Design Matters – C-Stores Want To Buy Your Micro Markets

Oct. 10, 2019

Micro market design is more important than ever, especially if an operator has any interest in selling their micro market business in the future. Sell side business broker Mike Kelner of VBB Advisors feels that well designed markets will fetch a high premium from buyers, especially because that buyer might be a well-known convenience store chain.

Kelner was somewhat surprised at the reaction to his September newsletter, when he revealed to his audience that non-traditional players were now interested in buying micro markets.  The news had his phones ringing off the hook. “I think we hit a nerve. There was quite a reaction among operators,” said Kelner. “There is also a realization that operators need to focus on exceptional design and adherence to fundamentally strong retail principles, because these days, your buyer may be a true retailer.”

Fixturelite welcomes the trend

Steve Orlando, an experienced Operator of ten years who co-founded Fixturelite, the industry’s leading supplier of micro market retail displays, seating and design features, welcomes the trend, adding that his company is consistently focused on providing products that deliver an optimal retail experience. 

Optimal retail experience – for end users

“For the end user, that optimal experience is about comfort, convenience and creating an environment that they will want to spend time in and return to again and again. The solutions range from comfortable seating, easy access to products, special features like phone chargers, attractive lighting and easy navigation through the retail environment,” said Orlando.

Optimal retail experience – for operators

“For operators, it is about efficient use of retail space, reliable and attractive fixtures, best of breed Minus Forty coolers and freezers, security cameras that can generate more sales and design support, including the Fixturelite Design Tool,” he added.  Orlando points to two new retail savvy products that are quite popular with operators – the Essentials Merchandiser and the Center of the Room Display, both designed to maximize use of retail space. “The Essentials Merchandiser was so popular straight out of the gate, that the prototype was sold by my business partner before I was done experimenting with it.” said Orlando.

“For a convenience store owner with hundreds of private label products of their own, micro markets are a perfect complement to their brick and mortar business. Bottling companies are thinking along the same lines, as micro markets provide a nice opportunity to showcase their brands exclusively in prime locations. Not surprisingly, I have active deals pending involving non-traditional buyers,” said Kelner. 

Kelner: “I am always pleased when I represent a seller who uses Fixturelite products.”

“Fixturelite is clearly a thought leader when it comes to creating an unattended retail space that will excite one of these non-traditional buyers. I am always pleased when I represent a client who uses Fixturelite products. It tells me and the buyer that the seller has invested in quality and knows what they are doing,” he said.