Independent Grocer Survey

The 2009 Independent Grocers Survey prepared by The National Grocers Association (NGA) and FMS Solutions shows a financial and operational review of the independent retail grocery industry. The 2009 Independent Grocers Survey provides independent grocers with a look at their own community and how their fellow business owners are fairing in the current competitive and economic conditions.
The study provides departmental margin breakdowns and economic data relevant to the industry. This year's survey showed retailers have improved their gross margins and their bottom lines by 4.31% over last year sales. Some highlights from the survey are:
  • Breaking a three-year negative streak, respondents turned higher net profit before taxes.
  • Overall store margins had a solid increase, reporting 26.94% in 2008 versus 25.55% in 2007.
  • The average square footage decreased from last year's respondents from 28,617 to 25,469 the total inventory in the store increased to $658,454 bringing the total inventory per square foot to an even $13.00. This is a $3.35 increase per square foot with this year's respondents. Of the total square footage in respondent's stores 84.4% of the space is actually selling square footage, up dramatically from last year's 76.5%.

This survey also looks at a number of different topics including the "Top 7" issues rated by NGA members: health care reform, energy costs, economic stimulus plan, supercenter legislation, (permanent repeal) death tax, immigration reform and international policies.

The NGA is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that make up the independent portion of the food distribution industry. An independent retailer is a privately owned or controlled food retail company operating a variety of formats. Most independent operators are serviced by wholesale distributors, while others may be partially or fully self-distributing.

STCR in the Community

On June 19th STCR Business Systems participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. The walk was held at McArthur School, in Binghamton, NY. With the support of family, friends and our customers we were able to raise over $3000 in donation. STCR also matched all donations collected making the grand total of donations well over $6000. STCR also came in 3rd place for the most laps walked around the track.

STCR would like to thank everyone who helped make this year's Relay for Life a great success. The picture above is some of the members of STCR's team "Register Hope."

IBM SurePOS 700 Series

The IBM SurePOS 700 Series, the premier point-of-sale (POS) solution in the IBM portfolio, now offers several new features designed to enable fast, easy service. All models of the IBM SurePOS 700 Series now feature a simple, two-screw media door for convenient access to internal drives. This feature comes standard and allows service technicians easier access to the internal hard drive, as well as the CD-ROM or DVD drive.

All models also offer optional covers that enable front-side access to the system unit without the need to remove rear cables. When used in combination with the media door, these optional covers make it very fast and simple to remove or replace internal drives. Additionally, retailers can add an optional cable arm, which provides front-side access to rear cabling without moving the system unit from its normal position at the POS. Ultimately, these features help reduce your service costs, which helps minimize total cost of ownership. Plus, these features enable faster, easier service without compromising system security.

  • Speed checkout and improve productivity with powerful standards-based platforms including Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor

  • Streamline operations with the powerful combination of IBM Light-Path Management and IBM Director, including IBM Remote Management Agent (RMA), that helps staff monitor and manage systems locally and from a central site

  • Maximize uptime and help reduce maintenance costs with virtually tool-free design, secure and easy front access and exceptional serviceability

  • Optimize investments with this highly scalable point-of-sale (POS) system that integrates with legacy systems and carries a service life cycle of up to 7 years to help lower total cost of ownership

The IBM SurePOS™ 700 is the industry’s premier point of sale solution and delivers maximum performance and adaptability for large and midsized retailers. A powerful combination of IBM Light-Path Management and IBM Director, including IBM Remote Management Agent (RMA), help staff monitor and manage systems. Plus, front access and a virtually tool-free design mean servicing the IBM SurePOS 700 Series has never been easier.STCR Business Systems has been selling, installing and supporting cash register systems for 42 years. We are an IBM Premier Business Partner with the in-house expertise to install IBM systems and train your personnel in the most professional manner. For more information about the SurePOS 700 Series, contact STCR Business Systems at (607) 757-0181.

The Greening of McQuades

Hometown market employs cutting edge technology.

The national enthusiasm for “going green” has spurred Michael McQuade, General Manager of McQuades marketplace, to update its presence in its community with a multi-million dollar renovation program at their Main Street store. The renovation includes the installation of state-of-the-art equipment that is environmentally friendly and utilizes energy saving technology.

With the project nearing completion, McQuade who owns sister stores in Jamestown, RI and Mystic, CT said the new heating and refrigeration systems are not only more effective and efficient, but contribute to an eye pleasing atmosphere. They have a trim modern look while providing fresher, longer lasting refrigerated food, reducing the stores impact on the environment by reducing its carbon footprint.

“We believe McQuade’s Westerly store will see an estimated reduction of nearly 13 million pounds in its total carbon footprint. That’s equivalent to removing 1069 passenger cars from the road per year” said Scott Martin, director of sustainable technologies for Hill Phoenix of Conyers, GA., a leading designer and manufacturer of supermarket refrigeration systems.

McQuade said innovative strategies include reclaiming heat from a refrigeration loop, and using a propylene glycol that uses so much less electricity it runs on low to medium control settings and has realized a 95 percent reduction in the use of Freon coolant. The computer complex on the store rooftop monitor the compressors to determine the horsepower needed to insure uniform temperature and switches horsepower needs back and forth using 15HP, 10HP or 7HP motors.

To increase product variety, many more refrigeration cases have been added, but with energy savings in mind. Dairy products, such as yogurt, butter and cheese, once in open cases are now behind doors. “We were wasting energy”, McQuade said. “We tested the change in the Mystic store first.” All domestic hot water is pre-heated by the heat byproduct from the refrigeration system. Store heating and dehumidification are also pre-heated by the refrigeration system.

Another energy-saving measure soon to be tested at the Mystic store involves the installation of solar panels. These panels will provide 153 kilowatts of energy for store use. If the move is positive, the panels will be installed on the Westerly and Jamestown stores.

The lighting system has also been updated from the inefficient T12 fluorescent lighting to T5’s and T8’s, which are more energy efficient.

Gloria Russel
Sun Staff Writer

Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA)

Hypercom, Ingenico, and VeriFone have announced the formation of the Secure POS Vendor Alliance - SPVA .
This is a non-profit business organization chartered with implementing common payment security standards among vendors of secure point-of-sale (POS) devices used by retailers, acquirers and cardholders alike.

The SPVA plans include increasing awareness of security issues, encouraging adoption of best practices and promoting consistency among standards. They plan to create a standardized implementation of the existing security standards, a recommended implementation guideline for end-to-end encryption of cardholder data and end-to-end lifecycle management protocols.

Once these guidelines and standards are fully developed, the SPVA will establish an “SPVA approval” program. Two levels of membership are available, general membership for vendors that develop secure POS payment systems and associate membership for organizations that sell or utilize products or solutions that interact with secure POS payment devices.
SPVA intends to combine the needs of those that must implement current and future PCI and other electronic payment industry requirements. These are security, convenience, cost control and the ability to be easily deployed and maintained.
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