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General sessions, such as "Yes, You Can Compete Against the New Gasoline Retailers" offered retailers tips for banding together to fight high-volume retailers (HVRs) and grocers with gasoline offerings highlighted the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores' 27th annual meeting.
Keynote speaker Mike Wayschack warned convenience store and petroleum operators in the Peach State that a concerted effort is necessary to hold off HVRs and supermarkets, who are strongly pursuing the fuel market.
Other speakers followed a similar theme. In "Retailer Supplier Issues 2001," Henry Colley of Sprint Foods, Paul Tomaszewski of Pacer Fuels Retail and Sam Turner of Dalton-based Calfee Co., discussed issues such as third shift deliveries with a panel of suppliers. When questions from the floor shifted the conversation to technology, Turner argued that although many operators have invested heavily in data gathering and decision support technologies -- particularly scanning -- suppliers were often reluctant to use retailer data to eliminate slow moving products or create packaged deals targeted at the c-store segment.
Still, with over 150 suppliers and vendors in attendance -- making this year?s floor show one of the largest ever for GACS -- suppliers and retailers vowed to work together to resolve these issues and more in a market that is poised for growth, Wayschack said.