Attack of the Profit-Gnawing Grazers!


Convenience stores provide a first-hand look at the diversity of the U.S. consumer, who comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s part of what makes C-stores uniquely American.

Therefore it should be no surprise that a C-store’s success is driven by its ability to address divergent needs from all walks of life. A busy mom with her kids getting healthy snacks on the way to soccer practice. A utility worker getting coffee and a pastry in the morning on the way to the job. Weekend warriors grabbing a case of Pepsi and some Lay’s for after the game. Dad making an emergency stop for diapers.

They’re all great for business, although there is one kind of customer that is not. The grazer!

The grazer is an elusive species that goes by several other names, like mooch, freeloader, and bloodsucker. It’s the person that shows up at other people’s parties, but never hosts their own. They’ll hit the buffet table, and manage to pocket a handful of almonds or chocolates or cookies for later. They leave your house with a “to go” bag even though you weren’t offering them.

Yeah, the grazer is a drag, alright, and when it migrates to your convenience store, it creates major headaches for you. Your store is like paradise to them, with vast vistas of products and merchandise they can’t wait to get their paws on.

The grazer isn’t particularly fast moving; they tend to saunter down the aisle carefully, keeping an eye out for predators (you!) and taking in the treats they have placed at their own disposal. They grab a bite of a candy bar. Shove a banana in their pocket. And displaying the extremely questionable hygiene for which they are known, chug a half a bottle of soda and jam it right back into the cooler! Gross!

The grazer gnaws at your profits. It does a number on your inventory, because the merchandise they are destroying is shrink. If left to their own devices they would pose a serious threat to the well-being of your business.

Fortunately, you use a C-store back office system to help you identify shrink and where it is occurring. This is just the kind of information that can help you plot a strategy to limit the damage done by the grazer or maybe eradicate them completely. And what could be more satisfying than putting the grazer out to pasture?


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