RACE PRO CENTRE of EXCELLENCE, LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE EVER SEEN!
by Angela Altass
Core-Mark is one of the largest marketers of fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry in North America. It offers a full range of products, marketing programs and technology solutions to approximately 44,000 retail locations in Canada and the United States through 32 distribution centers.
The new Race Pro Centre of Excellence (COE) is the new means by which Core-Mark enhances category management solutions for its Canadian retailer partners.
The concept for the Centre of Excellence started over two years ago” explains John Carbone, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Core-Mark International. The COE is a full sized convenience store format used for innovation and training. Our intention is to help retailers maximize profitability by attracting new customers and giving existing customers more of what they want.
The Centre of Excellence (COE) is designed to not only look at today’s environment to maximize profits for Core-Mark’s customers but to also evaluate emerging trends.
We can help with planograms and mix optimization,
says Carbone, noting Core-Mark’s ability to capitalize on emerging trends quickly says John Carbone, noting Core-Mark’s ability to capitalize on emerging trends quickly by
designing fresh food service offerings in both made-to-order and grab-and-go choices, and providing healthier product offerings.
Also, in the COE, we are working on a digital applications platform to help our customers stay
relevant with emerging trends. Whether it’s tap-and-go payments, frictionless solutions or online loyalty
The convenience and gas industry faces many challenges in today’s environment, notes Eric Rolheiser, president, Core-Mark Canada. “Consumers today are much more discerning. Their tastes and behaviors are changing and they are looking for a much higher standard in convenience,” says Rolheiser. “The COE is designed to help our customers and our vendor partners by addressing increased customer expectations through an enhanced product offering and in-store experience.” The Centre of Excellence is designed to be a dynamic space and is intended to change and evolve over time. “I guarantee that it will be completely different in 12 months,” states Carbone. “We will adjust the product offering, layout and design as consumer behavior and demands evolve. We will also adapt to emerging trends. Technology will also be a big part of this evolution.
The goal is to have an online virtual experience for the COE to be able to maximize the benefits to more customers throughout Canada.” Independent customers are important to the convenience industry in Canada and remain a focus for Core-Mark’s sales and marketing team. “The COE will be a great benefit to our independent operators,” says Carbone. “These operators in many cases have limited resources and turn to us for category management solutions, SKU selection and product offering options, emerging trend and digital solutions to meet the needs of their customers. Regular training sessions, which will be held at the COE, will help these retailers with in-store execution and customer service, which is critical for them to improve the retail experience for their customers.” “If our channel continues to differentiate itself with better product offerings combined with new digital platforms to meet evolving consumer trends and continuing to leverage convenience, the c-store industry will continue to grow and prosper,” states Rolheiser. “Our vendor partners were instrumental in helping us develop, design and build the COE,” says Carbone. “Without their contributions, it would not have been possible. From the onset, the feedback from customers, vendors, and our Core-Mark team have been tremendous.”