Fuelco President Shares His Secret for Building C-store Sales

Adam Musa says loss leaders incentivize customers to visit, while building awareness.

VALHALLA, N.Y. — All convenience store operators should make sure to include one particular step in their strategic plans to boost sales, according to Fuelco President Adam Musa: establish creative loss-leader programs that inspire customer loyalty.

"Loss leaders help to raise awareness about your store, and they give people a reason to come in," Musa said while sharing his tips for building c-store sales in 2022. At his company's Foodsmart stores, frozen yogurt often sells for 99 cents for any size. "Even though both small and large frozen yogurts are 99 cents, many of our customers are health conscious and they buy the small portions."

Foodsmart stores also sell any-size coffee for 99 cents, a price that was prompted by the success of another c-store chain.

"We were inspired by 7-Eleven's Bring Your Own Cup Slurpee promotion," Musa said.

Valhalla-based Fuelco/Foodsmart locations feature deeply discounted fuel alongside fresh and healthy in-store offerings and c-store staples. The brand seeks to respond to evolving consumer tastes, as Convenience Store News reported.

Foodsmart stores frequently change their loss leaders and promote them as specials. One popular deal is two hot dogs for $2, which encourages customers to also buy beverages and additional items that are not marked down.

Specific loss leaders are designed to attract specific customers, such as frozen yogurt and hot dog deals that appeal to nearby community college students and the coffee promotion that appeals to many commuters from the area.

"As gas becomes less relevant because of electric vehicles and remote work, we need to ramp up our convenience store sales," Musa said. "These specials are essential tools in reaching our goals."

Fuelco launched in 2020 and currently operates two locations in Valhalla and Yonkers, N.Y. New Fuelco/Foodsmart sites are expected to come to Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties by the end of 2022.

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