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C-Store March Madness Is Here!!

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It’s March Madness time, and things are already out of hand.

While working on our brackets doing research at work we’ve voted in run across all sorts of wild alternatives to the traditional NCAA college basketball brackets.

For starters, there’s the greatest Southern towns bracket.

And as you might expect, MTV sponsors a musical bracket (it’s round!).

Slate.com uses the same colleges and the same seedings as the “real” NCAA tournament, but allows you to vote for the schools in non-basketball areas, using categories such as SAT scores, mascots and tuition.

One of our favorites is this science fiction vs. fantasy bracket, complete with four regionals: Space Opera, Dystopia and Mad Science, Epic Fantasy, and Magic and Monsters.

Oh, yeah, and Star Wars.

So we started to think, isn’t it about time someone put together a March Madness bracket for the C-store industry? We did a little digging and while we found some stores with individual competitions, like between Coke and Pepsi, and a host of savvy operators steering basketball fans into their stores by pursuing promotions tied into March Madness, there was no bracket.

That’s a shame because the possibilities for compelling matchups in our industry are endless. In the snack region we could find out if Mountain Dew-flavored Cheetos would crush the late, not-so-lamented Mountain Dew-flavored Doritos (we can hear it now…“back from the grave for the win!”).

In the geography regional, which would undoubtedly be dominated by the progressive leanings of the Asian market, we could find out if Taiwan, the self-styled “Capital of Convenience Stores” could hold off heavily-favored Japan.

In the design and architectural region, well-groomed country style markets would be tested against Googie-style stores and even more esoteric entrants.

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And in the technology regional—perhaps the most heavily contested of all—any number of POS systems, back office systems, and hand-held devices would square off against each other. Now we aren’t bracketologists, and we’re obviously a little prejudiced, but I think the winner would probably come out of this highly competitive section.

Our pick? Why SSCS to go all the way, of course.

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