Archives for 2005

fresh pressure

Casey’s and CJ’s don’t skimp when it comes to offering fresh pizza. Dedicated labor and attention to detail keep these programs profitable. Easy doesn’t necessarily mean better. That’s the view of Casey’s General Stores(Ankeny, IA) when it comes to foodservice. With more than 1,300 corporate-ownedstores and 19 franchised stores covering nine Midwest states, the company

benefiting from benefits

Vic Shealy, president of Citizens Fuel Co./Citi Stop Convenience Stores (Asheville, NC), has concentrated on soft benefits since he bought the business in 1974. “We don

package deal

Together, Darcy Paluch and Steve Hendrickson have nearly 30 years of experience with Moyle Petroleum (Rapid City, SD), which operates 35 Common Cents Food Stores in five states. Both started their retailing careers at store-level, learning the trade from the inside out. Despite the challenges, Paluch, marketing director for Common Cents, sees a huge upside

pumped about biofuels

Some people say the U.S. can free itself from foreign oil dependence if it buys from the Midwest rather than the Middle East. Will the industry allow that to happen? Back in February, a gasoline distributor told Karen Riley, vice president of operations for nine-store Jiffy Mini-Marts Inc. (Terre Haute, IN), about an alternative fuel

realationship

A new study reveals that customers are ready to take their relationship with your stores and employees to a new level. Are you? Kathy (not her real name) is a grandmother in her late 40s who recently movedfrom an apartment in Scottsdale, AZ, to a house in Phoenix. “So I don’t havemuch connection to my

the quest for clean power

To maintain uptime and reduce servicing, the latest generation of electronic power conditioners guards data in case of power failure or lockups in ATM systems. To maintain uptime and reduce servicing, the latest generation of electronicpower conditioners guards data in case of power failure or lockups in ATM systems. In the race to deliver 100%

simplifying contract management

Amphire Solutions (www.amphire.com ) has introduced Amphire Reconcile, a hosted, Webbased solution that gives retailers the ability to ensure compliance of contracts and rebates with trading partners and streamlines workflow for greater profitability. Trading partners using Reconcile would collaborate online—in real time—to create, store, edit and manage contracted prices and rebates. Reconcile is centered on

riding the right horse

Retailers trim energy costs by investing in building-control systems geared specifically for their stores Checking the fence line? Use a quarter horse. Entering the Preakness or theKentucky Derby? Saddle up a thoroughbred. Plowing the field or pulling a heavyload? Enlist a draft horse. And a Morgan is just right for pleasure riding.The point is, using

Building Fanatics at Retail Level

Every element of the National Convenience Store Advisory Group’s Fall Conference was designed to help retailers turn customers into fanatics about their brands. How do you motivate your stores (and staff) to peak performance? How do you get to the next level of sales and profitability? The answer may lie in developing a closer connection

Thumbs Up for Biometric Check Cashing

Roughly 610,000 consumers are using Paycheck Secure (www.paychecksecure.com ), BioPay’s biometric payroll check cashing system, at more than 400 retail locations throughout California. To date, Golden State retailers have cashed more than 5.8 million checks, totaling $2.7 billion, through Paycheck Secure since its launch in 2001. An additional 57,000 individuals in Arizona, Utah and Nevada

A recruiting advantage for convenience stores

Deploy Solutions has developed a recruiting and talent management solution configured specifically for the convenience store industry called C-Store Advantage. The foundation of the program directs all applicants to a kiosk and/or Web solution when applying for an available position, which helps achieve consistency and compliance in the application process. Then, using assessments for traits

flu shots at walmart

In-store health clinics are spreading like the common cold to a rising number of major drugstore and hypermarket chains, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., CVS Corp. and Rite Aid Corp., according to a Wall Street Journal report. These clinics offer routine medical services such as strep-throat tests, sports physicals and flu shots, charging $25 to $60

no contact for meijer

Meijer Stores Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI) is the first supercenter chain to adda contactless card payment option at its gas pumps. The chain’s 150 stores thatsell gas will have more than 1,850 fueling positions upgraded with a Gilbarco(www.gilbarco.com) contactless card system. Theintegrated system is currently the only product certified by all three majorcard companies for

Moving in Moving up

Retailers stir up new business by targeting “new movers.” Since opening Smith’s Service Center (Lancaster, PA) in 1979, John Smith had tried advertising in the Yellow Pages and utilizing the Welcome Wagon service to ferret out new customers, but he’d experienced limited, immeasurable results. “There were seven similar businesses to mine in the Welcome Wagon

pack outlets

Singles may account for the bulk of a convenience retailer’s packaged beverage sales, but multi-packs represent a home-run growth opportunity as “gateway items” to other impulse purchases. About three years ago, Diane Clark surveyed her market to see her conveniencestore rivals getting aggressive with multi-pack soft drinks: large warm displays,both inside and out. Her 27

system failure

When employees perform below expectations, chances are it’s not a training issue. Often, employees fail because of the systems that are supposed to support them. Researchers tell us that when employees who know how to perform the dutiesof their jobs aren’t performing them, lack of training is rarely the cause. Job-related training salespeople say otherwise,

mapping out a plan

When eyeballing the top line, retailers won’t confuse maps with tobacco or packaged beverages anytime soon. But this segment deserves the respect it might not be getting. Americans continue to amass near large cities—but they also have begun to poolin many smaller, traditionally rural towns. Take Atlanta and Asheville, NC,for example. Since 2000, the 10-county

lots of opportunity

Labeled “cannibalistic” by some, drive-thru coffee kiosks on c-store lots can perk up in-store java sales. Over the past 11 years, more than 70 of Montanabased Mountain Mudd’ssignature green 8′ by 8′ drive-thru kiosks have popped up in parking lots spanning21 states, and founder Brenda Burkhartsmeier has plans to take over the nationalNo. 2 niche

Should you add to your ad budget

Advertising is a severely underutilized tool for convenience retailers, according to one industry guru. So, how much should you allocate for your ad budget—and where should you invest it? Each year, convenience retailers spend an estimated $300 million in advertising.That sounds like a lot of dough, but John Matthews, president of marketing consulting firm Gray

next stop for first stop handheld computing

First Stop Convenience Stores has implemented Pricebook Connect fromTiva Software LLC (www.tivasoftware.com),in conjunction with barcode scanners from Socket Communications Inc.(www.socketcom.com ) toimprove the speed and accuracy of order processing and information sharing forits chain of 30 stores throughout Ohio and Kentucky. Using the handheld system,First Stop has automated its inventory management process and simplified datacollection,

waterworld

First-class service sets Waterway Gas & Wash apart from the crowd. Some people would consider Henry Dubinsky a visionary, a man ahead ofhis time. As far back as 1970, he realized that carwash and gasoline were naturalbedfellows. Dubinsky, chairman and chief executive officer of Waterway Gas &Wash Co., knew even then that the two profit

the tough questions

Completing parts of the hiring process by way of Web, phone or kiosk can sidestep store-level shortcuts. Faithfully performing every part of the hiring process every time youhire someone is just smart business. The problem, however, is that some hiringtasks are unpleasant and most are so repetitive that managers may be temptedto take risky shortcuts.

csd names 7eleven 2005 chain of the year

Nation’s largest chain honored for culture of innovation. Convenience Store Decisions has named 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) its2005 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. The award recognizes convenienceretailingexcellence in marketing and merchandising, operating efficiency and severalother key areas, and is based in part on feedback from industry professionals. “We are especially honored to receive this

mapco gains some clarity

Mapco Express Inc., a subsidiary of Delek US Holdings Inc. (Franklin,TN) that operates a network of close to 400 stores in the Southeast, has adoptedClarity Systems’ ( www.claritysystems.com)Clarity Performance Management as its planning, reporting and performance-monitoringstandard. During its evaluation, Mapco reviewed several products, but one ofthe main advantages of choosing Clarity was its technical adaptability,

eye on the prize

While creating a safer environment for employees, Kent Oil witnessed as much as a 19% increase in sales in one of two stores testing a new surveillance system. Bill Kent has always had a simple goal: to deliver the best possiblelevel of customer service in his stores. Up till two and a half years ago,