelerated over the past few years, and we anticipate it will continue to grow. This leads to increasing importance on authenticating freshness and food quality. Competitive retailers will begin to use intelligent facility systems data to substantiate how their foods remain fresh from “farm to fork.”
Effect of changing regulations on operations
There are three key regulations that will impact foodservice retailers in the coming years. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) changes will result in an increasing importance on collecting and utilizing data related to the safety and integrity of fresh foods. EPA and DOE regulation changes will result in retailers needing to increase their focus on refrigerants and energy efficiency. And finally, workforce regulation changes and increasing labor costs will lead retailers to look to additional technology and automation for solutions.
Read the full article in Convenience Store Decisionshere.
And to learn about five emerging trends for supermarket retailers, read this blog post.
President, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies
In the January issue of Chain Store Age, we discussed government regulations that will affect supermarket and convenience store retailers in 2016. Below are the highlights:
In 2016, retail chains will continue to face increasing competition and high consumer expectations. Changing regulations will also impact retail businesses. We see three regulatory issues as the most critical for the retail industry this year and beyond:
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) For retailers offering fresh foods, FSMA will have an impact on food integrity and safety, and may help with reducing food waste. As retailers focus more on “farm to table” freshness, the result will be an increased importance on collecting and utilizing data related to the safety and integrity of foods.
Refrigerant and energy efficiency standards
The EPA and DOE are working diligently with industry leaders to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, move to climate-friendly refrigerants and employ advanced refrigeration technologies. Most of these technologies are not “drop-in” substitutes for retrofitting. Retailers and their suppliers will need to plan and collaborate to fulfill all guidelines.
Changing workforce regulations Retailers will continue to deal with employment and workforce regulation changes. Increasing labor costs will lead retailers to look to additional technology and automation for solutions.
I recently wrote an article for Convenience Store Decisions, highlighting the practical benefits of facility controls for today’s convenience store operator. A brief summary of the article is below.
Today, many convenience stores utilize energy management systems for HVAC, refrigeration, lighting and other building systems. Some retailers couple this with monitoring services that provide real-time performance data on building operations, system efficiency, energy usage and more. These operators can use facility insights to increase equipment uptime, eliminate unnecessary truck rolls, minimize emergency service call costs and improve effectiveness of service technicians.
Below are six benefits of using facility controls for improved operation and maintenance of convenience store refrigeration systems:
Information and expertise keeps stores operating smoothly.
Expert triage avoids unnecessary, costly service calls.
Direct-to-store alerts allow local problem solving.
Remote monitoring can identify system issues before they appear locally.
When service calls are needed, technicians are better prepared before dispatch.
Operate consistently across all stores with enterprise-wide control.
There is a great opportunity for convenience store operators to better utilize store equipment for a higher return on investment by leveraging energy management systems and monitoring services. New technology and IoT deployment is improving options daily, and Emerson Climate Technologies can help operators currently using these systems to better understand the latest capabilities available.
Read the full Convenience Store Decisions article online here.
Product Manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services
Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions
In a recent articlefor CSPnet.com, deputy group editor Abbie Westra interviewed two experts from our Retail Solutions team to discuss solutions that bring connectivity to foodservice equipment. Paul Hepperla shares some of the highlights below.
At Emerson Climate Technologies, we’ve been talking about connected kitchen technology as the latest in our offering for foodservice retailers. Dean Landeche, VP of marketing for Retail Solutions, and I sat down with an editor from CSPnet.com to discuss how we’re helping foodservice equipment manufacturers bring the Internet of Things to commercial kitchens.
This is the sixth and final post in a six-part series that addresses the main business challenges convenience store operators face today.
In the previous post, we discussed the challenges convenience store operators face with limited store staff. To be successful in an increasingly competitive market, convenience store associates need to focus on delivering high quality customer service, not on operational responsibilities — such as monitoring refrigeration or HVAC systems — that can keep customers waiting.
Commercial & Residential Solutions is a global innovator of energy-efficient heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. www.climate.emerson.com