3 Ways Retailers Can Survive In A Volatile Economy

Justin Christensen |

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It was 1913 when this country’s first drive-up service station opened its doors in Pittsburgh, Pa. Gas cost 27 cents per gallon and road maps were free. Business was simple, but even then business owners had insurance.

Today, the concept of convenience remains and retailers still take out insurance, but what about the things that aren’t covered? Things that can put a spin on your business in a heartbeat; such as a drop in fuel supply when demand is up, a spike in the price of oil or a volatile economy?

How do retailers continue to survive?

You need to work with a trusted fuel distributor. Here are three ways your business can benefit.

Reliability and Availability

In the midst of destructive weather patterns, unpredictable global events or fluctuating local market conditions, you still need to conduct business. Retail convenience is about getting customers through quickly, and retail owners need to know that suppliers will be able to deliver the products they need at the right time.

A fuel distributor with decades of industry experience who is already servicing more than 300 other retail outlets can do that. Having supply agreements with every available major oil company in the northwest and trucks strategically located at every fuel terminal means you get the product you want from the most efficient location. Delivery sizes are optimized and through a signed partnership, and you will be given priority over those who change suppliers frequently.

With that kind of retail networking, an experienced fuel distributor can also help eliminate run-outs and other mistakes. It’s reassuring to know that you count on their reliability and availability, even when the unexpected arises.

Pricing

Fuel market conditions and pricing can change overnight. Absorbing unexpected costs when other industry expenses such as credit and debit card fees continue to rise can be overwhelming so you need to take control where you can.

When your fuel distributor has a supply and risk marketing manager on its team of experts, that volatility can be averted. Through local and global market analysis, they can forecast pricing and determine the best prices to buy and sell. They can also help you determine if bulk fuel purchasing or a fixed price contract may be in the best interest of your business.

Having that kind of information in advance helps you to minimizes risks and plan a manageable budget. With a fuel distributor delivering at the most competitive price, your business can thrive and your customers can enjoy the savings, too.

Growth

Many people and businesses are still trying to recover from the economic downturn of 2008-09 and current industry trends can cause their own shifts as well—it’s not easy having to compete with larger retail chains. However, continued business success and even growth is still possible.

According to the latest National Association of Convenience Stores/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count, the number of convenience stores across the nation rose 1.4 percent to an all time high of 151,282.

If you’re considering growth within your existing location or expanding to new ones, your fuel distributor is an excellent resource to help make that happen. As the owner of more than a dozen retail outlets, they understand the operational challenges and can offer their expertise and support in the areas of volume and profitability building programs, business-building promotions and merchandising.

A smart fuel distributor will help you to focus on your business and find ways to stay competitive. Because when you succeed, it succeeds.