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NEXT DOOR STORES STRESS TEAM APPROACH TO RECESSION, COMPETITION

    NEXT DOOR STORES STRESS TEAM APPROACH TO RECESSION, COMPETITION
    MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Odds are, if you regularly shop any of the Next Door Food Stores in northern, central and western Michigan and northern Indiana, you might find one of the members of the Next Door executive team behind the counter or getting a hands-on lesson in store operations.
    According to David Johnson, president of Imperial Oil, operators of Next Door Food Stores, the '80s may have been an era of expansion but the '90s will be a period where store operations is king.
    "It's no secret that over-expansion gave our industry a black eye," he said recently, from his company's Mount Pleasant headquarters.  "What we've done is re-examined our operations and we've developed a team approach that starts with myself and our executives in Mount Pleasant. We are each now supervising a store.
    "As a company, we need to adapt each store to the market.  This will give each executive a better handle on store operations plus each individual's specialized area of finance, marketing or administration."
    Johnson cited a number of problems that plague the C-store (convenience store) industry including the recession, environmental concerns and the Gulf War.  "Stores that are customer conscious, profitable and efficient will be the winners."
    The third-generation member of his family to run the 65-year-old Imperial Oil company, also described a changing 24-hour retail industry.
    "Even with the growth of the major oil companies' 24-hour service station and convenience stores, we're seeing more and more competition from retailers such as drug stores and large supermarkets," he said. "The all-night operation used to be a C-store phenomenon.  It's definitely changed."
    Johnson said that more interaction between Next Door executives and stores will make store managers and personnel a critical link in the success of his company.
    "Our store personnel are on the front lines every day dealing with our customers," he said.  "We need to listen to these folks.  They need to feel free to express themselves.  This two-way dialogue is what is going to make us click."
    There are currently 40, corporate and franchise, Next Door Food Stores in northern, central and western Michigan and northern Indiana.
    -0-                         11/5/91
    /CONTACT:  Ron Hingst of PR Services, Inc., 313-393-1850, for Imperial Oil and Next Door Food Stores/ CO:  Next Door Food Stores; Imperial Oil ST:  Michigan, Indiana IN:  REA SU: SB -- DEFNS1 -- 1060 11/05/91 07:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 5, 1991
Words:407
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