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Creek Convenience Store Atmore Blog

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A Day in the Life of... Tribal Member Susie McCann

Land Rec The convenience store industry is a hotbed for growth right now in America. They are the most utilized retailer for people who are on the go, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But it's the behind-the-scenes work that makes an average convenience store become a great store — one that customers want to visit time and time again.

“Believe it or not, there is a lot of paperwork involved in running a convenience store and gas station,” Creek Convenience Store Atmore General Manager Susie McCann said. “I begin every day with paperwork and end most days with it as well.”

Director of Retail Operations Leo Hammons echoes that statement.

“I approve all invoices and make sure everything is keyed in on the proper line, because that affects inventory,” he said. “It takes a lot of time to double check things, but in the end, it makes the operations run more effectively.”

However, what makes CCSA unique in the industry is they set their own gas prices and change them more frequently than the average station.

“We get reports on prices from McPherson and base it off that,” said McCann, who is a Tribal Member and going on her 11th year with the company. “We don’t wait to change the prices like others do. When we notice the trend go up or down, we go up or down, depending on our cost. That makes us usually the first station customers notice when prices drop.”

McCann said vendors come in on staggered days, so once she gets settled in the mornings, she often is out in the store managing inventory.

“I enjoy getting out on the floor with the staff,” she said. “I really love my employees. They work so hard and are very dedicated.”

McCann said CCSA employs 12 full-time workers who receive an excellent benefit package and 401(k) when they are hired.

“Everything is going really well here,” McCann said. “Every day I check the grounds for repairs or possible upgrades and routine maintenance that needs doing. I sometimes deal with a gas issue or inventory issue but mostly we are a well-oiled machine.”

Having been in the business most of her life — she and her husband previously owned a store for several years — McCann said she has seen the industry change and has accommodated customers’ lifestyles.

“The most recent addition has been our e-cigarettes,” she said. “We have seen more people buy e-cigs and the refill oils than actual cigarettes. The trend is moving away from smoking and towards vaping.” Another change is in technology.

“We have recently installed a new front-end system (registers), and I absolutely love how it works,” McCann said. “Learning all the new back-office system for sending in reports has been great, too. It has a lot of new features I think will really benefit us once we learn and implement them.”

CCSA also features Creek Indian heritage in its merchandise. Indian dolls, handmade purses and other PBCI logo items are on display for sale all throughout the store.

McCann said she has no complaints when it comes to her job and industry.

“CIE is family,” she said of working for Creek Indian Enterprise Development Authority, which manages CCSA for the Tribe. “I really love my job, my staff and my customers. I just wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

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