By Maggie Gioia | Marketing Coordinator
In an increasingly digital world where large companies tend to dominate the market, National Convenience Distributors is able to build better small businesses.
Family Values and In-Person Support
“What sets us apart from the competition is that all of our divisions are family businesses and have been for years,” said Frank Talarico, Vice President of Sales at NCD. “They were built from the ground up and have been successful because of those very family values.”
NCD has been putting compassion towards their customers above all else for over a century. As a result, 65 percent of their customer portfolio has been achieved through face-to-face conversations.
“Our customers have grown comfortable with this way of doing business and it shows just how close we are with them,” said Talarico. “Real people are the most valuable tool any company can have.”
Through these strong in-person relationships between customers and NCD team members, customers have developed loyalty to the company, as it’s a name they feel they can trust.
“The culture of being part of a family business is exactly that– we are family. As a family, we are there for each other in good times and, more importantly, in bad times,” said Executive Vice President of Divisional Sales, Marty Glick.
Utilization of Technology
In addition to their family values, innovation is also at NCD’s core. Their proactive, digital programs— such as their apps and partnership with Lula— aid small businesses in competing with powerful chains.
NCD’s division-based apps keep their customers’ shelves stocked by enabling them to scan-to-order, track their orders, gain product information, manage inventory and more.
The NCD collaboration with Lula aims to convert c-stores into micro-fulfillment centers, connecting each location with major delivery solution partners such as Grubhub, Doordash, and UberEATS with a single point of contact to help thousands of customers to enter the digital marketplace where they can create a virtual presence, attract new customers and improve sales.
“We give our customers the cutting edge tools to be successful in this market,” said Talarico.
Changing With The Times
It is crucial for the survival of independent c-stores to be able to adapt to the demands of an ever-evolving market. However, this can be an impossible task without the right connections to needed services. NCD provides these smaller and independent businesses access to the resources of a large company without the corporate attitude.
“Our customers depend on us. A great example of this was when COVID-19 first hit. As an essential business, we rolled up our sleeves and made deliveries and helped our customers maneuver this new reality,” said Glick. “In my 23 years here, it was my proudest moment to see us all work together through a serious crisis and come out of it better than before.”
Besides prioritizing customer satisfaction, NCD has led c-stores in becoming cleaner and safer spaces for consumers. Due to the pandemic, NCD has assembled a greater lineup of sanitizing and personal protective equipment products, and their store design has shifted its focus to using space more efficiently, allowing consumers to remain an adequate distance apart. These open space designs bring in more light, which creates a welcoming environment to consumers.
“It’s so important that women and children feel safe coming into that local, corner c-store,” said Talarico.
NCD’s monthly Insider Magazine is another practical way to keep customers up to date. Each division of NCD features their own Insider for deals specially curated by region. The Insider offers NCD customers significant savings on value added items to boost their profits.
“We always have our customers’ best interest in mind,” said Talarico.
The social and economic value of a community store is undeniable, but thriving in the current market can be a challenge — that’s why NCD is supplying the tools necessary for success.