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OneShow Picks Up The Pace
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 5, May 2016
NAMA's 2016 OneShow continued the event's steady rebound, with more than 70 first-time exhibitors.This reminds us that there's real value in an industry-specific exhibition. As valuable as the Internet is as a component of ab effective communication program, face-to-face interaction and "tire-kicking" is more vital than ever in marketing... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

'Shark Tank' Discovers Vending
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 4, April 2016
It's an exciting time to be in the vending business, and it seems that ABC-TV "Shark Tank" hosts agree with me. Costars Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec will headline the general session at next week's NAMA OneShow in Chicago. But the real excitement happened last month, when Vengo Labs founders Brian Shimmerlik and Steven Bofil negotiated brilliantly for a $2 million deal... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

The Greatest Generation: Remembering Walter Reed
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 3, March 2016
When I joined Vending Times as an assistant editor in 1988, our editor, Tim Sanford, spoke very highly of a man named Walter Reed. He mentioned that Walter was one of a number of remarkable people who really had put the vending association on the map... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

One Hand Cannot Wash Itself
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 2, February 2016
In our February issue, we share the success story of Ken Frohlich, an operator who runs Pristine Springs Water Co. in Kingsport, TN. One of the things that struck me about Frohlich's narrative is that he credits much of his success to the many industry veterans who have helped him along the way... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Come Together - Right Now
Issue: Vol. 56, No. 1, January 2016
I always find it interesting to look back on what has started to trend in our industry, and then to watch those novelties mature and become familiar over time. VT has been reporting on these changes for more than half a century, and the ones that caught on are now among the tools that allow us to compete with other convenience and entertainment channels... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Misconception Is Not Reality
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 12, December 2015
Small businesses often are overlooked for the wrong reasons. Customers assume that prices will be higher at a small business than at a corporate chain store, just as they ignore the amenities that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory variety and community support. Most of these assumptions are wrong, but it is difficult to explain this to people who have been corrupted by "consumerism" ... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

The Future Is Ours To Shape
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 11, November 2015
Believe or not, the summer of 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the beloved 1980s science-fiction film Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox. It is now 2015, and many news media outlets have been discussing how accurate those predictions actually were... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

It's All About That Brew
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 10, October 2015
Our October issue is headed to the National Automatic Merchandising Association's 2015 Coffee, Tea & Water show, which opens in Washington, DC, on Nov. 2. You might be reading this column as you prepare to travel there, or even at the conference itself. CTW has grown into a first-rate forum for vending and OCS operators, and its evolution continues to parallel the industry itself. Here's what's on tap... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Pay It Forward
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 9, September 2015
Keeping records that include proof of purchase, date of delivery and warranty details, updated with the item's present use, dates of preventive maintenance and details of repairs should be among the fundamentals of running a vending business... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Better Together: Vending And Leisure
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 8, August 2015
One man's dilution is another's solution... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Savoring Sweet Opportunity: Snack And Candy Vending Trends
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 6, June 2015
Consumers today are demanding "healthier" snacks that combine a wider variety of flavors and on-the-go appeal with main-meal attributes. NCA's Sweets & Snacks Expo highlighted the opportunity that this trend offers us... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Full Speed Ahead
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 5, May 2015
There was a lot of excitement leading up to this year's NAMA OneShow, which, I must say, lived up to all the advance publicity. And on the heels of the successful Amusement Expo and NBVA Show in March, we all have good reason to be encouraged... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Spring Has Sprung
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 4, April 2015
I write this column in the wake of a successful collocated Amusement Expo and NBVA show, and will be on my way to Las Vegas for the National Automatic Merchandising Association OneShow as this issue hits your mailbox... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Evolve Or Die
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 3, March 2015
I had the privilege to attend the F2FEC family entertainment center business conference in Phoenix, and the energy at the event was contagious... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

A Matter Of Perspective
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 2, February 2015
Operators often complain when someone appears to violate their exclusive right to serve an account, and the industry can be a happier and more tranquil place if they recognize that suppliers may feel the same way... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Arcades Of Future Past
Issue: Vol. 55, No. 1, January 2015
Nathan's, a famous landmark where I grew up in Oceanside, Long Island, closed its doors in early January 2015. They'll be moving down the road, but the 1956 landmark location was a part of the history I share with many old friends I still have from my high school days... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

What Business Are We In?
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 12, December 2014
I received a call recently from an old friend who is a longtime distributor of amusement equipment. His nephew owns a business and was looking for a refreshments provider, so he asked whether I could recommend a local coffee service firm... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

The Customer Is Always Right: Apple Pay
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 11, November 2014
The refusal of a number of major retailers to accommodate the new Apple Pay mobile payment system has gotten a lot of media attention. I've been very interested in the ongoing discussion, since most of it relates to important long-term strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for the vending and amusements industry... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Getting Their Attention
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 10, October 2014
We often talk about the importance of trade shows and networking with like-minded people. There's real value to an industry-specific exhibit and face-to-face interaction... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

[School] Food For Thought
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 9, September 2014
In a recent LinkedIn discussion, the question was raised: do the new school lunch standards make kids healthier or hungrier? This is hardly a new topic... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

The Next Big Thing Has Arrived
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 8, August 2014
Micromarkets are very new, and there is a tendency for people to speak of them in terms of things with which they're already familiar: "A self-service convenience store in your location." This has the advantage of painting a picture for the prospective client, but I think it's misleading... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

To See His Monument, Look Around You
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 6, June 2014
As we reported (with great sadness) in May, Roger Folz is gone. He was a prominent figure in my hometown, Oceanside, and when the Folz Vending headquarters there was closed seven years ago, an era ended... by Alicia Lavay... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Prepare To Engage
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 5, May 2014
We all have been hearing a lot about the potential of new networked technology for increasing customer engagement with our industry. The opportunity is that today's smartphones know where their users are... Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Work Smarter, Not Harder
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 4, April 2014
I just came back from the 2014 collocated Amusement Expo and National Bulk Vendors Association show. The new three-day amusement and bulk vending program included a full day of education followed by two days of exhibits, and the updated schedule was very well received... Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Are Cup Soft Drinks The Next Real Thing?
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 3, March 2014
I recently provoked a lively discussion on LinkedIn that generated a lot of interest. The topic: "Coke buys stake in Green Mountain to develop soft drink brands for single-cup use." Here's a synopsis of that dialogue | Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

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