Editor's Letter: Spring Cleaning

The NACS State of the Industry Summit in April has always marked the start of spring for me. I have various memories of milling around outside the Loews in Rosemont, Ill., realizing it’s the first time in months I’ve comfortably stood outside without a jacket. Or hat, mittens, scarf, boots, another scarf … Sadly, those springtime hopes are usually dashed by mid-May, when I find myself unexpectedly freezing and definitely underdressed outside of McCormick Place, waiting for the bus at the NRA Show and Sweets & Snacks Expo.

Regardless of what’s happening outside, spring has sprung at Convenience Store Products, and with it the motivation for rebirth and rejuvenation. Over the next few months, we’ll undertake a major analysis of the magazine and e-newsletter. We’ve begun some qualitative and quantitative analysis to identify just what you most need out of a products-driven trade magazine. Many of you participated in our Readership Study in May, and we thank you enormously for that. The survey was in part for our inaugural Retailer Forecast, which will be the centerpiece of our July/August issue. But it will also be used to inform us on how you seek out new products for your store or stores, and your decision-making process for what makes the cut and enters your assortment. You may receive a phone call from us in the coming weeks, asking you to talk about this process and how the magazine can help. If you have a thought or two on the matter, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or my colleague Abbey Lewis. You can reach us at awestra@winsightmedia.com and alewis@winsightmedia.com.

Speaking of Abbey, you’ll be seeing her name far more in the future as she takes over ownership of Convenience Store Products. With seven years at CSP Business Media and many NACS Shows under her belt, many of you already know Abbey. (A few of you may be shocked to realize there are two of us—it’s OK, we get it. Two brilliant, lovely, insightful women born and raised in Wisconsin—we confuse ourselves sometimes.) Abbey started with CSP as executive editor of CSP Independent, then headed up our design department.

Last year, she put her editorial cap back on for Convenience Store Products and has since helped  bring character and life to the brand. The fact that Abbey has held editorial and design positions reflects her talents with both the written word and how they are treated on the page. Abbey has already brought a fresh and creative voice to the brand, and I’m incredibly excited to see what she does from here.

And I’ll still be here, overseeing the brand, writing the CSP Kitchen section in our sister publication CSP magazine and lending my hand more often to that magazine.

Since its first issue in January 2013, this magazine has taken on a life of its own, encompassing  upwards of 150 products and more than a dozen feature articles in each issue. (If you’ve seen the movie “Little Shop of Horrors,” you get a sense of what it’s like to feed this beast.) Expect some very exciting news from us around the NACS Show in October and into 2016. We’re excited to see what will spring out of our analysis, and hope you are too. After all, this is your magazine, not ours.