wrist watchers

7-Eleven adds to trend of selling wristbands to support worthy causes. Following the enormous success of the “LIVESTRONG” bracelet from cancer survivor and champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong, 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) has launched its own wristband for another noble cause—supporting U.S. troops. 7-Eleven is helping customers support American troops and the United Service Organizations (USO)

advertisings final frontier

Forget TV. Radio shmadio. Billboards? Puh-lease. Why not advertise where you know consumers have their eyes and ears trained: their cell phones. Imagine having the power to send advertising messages directly to devices in the palms and pants pockets of your best customers. Well, now you do. Services from marketing vendors like Textalert.com (www.textalert.com) enable

productsservices

Charge and protect Seven million people became victims of identity theft in 2003—an 80% increase versus the prior year, according to the research firm Gartner Group. Further research shows that 55% of Americans plan to use the Internet to buy "stuff." Next Estate Communications (www.nextestate.com) provides prepaid debit card programs through i-Gen® Free & Clear™,

human resources

Gain a tax break There are thousands of dollars in tax credits available to small-to medium-sized businesses for hiring people that are more difficult to employ or for locating businesses in areas where the government wants to revitalize economic growth. Only one in 800 businesses actually claims the credits they are due, leaving $4.2 billion

hot stuff for 2005

Next month rings in a new year, bringing with it plenty of never-before-seen product innovations. The low-carb fad that swept the U.S. market in 2004 sparked the launches of more than 3,100 new food and beverage items through late November. But the trend has begun to wind down, leaving the door open to new developments

wawa gets booked

Wawa Inc. (Wawa, PA), which today operates more than 550 convenience stores in five states, is the subject of a new book from Arcadia Publishing (888-313-2665; www.arcadiapublishing.com). The book spans parts of three centuries in detailing Wawa's evolution, beginning with its origins in the early 1800s as a manufacturer of cast-iron water pipes and stove

new retail concepts

Developing trends Approximately 40% of U.S. households will own at least one digital camera by the end of 2004, according to InfoTrends Research Group. As the technology becomes more prevalent, consumers are looking for affordable, convenient printing options, and if convenience stores are prepared, they could capture those customers. 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) is in

fuel marketing

Miller Oil nets higher fuel margins Three years ago Miller Oil Co. had been taking a beating at the pumps. The market had inverted for nearly three months and Miller's fuel volume was, pardon the pun, in the tank—a 10% to 15% decline per year over a three-year period—due to competitors pricing below cost. The

whats the big idea

Stuff your stocking with ideas for making more money in 2005 by Kate Buczko, Associate Editor, and Bill Donahue, Editor New ideas are the lifeblood of our industry. They give our stores the opportunity to grow and adapt to market conditions, and expand into virgin territory. The editors of CSD have compiled some of the

foodservice

Coffee gets its legs Adding disposable beverage transports to the lineup can give a jolt to the industry's leading gross profit margin category—hot dispensed beverages— while reinforcing a retailer's brand image. Such bulk transports, pioneered by vendors like LBP Manufacturing (www.lbpmfg.com), enable customers to take multiple cups of coffee—10 to 12 per fill-up—on the move,

cashing in on credit

Rising credit card fees got you down? Some retailers have convinced many credit customers to trade down to cash. Customers using cash or a CITGO Cash Card (above) at Larry Neville’s CITGO station in Florida receive a discount on gas purchases. Some credit-card customers aren’t too pleased, but Neville says the program has been worthwhile

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