Archives for 2005

carolina petroleum optimizes fuel ops

Carolina Petroleum Distributors (Charlotte, NC), which owns and operatesmore than 60 high-volume convenience stores under the Petro Express brand inthe Carolinas, has implemented an Internet software solution from TelaPointInc. to streamline and manage its fuel marketing and transportation schedulingprocesses. The retailer is using TelaFuel (www.telafuel.com),a browserbased application suite, to improve management of fuel replenishmentoperations serving

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,

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,

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,

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

working with a net

Meticulous vendor selection and an intense focus on proper rotation comprise some of the measures retailers take to build fortresses around their food programs. With great power comes great responsibility. So said "Uncle Ben" Parkerto his web-slinging nephew Peter in the 2002 summer smash Spider-Man. Asimilar maxim applies to convenience retailers in the food business:

removing obstacles

As senior vice president of sales and marketing for GPM Investments LLC, Brad Chivington does everything in his power to make sure his company's 160 Fas Mart and Shore Stop stores perform at a consistently high level. And when the stores show measurable improvement

the ostore

Baton Rouge’s upscale LA Rouge Mart meets at the intersection of Opulence and Convenience. In 1993’s dinosaurs-run-amok blockbuster Jurassic Park, the park’screator John Hammond often repeated the phrase, “spared no expense.” Louisianaentrepreneur Muhammed S. Khan can say the same. But unlike the film, in whichbloodthirsty dinosaurs revolted and tore the island to shreds, Khan’s investmentsin

a volatile mixture

With gas prices reaching obscene levels, sales of premium cigarettes could suffer in the short term. The past 10 months have been a pretty wild ride for Julie Van Alyea.Van Alyea, retail merchandise manager for Redwood Oil Co. (Santa Rosa, CA),has noticed a significant change in her most important instore category: cigarettes.While she has heard

the new new normal

The images we see and stories we hear run the gamut, from disturbing to redeeming. America

Decision Makers – September, 2005

Waterway Gas & Wash Co. (Chesterfield, MO) has added Michelle Sausen as its director of merchandising. Before joining Waterway Gas &Wash, Sausen served McLane Grocery Distribution as vice president of sales for the company’s Western and Minnesota divisions. Keith Morrow, chief technology officer for 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas,TX) and the company itself have been named among

coffee better than sex

Some people would sooner swear off "nookie" than give up their morning cup of coffee, according to new research commissioned by Dunkin' Donuts. The donut and coffee chain surveyed close to 1,200 customers (ages 18 to 49) across the country to find that 42% of coffee drinkers say that coffee is a more important or

centralized production

Central Ohio Energy (Mansfield, OH) opened its commissary about threeyears ago. Company executives saw a need for a fresh and consistent productand couldn't pinpoint a vendor that could provide the quality it needed andbe flexible about returns. The Ohio chain operates nine locations: eight In-n-Out Marts and one Easy TripStore. The Easy Trip, which is

the key to consistency

When a particular category— say, foodservice—accounts for almost 12% of the industry’s total inside sales (which it did last year, per the National Association of Convenience Stores’ State of the Industry report), retailers will work to control it as much as possible. In fact, retailers have spent millions of dollars and man-hours to add cost

cultivating the greyfields

If a recent visit to one of Philadelphia's premier retail attractions is any indication, America's specialty shopping destinations are in trouble. In late June, I visited Philly's South Street, a kitschy shopping district on the outskirts of Center City known for its funky shops and coffeehouses, "colorful" characters and plenty of places to pick up

Decision Makers – August, 2005

– Stop’n Go of Medina (Medina, OH) has named Rich Frank as its new general manager. Frank had been with Stop’n Go as a consultant and project manager for two years and was instrumental in the implementation of a number of projects, including a prototype Stop’n Go store that opened in late April. – R.J.

open pantrys golden egg

Open Pantry Food Marts used its coffee program as the centerpiece for its new bistro-like stores. It’s been so successful that now the company is set to open its own standalone coffee shops. Bubba has always been Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin’s bread andbutter. But if it was going to attract female customers ages

portion potions

America is a nation of dashboard diners. But Americans are taking a more sensible approach to eating on the go, realizing the need to balance convenience with healthy eating, according to On-The-Go Eating: Consumer Mindsets, Menu Trends and Product/Packaging Innovations, a new report from market researcher Packaged Facts. Key trends covered in the report include

a bitter taste

’Old Salt’ remains the snack category’s strongest draw, but pre-priced items leave an unpleasant taste in the mouths of many retailers. One Arkansas-based merchant opted to take a leading manufacturer’s brands off its shelves over an inflexible pricing policy. No one is irreplaceable. That’s essentially the message Terry Taylorsent one of the packaged snack category’s

putting a finger onbiometrics

Some retailers now accept a new form of customer payment: the human body (or at least part of it). Most people would develop an eating disorder or some other form of neurosis if people continually gave them the finger. But not Colorado’s Bob Zenner. The more people flash him their “digits,” the wider his smile.

the king of all duckies

Elvis is in the building! Elvis Presley is as American as apple pieand baseball, and if early results are any indication, a new rubber duckie castin the mold of “The King” could reap a hunk-ahunkof-burnin’ sales for conveniencestores. Elvis represents the biggest new addition to the lineup from the company thatmade rubber duckies cool again,

wheelindealin

Oregon retailer More of Everything caters to captive audiences in area shopping malls. It also attracts droves of race fans with exclusive and collectible items. Brian C. Bach’s passion for all things NASCAR came gift-wrapped with his DNA. His father, a photographer, freelanced for the Los Angeles Times and covered NASCAR and Indy races at

Rubber meets the cstore

Customers pulling in to one of Jerry Dorminey’s NASCAR-themed convenience stores or travel centers are immediately drawn to the Nextel Cup car on display (above).Thanks to his racing connections (he owned his own race team in the 1960s and’70s), he’s able to put an actual race car on each property, like a shiny metal calling

a revolution in portability

Looking for a unique foodservice offer that requires minimal labor and comes with its own edible package? A new company founded by food designer and consultant Nir Adar offers "the first real food innovation since sliced bread." While living in New York, Adar saw how people wrestled with enormous pizza slices and wondered if there

visionary

Jim Fiene started his c-store career as a thirdshift worker at a Speedway SuperAmerica store while studying cinematography at a Milwaukee technical college. He dreamed of one day making movies as a big-time Holywood director, but he soon realized the convenience retailing industry provided all the drama and excitement he could ever want. "I thrive