I have been friends with Jim Carlson, owner of A&H Vending in Grand Forks, ND, for decades. We have grown together in the evolution of the marketplace from vending to self pay / breakroom markets. I thank Jim for his confidence in Three Square Market and myself in being his partner in growing his business.
Jim has seen his business grow in leaps and bounds the last five plus years since he converted his business to markets. Still today, he finds himself learning how to continue the upward trends of his locations and today, I discussed with him several of these items and here are his pointers and insights to his continued success:
Rotate: First of all, moving product around in your market is something all companies have been doing in our segment since it started. What I am finding that is helping me grow incremental sales in my food offerings is rotating flavors AND brands. Consumers like variety and will tire of the same product over and over. A slight change in taste in a turkey sandwich means they keep buying - rotate, rotate, rotate.
Energy: The days of diet sodas dominating sales are over. Energy drinks are everywhere and they race off the shelves daily. Load your warehouse with multiple varieties and flavors and ensure you use 32M’s technology to tell you what is selling.
Boutique brands: Make your location a destination for quality products produced by smaller, less-known brands. Craft beers are the fastest growing segment in liquor sales for a reason - people love to enjoy specialized products. That is no different in markets. Be a destination for locally produced products, smaller brands, craft sodas and more and watch them fly off the shelf.
Small markets: When Kurk and I began this journey in markets, the entire industry shied away from small locations. Today, smaller locations are my best. Between loyalty, easier to identify trends and virtually no theft, these accounts are increasing my sales in most cases 500% vs. vending.
Invest: Do NOT cut corners when it comes to your market. Invest in a kiosk that over fits the market - don’t think that saving a few bucks on a small unit will save you money long term. A small kiosk means you skimped and your clients see that. Invest in fixtures like 32M provides. You will get your ROI back 2x as fast vs. going low-budget. Do you buy from the monster convenience store or the one that has a minimal offering and hasn’t updated their stores in decades? Same applies in our stores.
Rewards/Combos: 32M has been discussing this with operators since they started. Learn their technology and use it and start with their inventory system and master how to use combos and rewards. Customers love loyalty programs and the perception of getting a deal - do it - you will not regret it.
Jim and I talked for nearly an hour and if you want to hear more about his success and how a $1200 vending location for less than 100 people became a $6,000 monthly market account, call me. Thanks Jim for your friendship and loyalty.
2020 is off to a record start for 32M. We asked The Legend Kurk Johnson why.
The record start to 2020 is fresh off a record Q4, 2019. Operators are taking action on what we have worked with them on for years. I believe that they have developed the discipline necessary in making the time to use the technology that we it is designed and they are seeing the returns on their time investment. Thus, with that time, they are seeing better results which means the ability to grow more.
Using promos, rewards and coupons. Their stores are increasing in sales significantly, some as high as 20%. If they can’t do it themselves, our Success Team will do it for them and it is working VERY well.
While it is a year old, I love our 46 kiosk. It is a game changer. You walk in the room and it commands your attention. You can run promos, birthday announcements, heck even pictures of your kids and grandkids on it if you wanted to. Compare it to anything out there - there is no comparison.
Yes. We have evolved 32M to expand beyond the breakroom and our clients are maximizing that directive. Our stores outside the breakroom are crushing the ones that are in it. Autonomous shopping will be a staple of society over the next decade and we are thrilled to be a leader in it and as a result, sales will only continue to boom.
Our User Conference last summer. Our clients came to learn and apply. They did exactly that and it took off unlike anytime I have seen in our industry.
Kurk Johnson is a legend in the self service industry. From games and ATM’s, to vending and self pay stores, Kurk has opened thousands of locations across the country. Kurk is an expert in all aspects of the self service industry. You can reach Kurk at 833-32MARKET or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unlike any time in my venture in the vending and self pay business, I have never been this excited about a business year. We are hitting on all cylinders and with our Norm line, STU products, award winning kiosks and our system never performing better, 32M has never been, and I have never been, in a better position to start the year.
2019 has seen a significant and record growth for many of my operators and the company. Our successful operators are doing the things we have been working on for years and now they are seeing results unseen their company history. What are those things? Combos, coupons, non food products, specials, new product features and USING the system the way it is designed. And lastly, they know their numbers: they know what their sales are per employee and they spend their time ensuring they use our admin system reports to grow that number.
2020 will also mean I can provide you a one-stop shop. I’m Kurk, I have been doing this for a long time and I have always been able to provide you a product. But, 2020 is different. We have the industry best cooler and freezer line set to dominate 2020 and beyond. Our Norm products are ones we took input from numerous customers across the country, custom built them to those requests and now, we have nearly a hundred happy clients and counting.
So what can I offer you in reading this to make a difference in your 2020 plans: Mini markets, retail and WINNING. We will be announcing a new price on our mini market COMPLETE solution - yes, a checkout, cooler and fixture solution - that will make you stop and say “I am acting now”. Why mini’s? Because there are so many smaller locations out there that our operators using mini markets are having significant success with. Most operators have more smaller locations than big ones but have ignored focusing revenue growth on the smaller locations. Change that this year. Take your smaller location and add 20% to it. What impact would it have? Mini markets will do that. Act NOW.
Retail: You have read it from us for months, in fact almost a year. Self pay retail is already here and if you are not in it, you are missing the boat like missing the stock market since 2017. You were afraid of markets and now look where they are. Self pay was a horror film when it started and now it is in every major retailer in the nation. Join NOW! See 2-3x top line revenue if not more.
WIN! The potential for your business is what you make it. If you want to do something, ask me to help you do it. When you do it, we do it. Your goals are my goals. Don’t be afraid of any competitor - take them right on. Let my experience go to work in building our partnership to new heights.
Contact me at any time at 833-32MARKET and let’s get started on the best year in your business NOW!
2020 is right in front of us. I have a lot of new things we will be rolling out the last 60 days of the year that I am sure you will be interested in.
Patrick McMullan, Dave Little, Devin Breihan and I have spent significant time the last month answering this question: What is the potential of 32M in 2020? 2022? 2025? We have broken this down to the operator level based upon where you sit, opportunities in your geographical area and more. I want to go through my thoughts and work with you on a plan to help you achieve what we see you can do.
Weekly we have a customer who calls us and says “I have an order and I need it tomorrow”. Those orders are often rushed and we are able to get them shipped in 24-48 hours including a full set of fixtures. However, this is not something that we can always do and it often leaves the client with a promise they can’t deliver on. To help with this, we are working with our lending partners on 180 day 0% financing programs. Combine that with deals on buying multiple stores, kiosks and cooler/freezer combinations that all can ship on one trailer load will allow you to bring the equipment in for your 2020 goals and not have them be a drain on your cash let alone cost you more in interest.
Thus, I ask that you answer the phone as I call to set a time to go through your goals. I am excited about these new features and look forward to going through them with you.
As I have told anyone that listens, I proudly have had only three jobs in my career. I believe loyalty is like a dog who never leaves your side - and that is who I am, a loyal business partner who will help see you through the good and challenging times.
Technology and self service has completely changed our industry. I have had to re-learn my entire role in this business multiple times, even since I took on my role here at Three Square Market. And every time I change, I find more success for you as partners, our company, and myself.
My best advice I wanted to stress this week is in two areas: recommended pars and knocking down the breakroom walls.
Last, THANK YOU. I sincerely appreciate your business.
I have been in this great industry for over 40 years. It is my life. Other than spending time with my wonderful wife of 40+ years, Diana, and my amazing kids, spouses and grand kids, there isn’t anything else I would rather do than help our business partners grow. And, this week, I find myself proudly working in a sector of our industry I have worked for much of my career with, the visually impaired. And this week, I don’t know that I have ever been prouder of representing a product than our Three Square Market ADA / accessible 46 kiosk.
Since 32M started in the market industry, we have worked relentlessly to be the first to market with nearly every innovation now a standard in this business, started by our team. Whether it be our patented mobile app, the Red X, the biggest screen in the business, to now being the first system accessible at the kiosk, mobile app and admin software, 32M will always be the leader, never a follower.
This past Winter, Nicky Gacos, Zach Snow and Chris Ingram, leaders in the visually impaired community, braved cold and snow to work with our team. They challenged us to improve some areas and we executed. Now, we have received the endorsement by numerous states agencies as the only system to be ready to help any customer.
I am honored to be attending the mini-BLAST convention at the Vistar show here in NJ displaying and discussing our game changing technology. I am proud to be able to say we can service any client, either consumer or employee, and allow them to experience and utilize our system. Stop by our booth or call me at any time to discuss your goals and as I have for over 40 years, I will deliver a solution that works miles better.
Kurk Johnson is the VP-Sales for Three Square Market. A 40+ year Hall of Famer in the industry, Kurk boasts proudly that he has had 3 jobs in his career.
Kurk has been married to the love of his life, Diana Johnson, for over 40 years. Kurk resides in the southwestern Twin Cities. Kurk has two beautiful daughters whose families he loves dearly. If Kurk is not busy working with his 32M clients, he is busy being a Grandpa, Father and Husband.
Kurk covers the Eastern U.S. and Canada, Contact Kurk calling/texting 612-867-4966.