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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

It's Time To Rock The Boat
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 2, February 2014
There always are going to be some locations that buy their own equipment. We can only see the bright side of this if we're willing to talk about it | Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Esprit de Core
Issue: Vol. 54, No. 1, January 2014
It's difficult for a business to succeed if its core values do not harmonize with those of its customers | Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Talking 'bout Regeneration
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 12, December 2013
As we come to the close of another year, it's natural to reflect on what we've accomplished, where we are going and whether we've stayed on course. While the vending industry has experienced a profound upheaval over the past decade, its structural underpinnings remain unchanged... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

More Science, Less Propaganda
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 11, November 2013
It's time to stop describing some wholesome foods as "healthier" than others. Studies of the benefit or harm of various food components usually arrive at different conclusions. We should not allow the enemies of food choice to define the terms of the argument... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Let's Promote Sales - And Profits, Too
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 10, October 2013
In the early days of the full-line vending revolution, operators found themselves installing their machines in "closed" workplace locations. These accounts generally gave the vending company a large clientele that did not change from day to day, and operators soon recognized the need to keep up interest in the machines... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Wider Horizons For Self-Service Retailing
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 9, September 2013
We have always published Vending Times with the goal of encouraging an exchange of ideas among the diverse segments of the industry. Operators always are on the lookout for opportunities, and the mix of services provided by many operating companies today is different from the menu they offered a few years ago... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

'Fair Trade' Is About More Than Sourcing
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 8, August 2013
The success of Marley Coffee goes far beyond brand image, and the message of "fair trade" stands to benefit the entire coffee industry... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Smart Vending Needs Smarter Marketing
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 6, June 2013
Nearly 25% of visits to the Vending Times website are made with mobile devices. It's a good bet that in two or three years, a majority of our online audience will be mobile users and our website design is responding to that likelihood. The same can be said for the latest vending machine designs and software development... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

The Future Has Arrived: Now What?
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 5, May 2013
A question raised during a networking session I attended at the NAMA OneShow was "What trends do you anticipate in vending over the next five years?" Several people raised their hands and said, enthusiastically: "Micromarkets! Healthy vending! Technology. My comment to the group? We are trending! This is happening right now…" by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

First Rule Of Engagement: Engage!
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 4, April 2013
We've said it before, but it bears repeating: there's real value in an industry-specific exhibit, and the need for face-to-face interaction has never been more important. A trade show does not have to attract huge crowds to be worthwhile; what's needed is a solid core of substantial buyers... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Holding Out For A Hero
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 3, March 2013
Any operation that contracts with a location is in effect hired to do a specified job. Actually doing that job and seeing it through to the end with a strong work ethic is the reason it is in business... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

Time To Stand Up For Common Sense
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 2, February 2013
Freedom of choice is paramount to consumer satisfaction, and free enterprise is vital to the future of the vending business. The location, not the operator, has the final say about what is sold through a vending machine... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

People, Get Ready!
Issue: Vol. 53, No. 1, January 2013
There's an old joke that if all the economists in the world were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion. Getting economists to agree on anything seems like an exercise in futility, but I think we can be sure of one thing: untangling the causes and assessing the results of the financial crisis could take years... by Alicia Lavay
Author: Alicia Lavay

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