When Greg McCune’s constituents want to engage in discussion about city issues, they know exactly where to find him: in Sutherland’s Bakery, his local c-gas and foodservice site. The Enderby, BC city councillor says this post gives him the perfect opportunity to connect with his customers.
Sutherland’s Bakery has been in the McCune family for more than 30 years, with a location that’s particularly inviting for local mill workers and students. McCune takes pride in his deli and bakery, using regular foodservice combos to attract customers and provide them with that extra value.
“A lot of people will see the promotion signage, and it draws them in,” he explains. “Once they’re in the store, the opportunity is there for us to convince them we have a great store and that we’ve got lots of great products. We run a lot of features to try to get that extra item in the basket.
“When there’s a promotion on, I’ll have the cashiers print receipts so I can go through them and see what the effect of that was – did we sell that item only, or did they pick up some cigarettes or a lottery ticket, too?”
The in-store environment is a major focus for McCune, who built his office with merchandising in mind. “It overlooks the floor, and it allows me to watch the traffic flow. I’m proud to say I don’t think we have a dead spot in the store.”
Communication with sales reps also helps McCune stay up to date. He says he looks for inspiration in other stores, and uses an iPad to send photos to his sales reps when he finds something he wants to bring to his site. He also regularly texts his reps so they don’t miss each other during their quarterly visit.
“Open communication with your reps is very important,” McCune says. “With all my suppliers, we contact each other at any time, and it works really well. Time invested that way will definitely benefit.”
McCune’s top tips for c-gas success:
Bundle up. Use promotions to bring customers in store, and track sales to gauge promotional success.
Lean on technology. Use cell phone/iPad photos and text messaging to communicate with your sales reps outside of the scheduled in-store visit.
Step outside. Visit other c-gas sites for inspiration and a fresh perspective on your own location.
Watch for more c-gas superheroes on CCentral over the next couple of months, and you’ll learn about retailers who are succeeding with foodservice, store branding, and social media.