Frequently Asked Questions

What geography does Cline Associates cover?

Cline Associates, through its own resources, offers consulting, sales and retail coverage in the traditional southeastern states including Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Through our United Reach Sales Team we offer sales and marketing coverage for the entire country.

Why should I select Cline Associates as a business partner?

Cline Associates has been a leader in the convenience store channel since 1992. We have the experience and the connections in the industry to gain the results a client is looking for. The majority of the companies that we work for have been with us for over 10 years. We are intentional about building a lasting business relationship.

Can Cline Associates provide consulting services?

Cline Associates has been providing consulting services to its clients since our inception. Our advice in the areas of product development, pricing and product promotion can aid your speed to market and your profitability once your product line is launched. The fee for our consulting services is negotiated based on individual client needs. A full explanation of our consulting services is offered in the Expert Consulting section of our website.

Does Cline Associates provide retail services?

Cline Associates has been providing retail services since its inception. These services ensure that the program our customers have signed up for is being implemented at the store level. Cline Associates offers retail services in the areas of continuity, store resets and special projects. The fee for each service varies based on the needs defined by the retailer or our client. A full explanation of our capabilities is offered in the Retail Services section of our website.

What channels of business does Cline Associates cover?

Cline Associates offers consulting, sales and retail services to the convenience store class of trade. We also offer sales coverage for vending distributors and operators.

What experience does Cline Associates have?

Cline Associates has been servicing the convenience store channel since 1992. Our dedicated sales people have experience in all areas of the business, to include but not be limited to, beverage, general merchandise, HBC/HBA, novelty, snacks, candy, automotive, energy, prepaid, food service, bakery, tobacco, general supplies, apparel and dairy.

Does Cline Associates cover all customers in the area?

Cline Associates sales people cover all customers in the geography that they are responsible for. These customers include convenience store wholesalers, convenience store retailers and independent convenience stores. Each sales person also covers the vending distributors and operators in their geography. Cline Associates has an excellent relationship with the major accounts within our core southeastern geography.

Do you have full-time administrative support?

Cline Associates offers full-time administrative support for order processing, rebate processing, deduction clearing and any other similar administrative duties.

What kind of administrative duties does Cline Associates offer?

The primary administrative duty that Cline Associates offers is order processing. Our order processing can include EDI functionality if required by our client. We handle all backorder issues and track orders as needed. Deduction clearing has become a core competency for Cline Associates. We also track and process all retailer and wholesaler retailer rebate payments.

Can Cline Associates help me create a plan for my convenience store customers?

Cline Associates can help design retailer and wholesaler programs for the convenience store class of trade. The programs can include rebate programs, trade show promotions and secondary display promotions. Clients utilize Cline Associate’s Expert Consulting business unit for the creation of these types of programs.

“Client” is referenced a variety of times one the website. What is a “client” to Cline Associates?

Cline Associates is hired by a client (manufacturer) to provide consulting, sales or retailer services to convenience or vending customers. The hiring process typically includes a contract between Cline Associates and the client.

What services does a convenience store broker or sales agency like Cline Associates offer?

Cline Associates is a full service agency. We offer consulting, sales and retail services. Our consulting services allow clients to determine the market needs and increase the probability of success during the product launch. Our sales capabilities allow our clients to achieve immediate access to the key wholesale and retail customers in the c-store and vending marketplace. Our retail services ensure implementation at the store level.

Does Cline Associates cover the vending class of trade or channel?

Cline Associates offers sales coverage for the vending class of trade. We cover the large and small vending distributors as well as key vending operators.

How can Cline Associates help my company with setting a competitive price?

Cline Associates has the retail experience to determine competitive retail prices as well as determine the necessary wholesaler and retailer margins needed to build a successful convenience store program. Assisting with a pricing plan is part of Cline Associates expert consulting program.

How can Cline Associates help my company create the proper promotions for the c-store channel?

Cline Associates has worked with many clients to build a successful promotional calendar. We can help direct the type of funding (off invoice, scan down, etc.), the timing of promotions and the specific display pieces needed to gain approval from key customers. Assisting with promotional development is part of Cline Associates expert consulting program.

Can Cline Associates help my company with rebate processing?

Rebates are a part of any successful convenience store program. But, gathering the necessary data, calculating the rebate and tracking the payment to the customer can be difficult. Cline Associates offers this service to our clients as part of our sales agreement.

Can Cline Associates help my company with deduction processing?

Deductions are part of doing business in the convenience store space. Clearing them can be a labor intensive and time consuming process. Cline Associates has the relationships and the contacts with the wholesalers and retailers to ensure accuracy in the deductions and/or ensuring that customers pay back erroneous deductions. Depending on the degree of deduction coverage a client needs, this service may be covered as part of our sales agreement or may need to be a separate, negotiated agreement.