Title: Alain Ouellet, Depanneur Le Cristal testimonial
Sub-title: Quick turnover helps ensure product freshness
If you visit Alain Ouellet’s C-Store, a modest 2,400 square foot outlet known as Depanneur Le Cristal, in Matane Quebec, he’ll tell you all about fine cut tobacco products. “They are very popular here, particularly among budget-conscious customers,” says Ouellet, who this August celebrated his 20th anniversary as the store’s owner. “They move especially well when welfare and unemployment checks come in. We provide those clients a real service.”
One product group moves better than all others though says Ouellet. “Rothmans, Bensons & Hedges accounts for nearly 95 per cent of all our sales,” he explains. “It really does not have much to do with me either – we are not allowed to promote or to incite customers to buy tobacco of any kind.
Ouellet cites three keys to Rothmans, Bensons & Hedges’ success. “For one, they simply produce a better product,” says Ouellet. “I am not smoker myself, but my customers have extremely good taste, and if they weren’t getting value, they would simply switch to another brand.” Hence, Rothman’s, Benson & Hedges features such as the foil seals located in the tobacco cans, that held keep the product fresh before it is opened, as well as a moistening pad included inside the lip, help a great deal says Ouellet, as does the company’s service.
“We have 20 employees and our RBH rep is like one of the team,” says Ouellet. “He does several things that make it easy for us to place orders and he provides tips (such as placing RBH products so they are the first seen when the shelf doors are opened) as to how to get employees can better sell RBH products over competitive wares.”
Success also breeds success Ouellet adds. “The fact that we sell so many RBH products means that they move off the shelves faster and are fresher when the client buys them,” says Ouellet. “You can’t beat that.”
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