Independent c-store operators face a difficult problem: it’s an unfair game against the big chains. Why unfair? Because the big chains can afford to spend millions of dollars gathering and analyzing data, giving them greater understanding of the performance of every store, product and employee. Independents are forced to run their stores based on intuition and industry experience, without the help of computer analytics and data. Because of this advantage, large chain stores beat independents on every yardstick, they average 11 times greater EBITDA , and they double in-store sales per square foot ($66.15 vs $32.23).