PROFILE

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

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  • Posted on: 06/29/2022

    Will a gas tax holiday drive retail in the right direction?

    I agree. The savings amount to $1.80 for the average 10 gallon fill up. It's definitely nice to have but not an amount that allow consumers to go out and make the number of purchases that will resuscitate retail.
  • Posted on: 06/27/2022

    Are mall shoppers hungry for in-stock data?

    An accurate in-stock tool is definitely a plus. Many stores have such tools but the issue is accuracy. Going to a store and finding they are out of stock on an item you went there for is not good. Checking the store’s app and finding that it indicates they have several of the item and then going there and finding they are out of it is something that makes the consumer very unhappy, especially when they ask a clerk and are told “yea, I know, it happens a lot.”
  • Posted on: 06/24/2022

    Is the metaverse opportunity getting any clearer?

    How should retailers go about their approach to the metaverse? In a word, carefully. The hype around the metaverse is very high and is likely to remain so. The skeptic in me says its use will likely be in areas such as gaming, and perhaps even education, long before it makes its way to being a force in retail.
  • Posted on: 06/23/2022

    There might soon be no one left to hire at Amazon’s warehouses

    Amazon does not have a hiring problem, it has a turnover problem. Likely most of the issues that cause employees to leave have to do with compensation and the working conditions. These are the same reasons many people join a union. Amazon should apply the same level of focus on it employees as it does it the customer, then it would not have to worry about running out of people to hire.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2022

    Study: Flexible scheduling challenges are keeping store managers up at night

    Flexible scheduling is the largest key ingredient but not the only one. The survey omitted rating pay as a factor. It did note, with that exception, that there were two others the respondents rated at over 50 percent. What this does indicate is that the most important factor varies between employees. That being said, for the vast majority of employees flexible scheduling has gone from something they want to something they require. Companies need to find a way to fulfill that requirement.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2022

    Will Walmart become the go-to shopping destination for cord cutters?

    This is a win for Roku, its customers and Walmart. The ability to shop without the QR code step will simplify the process and anything that makes it easier for customer to shop always increase purchases. The questions is, how long before others adopt the process now that it has gone from a concept to reality?
  • Posted on: 06/20/2022

    Will a U.S. factory transform Lego’s supply chain and eco-footprint?

    Both will be positively impacted which is the good news. The question of which of its goals will have the greatest benefit is unknown but my bet is on its logistics. The closer you manufacture to your major markets the shorter and simpler are the logistics of serving them.
  • Posted on: 06/17/2022

    Ultra-fast delivery may burn out or fade away

    The ultra-fast grocery delivery business model never made sense to me. As has been discussed before on RetailWire, what would drive the need for a 15-minute grocery delivery? I can see people trying it as a novelty, but not using the service regularly. The biggest issue delivery services and their customers face today is product availability. Getting a delivery fast is great but not if you can’t get the items you ordered.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2022

    Should analytics drive category planning?

    I agree. For analytics to be of value the data has to be relevant. We saw what happened to its value going into the pandemic and are seeing it again as we are hopefully at or nearing its end. Until companies have enough data on the “new normal" shopping patterns, a mix of an educated gut and guesswork is the best approach.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2022

    Should retailers charge for curbside pickup?

    Free curbside was a "needed to play" offering for retailers during the height of the pandemic. It isn’t today. The current labor shortage and rising wages means retailers need to, at minimum, find a way to mitigate its cost. Their choices are: charge more for the items selected, have a curbside fee, have a minimum purchase requirement, or some combination of these.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2022

    Circle K’s new self-checkouts are kicking barcode scanners to the curb

    I have seen Mashgin’s technology in person and was surprised at its ability to recognize items, especially in foodservice. Self-checkout has moved from the "needed to win" category to the "needed to play" category. Consumers now expect to have the choice to quickly check themselves out of all types of retail. For Circle K it allows them to adjust schedules so store staff can perform other functions or to potentially reduce store staff. The issue they and all c-store retailers face is with the sale of age restricted items. Market baskets with those items will still require a trained staff member.
  • Posted on: 05/31/2022

    Will $22 starting pay squelch unionization efforts at Apple?

    Like all retailers Apple faces a very tight labor market. It also faces unionization efforts at a growing number of its locations. Which weighs heavier in its decision to raise wage is something we may never know but the impact for the company and its employees is the same. Apple’s labor cost is going up and its employees are getting a significant raise.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2022

    When the going gets tough, consumers shop dollar stores

    Consumers shop dollar stores because their prices are lower than what they pay for similar items at other formats. Keeping that pricing delta, real or perceived, will allow this channel to continue to grow during this inflationary period. It is not that the item is cheap, it is that it is cheaper.
  • Posted on: 05/26/2022

    Is now the perfect time for grocers to sell imperfect food?

    The fact that the produce is referred to as ugly is indicative of the barrier there is to selling these items. "Eye appeal is buy appeal" is a mantra that all retailers have ingrained in their being. Customers have long been used to having produce trimmed, displayed, and packaged to increase its visual appeal. The tests by Walmart and Whole Foods occurred in a different economic climate but, while I expect the result might be better today, I don’t foresee them being a large success -- in the stores or delivered to the door.
  • Posted on: 05/25/2022

    Will Apple’s privacy positioning remake digital marketing?

    And in many cases people don't know what they could know.

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