Steve Montgomery

President, b2b Solutions, LLC

Steve is president of b2b Solutions, a consultancy that specializes in working with retailers and suppliers in the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry. He has over 30 years of experience in top management positions in both entrepreneurial and large corporate business environments within the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry.

After beginning his career as one of its franchisees, Steve served as President and Member of the Board of Directors for Dairy Mart Corporation. He then held the positions of General Manager for C-Stores and Manager of Convenience Retail Strategies and Programs for Amoco Oil Company.

He led Amoco’s efforts to develop and roll out their state of the art Split Second concept and to consolidate their various direct retail operations into a single entity. While at Amoco, he was also a member of its Retail Systems Steering and Facility Design Coordination Committees.

Steve has been actively involved with the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) since 1976. He is the only person to have been elected to its Retailer Board and Supplier Board of Directors.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural and Food Economics from the University of Massachusetts, and a MBA in Marketing from W. New England University. He currently serves as member of its International Business Advisory Board.

Steve is a frequent contributor to articles on the convenience retail/petroleum marketing industry and is a frequent speaker at industry functions. He has worked with NACS as a Program Director and Program Moderator on topics ranging Foodservice to the Non-Traditional Competitors.

b2b Solutions retail clients have ranged from single store operators to large multinational firms. These include such companies as Chevron USA Products Company, Crescent Oil Company, Exxon Company, USA, LG-Caltex, Lekkerland (Switzerland) Ltd., Mobil Oil Corporation, Murphy Oil USA, NACS, Pride Convenience, Inc., and Shell Canada Products Limited. Supplier clients include Coca-Cola USA, Food Concepts, Inc., Harmonic Systems, Inc., Kraft Foods, MGC Communication, Inc., and Westec Interactive.

Other Links from Steve Montgomery:

b2b Solutions, LLC Web Site

  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Should Starbucks stick with its open bathroom policy?

    The open restroom policy research is certainly indicative of a potential impact but as Neil stated, correlation is not causation. Note the work potential. Not being a Starbuck’s customer I cannot offer direct observations, but can say that I know people who would definitely take their business elsewhere if they the location they frequented had some of the issues mentioned. I will say, in the c-store industry the open restroom policies have led to “interesting” situations in certain locations. We found them being used for drug deals and other activities.
  • Posted on: 11/20/2019

    Should Santa be a loyalty program perk?

    Harrods faced a dilemma of how to best handle a scarce commodity albeit a somewhat unusual one. It began by using visits to the grotto for the last couple years as a reward for its loyalty members. The real difference is this year it raised (and released) the spending level necessary. Had it simply raised the level and issued invitations the negative publicity might have been avoided.
  • Posted on: 11/18/2019

    What will happen now that Five Below has gone above $5?

    Five Below’s value proposition is still there it has just expanded. They are smart to test to see the impact of a broader but still low price range. Conducting the test by having a separate section allows them the flexibility to highlight the higher price point to minimize any confusion regarding the price ceiling of their other items.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Is the environment Amazon’s Achilles heel or opportunity?

    Amazon lead the way to faster delivery and free shipping so it created the dilemma it now faces. The survey indicated people would be willing to wait longer for the purchase if they were compensated for the delay. Could it also ask customers if they would be willing to wait longer because it was better for the environment? Certainly. Would other retailers follow or take advantage by emphasizing their faster delivery? That is the real question. In this very competitive marketplace they might if Amazon reported higher sales. If not, I am doubtful.
  • Posted on: 11/14/2019

    Is ‘OK Boomer’ a merchandising opportunity?

    As a Boomer, my response is this too shall pass. For those who are making money selling merchandise with the phase on in, I suggest they bank their profits and not reinvest in their business expecting it to have a long run. It won’t.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2019

    Study: Consumers don’t enjoy doing their holiday shopping online

    We have become a society that has come to expect fast and free shipping. This expectation was created out of every day online shopping experiences. Retailers generally can meet that expectations during most of the year. However, during the holiday season, purchases increase dramatically and the systems that worked the rest of the year are not capable of handling the volume. Up to this point in the purchase process, the item was sold at the price stated — the shipping cost, like it or not, was what it said so no expectations failed to be met. However, when retailers offer online tracking, that is a promise to deliver on a date and one that can easily be monitored. Failing to deliver when promised, early or late, can create problems for the customer. One foolish solution is to go to a store, buy the item and take it home.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2019

    Amazon confirms it will open a grocery store not named Whole Foods

    I concur with Mark. The easiest way for Amazon to enter the market would have been to buy a small chain and learn what the grocery business is for those not named Whole Foods. They will discover it is a very competitive industry. It will be interesting to see their approach to a physical plant, product selection and pricing, marketing and customer service.
  • Posted on: 11/11/2019

    Why is Trader Joe’s hiding stuffed animals in its stores?

    This reminds me of the secret menus that some QSRs have. It may have an impact on those that know it exists but will have no impact on those that don’t. The real question is, does this impact the shopping experience? Again, for those in the know maybe but for the rest no.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Should McDonald’s CEO have been fired over a ‘consensual relationship’?

    When I worked for a major oil company the rule governing personal relationships was that you could not engage in one with someone who reported to you directly or indirectly or for whom you had any influence over their career. I remember the head of operations coming to me and informing me that he and someone in the marketing department were dating. The organizational structure meant he had no influence or control over her position nor was he ever likely to. They got married and are still married. The difference is Mr. Easterbrook was the CEO and as such he had the ability to influence the individual’s career. Even in a consensual relationship he violated the rules and McDonald’s had no choice but to take action.
  • Posted on: 11/04/2019

    Will Old Navy succeed with a one-price regardless of size concept?

    The concept is simple -- this garment costs X regardless of the size. I agree with Ryan. There is no logic in a pricing strategy that charges more for larger sizes and not less for smaller ones. While the material for the larger sizes may cost more, with the data available today a manufacturer should easily be able to create a blended cost. This should be something embraced by all brands.
  • Posted on: 11/01/2019

    Survey says consumers want online orders shipped fast and free

    The short answer is yes. Amazon has been setting the bar for delivery standards for some time. Each time it raises the bar it forces others to try to match it if they can. The development of its own delivery ecosystem makes it harder and harder for others to play catch up, but they know if they don't they will lose sales and customers.
  • Posted on: 10/31/2019

    McDonald’s drive-thru AI knows what you want before you order

    My first thought was no, I do not want McDonald's to record my license plate and track my purchase for any reason. I would regard this less as a convenience and more as an invasion of my privacy. The savings of an extra few seconds is definitely not worth the ask.
  • Posted on: 10/28/2019

    What makes voice assistants creepy?

    The short answer is for these devices to only make suggestions when asked to. Of course, the issue is that all that money that comes from collecting users’ information will go away. I admit I can not understand the attraction to having a device in you home that can be listening to everything that you say whether addressing the device or not. Reminds me of the Miranda warning: ”Anything you say can and will be used ...”
  • Posted on: 10/25/2019

    Free next-day shipping hits Amazon in its bottom line

    There is little doubt that Amazon’s next-day delivery had two impacts. The first was on Amazon’s profits. What the article didn’t mention was the impact on Amazon’s Prime membership. Did it go up, stay the same, etc.? The second is it will force other retailers to match this service, find an alternative such as Oliver mentioned or run the risk of losing those customers who feel the need for next-day delivery.
  • Posted on: 10/23/2019

    Best Buy is ready for Christmas with free next-day deliveries for almost everyone

    Customers’ expectations regarding delivery for online purchases keeps increasing. First it was free and then two-day and now next-day. As the baseline expectations grow it forces companies to keep up to avoid losing sales. Best Buy didn’t create the delivery race, but has now matched Amazon's offer for its Prime members and Walmart’s. Will it help them gain customers? That is uncertain, but it should help prevent them from losing some.

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