Last month, Wal-Mart opened its first convenience store. The new Arkansas store is stocked full of convenience items from packaged groceries and non-food items to fresh sandwiches, pizzas, fruit and a walk-in beer cooler. A unique canopy covers the site's six fuel dispensers, extending from the pumps to the store entrance.
Wal-Mart dominates the supercenters with a 25 percent market share of the $585 billion industry. But they have also seen recent success with the smaller store, quick trip concepts like Wal-Mart Neighborhood market and Wal-Mart Express. Currently Wal-Mart holds 10 percent of the $415 billion quick trip market share, a percentage they are aggressively working to increase. Wal-Mart plans to nearly double the small store rollout within the year, representing 320 percent growth between fiscal years 2011 to 2015.*
Wal-Mart How can an independent c-store owner compete with prices as low as Wal-Mart's? How will independents remain viable and relevant to customers in this ever-evolving retail environment? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that large chains are doing something right. So how do they do it?
Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon says it plainly, "Customers' shopping habits are changing more rapidly than ever before. We must be more nimble and flexible as we operate our business to adapt to these changes...We have much to achieve this year, and this will inevitably include change."
In order to remain competitive, change is not a luxury– it is a necessity. What do you need to change in the way you operate your business? Are you getting the best prices possible from all of your vendors? Or are you too comfortable, apprehensive or unwilling to go through the hassle of change?
It is time to evaluate your operating efficiencies, cut costs and maximize profits. When you have an opportunity to save money, you need to take it. If you don't, someone else will.
*Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Raymond James 35th Annual Institutional Investors Conference