The World's Unsexiest Business
adding a little sizzle to the convenience store industry
In some instances, I will refer to the people that work for you as team members while in other instances, they'll be your staff and CSRs. As for the precise nomenclature:
Staff / Team Members / Your People: any office or store level employee
CSR: store level customer service representative (employee)
While the above interaction may be slightly exaggerated, it's by no means far fetched. After all, your CSRs are human and can have bad days. You certainly cannot control their temperament nor should you feel the need to do so. But what you can largely influence is the environment of your (and equally their) workplace -- creating and then nurturing open communication and hopefully even (God forbid!) camaraderie. The skeptics might say there's no time for this frivolity or that the development of these 'softer' initiatives pave the way to an incessant stream of rants ultimately leading to possible workplace discontent. To which I'll retort with a reference to Walt Doyle's (CEO of GasBuddy) take on what I'll refer to as the a harsh reality for the Retail 1.0 crowd. (That being the generation of retail entrepreneurs that refuse to embrace digital marketing/communication/lifestyle. By the way, we're currently somewhere around the 4.5 release.)
You no longer own your brand
Softening things up a bit -- would you consider adding FOMO to that list? And in case you weren't familiar with the millennial coined acronym, that's the Fear Of Missing Out. Unlike its more existential rooted relative YOLO (You Only Live Once), FOMO's focus is usually directed more to an event rather than the entire spectrum of life.
That's not to say that they haven't been used interchangeably.
The calm before the storm?
Before consumer euphoria starts to set it, just remember that volatility always returns to its natural 'mean' level.
While prices at the pump aren't anywhere near absolute historic lows (sub $2 nearly 10 years ago), they are sitting in relatively cheaper territory (slightly shy of $3) but still above the average price (~$2.80) around this time last year.
Addressing the tracking error between crude and RBOB (the 'crack' spread), this particular spread has seen an increased ebb and flow. Currently, we're sitting somewhere in the middle after having seen a dramatic spike a couple of days prior to the new year.
Many of my blog posts going forward will refer to the convergence / divergence of relative and absolute prices inside and outside the store.