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Convenience Store for Sale, Town Included.

For the low price of $100,000, all this could be yours: a convenience store and gas station, post office boxes, a cellular tower, five buildings, a parking area, 10 acres of land - oh, and a town.

An auction for Buford, Wyo., the "Nation's Smallest Town" - population of one - will be held on April 5. Don Sammons, Buford's last man standing, will sell the town through Williams and Williams, an auction company based in Oklahoma City, according to media reports.

Located 28 miles west of Cheyenne, Wyo., on Interstate 80, Buford also has the distinction of being the highest town above sea level - at 8,000 feet - on the I-80 route from California to New York. It is the second oldest town in Wyoming and takes its name from a Civil War general.

Sammons and his family moved to Buford from Los Angeles in 1980 and he bought the Buford Trading Post, which includes the convenience store and gas station, in 1992. He operated the trading post until the end of 2011. Although his family has moved away, Sammons has stayed on as the town's sole resident and mayor. He is semi-retired, the Associated Press reported.

The sale package includes the Buford Trading Post (with an income-producing c-store and gas station), U.S. post office boxes, a Union Wireless cell tower with lease, five buildings (including a three-bedroom home, a 1905 schoolhouse that has been used as an office, a garage and a 1900s cabin used as a tool shed), a parking area and approximately 10 acres of land.

Five Opportunities for C-store Growth

New shopper research has identified five platforms that convenience store operators should explore for growth opportunities, providing the industry's retailers with a roadmap to profits.

The platforms are:

My Time - shoppers want to take a break from the rat race.

Female Friendly - shoppers want to feel welcome, comfortable and safe in the store environment.

My Place - shoppers want a familiar, good experience along with being recognized as part of the store community.

Fresh Value Fast - fresh means decent quality food and maybe even a little "better for you."

Family Time - shoppers are looking for a way to treat the kids without breaking the bank.

These insights mark the second installment of the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council (NACS/CCRRC) report, entitled "C-Growth: Using Shopper Research to Grow C-Store Sales." The first installment, which was released on Feb. 22, revealed five essentials c-store shoppers are looking for: safety, cleanliness, hospitality, simplicity and ease, and time enrichment.

The latest findings show that shoppers want control and look for stores that make it easy for them to take their time and browse - what NACS/CCRRC calls "My Time." Shoppers do not want to be rushed, but when they are ready to check out, they expect a store's staff to help them get on their way quickly, not wasting time in long lines or slow checkouts.

As part of that control, shoppers want to feel like they are taking care of themselves and not sacrificing food quality. "Fresh Value Fast" emphasizes that shoppers want fresh, made-to-order items with toppings they select, according to the study.

Female-friendly stores are also important. Specifically, female shoppers want to visit stores that feel safe and comfortable. Part of this, the NACS/CCRRC report found, is a staff that is professional and does not infringe on the shopper's personal space or make them feel uncomfortable.

The fourth growth platform is "Family Time." Shoppers want affordable treats the whole family can enjoy - like ice cream or yogurt parfaits - plus some quality time with their family, the study highlighted.

Additionally, c-stores can attract shoppers by offering a store where they can ground themselves and clear their heads - what the study characterizes as "My Place."
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Publication:Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner
Geographic Code:1U8WY
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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