Automatic Merchandiser - 22

FUTURE TRENDS

Micro Market
Forum

The coronavirus pandemic swiftly becomes
operators' number one challenge in 2020
By Abby White, Editor

M

icro markets were introduced
to the convenience services
industry over a decade ago,
and they have helped many
operators increase revenue and expand
business into new territories. In Automatic Merchandiser's 2019 State of
the Industry report, 85% of operators
said they added micro market locations during the previous year, either
through conversions from vending
machines or in new locations.
At this time last year, micro markets
presented operators with many challenges, including a complicated cash
flow from rapid growth, diversification
of product offerings, the integration of
fresh and healthy food, and planogram
optimization. While this forum was
originally intended to serve as a place
for industry leaders to revisit these
issues and discuss the current challenges operators face, the conversation
has shifted, rightfully, to the coronavirus pandemic.
We gathered a few industry leaders
to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting
the industry, particularly in micro markets, and asked them to weigh in on
what other challenges operators should
be aware of during these difficult times.
COVID-19: AN IMMEDIATE THREAT

As people in communities across the
U.S. adjust their daily lives to abide
by social distancing and shelter-inplace or stay-at-home orders, many
workplaces are operating with a lean
22

Automatic Merchandiser * April 2020

staff or are closed altogether. Businesses are encouraging employees to
telecommute until these guidelines are
relaxed, resulting in a smaller number
of people in the workplace and fewer
people buying food and beverages in
micro markets.
"Two months ago, I think micro
market operators would have been talking about how to place more markets,
improve operating efficiencies, and the
next innovation in the space," said John
Reilly, president of Avanti Markets.
"Avanti would have been discussing how
to position our platform to support our
customers' operations and growth, innovation and frictionless shopping. All that
has changed now. Our customers are
talking about how to save their business
and protect their employees. Avanti is
also now intensely focused on keeping
our employees safe and employed and
our operators in business.
"We are all talking about shelter-

Markets provide a
solution to allow
employees to stay at
work and limit being
exposed out in public."
Patrick McMullan, co-founder and
president of Three Square Market

in-place, lockdowns and essential businesses," Reilly continued. "These are
things we could not have imagined in
January. The impact for all of us is that
[as] the at-work environment continues to shrink over the next couple of
months, sales will bottom out. How
long they will stay down is unknown. It
is heartbreaking to watch this happen.
But markets will recover and that has to
keep us going."
Reilly said that the convenience
services industry is taking the lead
by pressing on the government to be
recognized as an essential business.
"So, in these quarantines, lockdowns
and shelter-in-place orders, we still support the food distribution supply chain,
which is necessary," he explained. "The



Automatic Merchandiser

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automatic Merchandiser

Editor's Note: A bright future for convenience services
Industry News
OCS Update: A cup of coffee with Chip Wann
New Products of the Year Awards
Micro Market Forum: The coronavirus pandemic swiftly becomes operators' number one challenge in 2020
The Rise of Biometrics: What convenience services operators need to know about this technology
Ahead of the Curve: How Tahoe Vending/Sonoran Coffee uses technology to drive business growth
Classifieds
Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 1
Automatic Merchandiser - 2
Automatic Merchandiser - 3
Automatic Merchandiser - 4
Automatic Merchandiser - 5
Automatic Merchandiser - Editor's Note: A bright future for convenience services
Automatic Merchandiser - 7
Automatic Merchandiser - Industry News
Automatic Merchandiser - 9
Automatic Merchandiser - 10
Automatic Merchandiser - 11
Automatic Merchandiser - OCS Update: A cup of coffee with Chip Wann
Automatic Merchandiser - 13
Automatic Merchandiser - New Products of the Year Awards
Automatic Merchandiser - 15
Automatic Merchandiser - 16
Automatic Merchandiser - 17
Automatic Merchandiser - 18
Automatic Merchandiser - 19
Automatic Merchandiser - 20
Automatic Merchandiser - 21
Automatic Merchandiser - Micro Market Forum: The coronavirus pandemic swiftly becomes operators' number one challenge in 2020
Automatic Merchandiser - 23
Automatic Merchandiser - 24
Automatic Merchandiser - 25
Automatic Merchandiser - The Rise of Biometrics: What convenience services operators need to know about this technology
Automatic Merchandiser - 27
Automatic Merchandiser - 28
Automatic Merchandiser - 29
Automatic Merchandiser - Ahead of the Curve: How Tahoe Vending/Sonoran Coffee uses technology to drive business growth
Automatic Merchandiser - 31
Automatic Merchandiser - 32
Automatic Merchandiser - 33
Automatic Merchandiser - 34
Automatic Merchandiser - 35
Automatic Merchandiser - 36
Automatic Merchandiser - 37
Automatic Merchandiser - 38
Automatic Merchandiser - 39
Automatic Merchandiser - Classifieds
Automatic Merchandiser - 41
Automatic Merchandiser - Social Hubs
Automatic Merchandiser - 43
Automatic Merchandiser - 44
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