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: 09/21/2018

    Will the EU’s anticompetitive investigation follow Amazon back to the U.S.?

    This brings to mind the Cherokee legend about the little boy who picked up a rattle snake and then asked why the snake bit him. The snake replied, "You knew what I was when you picked me up." After all the discussion and publicity about this issue any third-party seller on Amazon should know in advance that Amazon is likely to use the information they gather for their own benefit. As Neil stated I believe this is likely spelled out in the agreement with Amazon. Even knowing this could or will happen, third-party sellers elect to move forward because they believe the benefit outweighs the risk.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2018

    What would 3,000 AmazonGo stores do to the U.S. retail landscape?

    This is a concept that may play well in an urban environment where there are offices and/or high household population density. The offer is limited and not something the will be competive with a well-stocked and managed c-store. I agree with Paula; I don’t see how the economics work. The cost of the systems would have to come down considerably to be even close to break even.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2018

    Are Aldi’s customers who you think they are?

    The short answer is no. As the article’s headline implies Aldi’s customer base is far broader in terms of socio-demographics that some might expect. For the vast majority of the population the idea that someone must be have a lower income to seek value in the purchase has long passed. A prime example was an article in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune entitled “Ways the wealthy sit on their cash.” Number 5 was to use coupons. Home delivery is no longer a new concept. This issues for grocery retailers are how to do it right and who pays for it -- them or the consumer.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2018

    Will competition force all grocers to offer free store pickup?

    As with many new service ideas, free order pickup starts out as a test, then becomes part of the regular offer. Along the way, it moves in the industry from a need to win to a needed to play. I am not sure where it is in the consumer's mind at the moment but as more and more offer free pick up, it continues to edge more towards the needed-to-play end of the continuum.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    What will a ‘new standard for green retail’ mean for Starbucks’ results?

    There is no downside to becoming a greener company and a lot of upside. Some are electing to do it in the manner that Starbucks and Apple are, which is related directly to their locations. Others are enrolling in programs such as GreenPrint which allows customers to directly impact their carbon footprint. No matter which approach a company chooses I remain hopeful that they have the impact needed.
  • Posted on: 09/17/2018

    Walmart expands test of giant automated grocery kiosk

    This in-between approach will certainly appeal to those who don’t want to have to park, enter the store and the interact with a clerk who may or may not be able to quickly locate their order. That being said I don’t see this being a part of Walmart’s longer-term solution set for its customers who don’t want to do their traditional shopping in the store.
  • Posted on: 09/14/2018

    Are ad agencies history?

    Data must be turned into actionable information. This is a function of drawing insights from it. In the case of ad agencies that means being able to use that insight to create something that will create or reinforce brand awareness and drive sales. Data is just data.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2018

    Has solved the melting chocolate challenge?

    I agree with David. If it works as advertised they deserve an “A.” The press release discussed the concept but not what has happened in the real world. I expected that there would be some proof of concept either via testimonials and/or internal testing. There wasn’t. It will be interesting to hear customer comments.
  • Posted on: 09/11/2018

    7-Eleven gives football fandom an AR boost

    In order to have the numbers work, you need to have a large store and app user base. 7-Eleven has both. However, as others have noted, it is difficult to demonstrate the impact of AR on sales and profitability. The appeal of this tech definitely skews younger and may enable 7-Eleven to grow it youthful shopper base and create lifetime customers. The other aspects of the promotion have a broader appeal across a wider range of age groups. The promotion will work with or without AR.
  • Posted on: 09/07/2018

    Will crowdsourced service help Walmart nail the last mile of grocery deliveries?

    At this point no one has truly solved the delivery issue for grocery or at least not on a widespread level. Will third-party delivery be the answer? Perhaps, perhaps not. But Walmart deserves kudos for experimenting with these services. While the amount of money represented in a drop of 17 basis points (0.17 percent) in a company of Walmart's size in is not small it can’t be solely attributed to the cost of delivery.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2018

    The Rock rules celebrity endorsements

    I agree with all Lyle’s and Camille's alignment criteria for success factors. The only one I would add is staying power. Brands should carefully evaluate the longevity of their celebrity endorsers. What they are paying for is the brand awareness of the celebrity. Should that fade so does their value as a spokesperson.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders

    Putting you best foot forward in today’s digital world means using social media to your advantage. Amazon is doing just that. As long as they are adhering to the tenets outlined in David's comment, Amazon’s actions fall within acceptable practices. There is no question that there are many negative comments being made by others about working in Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2018

    Will Kroger’s ban mean the end of plastic bags in grocery stores?

    The issue of eliminating one-time use of plastic continues to grow. Plastic bags have been a topic for some time and the latest addition to the trend has been plastic straws. I'm not sure about other markets but where I live we can add the plastic bags to the other items that can be recycled and are picked up weekly. Naturally not everyone does so. Kroger’s dropping the bags will add to its bottom line if the profit lost from those of customers who elect to shop elsewhere is less than the savings of the cost of buying of six billion bags. Will others follow? I believe so. This has gone from a small movement to a growing trend whether legislated or not. The one caution is reusable bags should be cleaned. Here again not everyone does.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2018

    Ellison won’t repeat Penney mistake, slams door on Orchard Supply Hardware

    Knowing when to hold them and when to fold them is an important ability for any CEO. Mr. Ellison learned an expensive lesson at J.C. Penney. The analysis showed the cost, effort and time to “fix” Orchard Supply was too great and the return too small. By focusing on their core business they have increased the chances that they remain a strong competitor to Home Depot.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2018

    Sears faces Craftsman competition of its own making

    The real question is, what does the Craftsman brand mean to consumers? Does it represent a tool that you can only buy at Sears or is it a high quality tool that you can buy everywhere? The former was true in the past, but IMHO the latter is today’s reality. Will there be some confusion in the marketplace? It's somewhat unlikely for two reasons. First there are going continue to be fewer and fewer Sears locations. The second is that most tool buyers will not be making direct comparisons of the tools.

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