Category Close Up: Cigarettes
Presented to NACS Annual Meeting & Expo

Las Vegas, NV – October 23, 2001

Annually, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) attracts about 15,000 retailers and suppliers to their Annual Meeting and Trade Show Exposition. Attendees select from a myriad of high level seminars designed to provide them insight into "best practices", new ideas and other topical subjects to help them improve their Company’s operating results.

Cigarettes have historically remained the # 1 sales category for non-fuel ("inside") sales. They approximate almost 40% of inside sales and the convenience store industry has a share of the total cigarettes industry volume of almost 60%. It’s not surprising, then, that NACS commits quality time and tailored seminars on this category for attendees.

For this year’s meeting, NACS asked Dick Meyer, President of Meyer & Associates, to orchestrate a "Close Up" review on the category. He enlisted John Zikias and Lee Armbruster, executives at BP Oil and Pinzone Armbruster, Inc., respectively, to provide their analyses in concert with his ideas. The result was a comprehensive view of the cigarettes category and an appreciate/very interactive audience.

Mr. Meyer’s 21 slides on this site provide 5-year and 2-year snapshots of the change in the cigarettes category for c-stores, the dynamics impacting c-stores’ growth of the category, it’s overall profitability and his follow up discussion on the critical importance of proper SKU inventory management and the profit-impact of retaining the industry’s # 1 traffic generator, the brand-loyal pack smoker. During a March 2001 presentation in Dallas, Meyer coined the phrase Most Valuable Patron (MVP) to describe this consumer. After all they frequent c-stores 4-6 times per week and if we don’t carry their brand they’ll take their fuel and other business elsewhere!

Happy viewing. If desired, the NACS library has audio tapes of this seminar.

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