Archives for 2006

csds still selling

NON-CARBS GAINING GROUND Although a major shift is clearly underway in packaged beverage sales, Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” could easily describe the current carbonated soft drink (CSD) market. “The highest volume we sell is still CSDs, and Coke and Pepsi are still at the top of the

underserved markets present growth opportunities

Convenience store operators urged to use alternative data sources to get a better estimate of true market demand. by John Weiser, Contributing Editor Underserved markets— neighborhoods with high concentrations of ethnic minorities and immigrants—are fast growing and overlooked by major retailers. There are significant profit opportunities in these neighborhoods for savvy convenience store operators. But

automated hourly hiring systems

Remember “Blast from the Past,” the 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser? After a nuclear war scare in the 1960s, young Brendan lives in the family bomb shelter with his mom and dad for 30 years. When he finally ventures out into Los Angeles for food and a ” nonmutant” wife, it becomes a hilarious “fish

valero named convenience store decisions chain of the year

San Antonio-based marketer to be honored at an awards reception Oct. 9 in Las Vegas. Continuing a tradition it began in1990, Convenience Store Decisionsis proud to announce Valero EnergyCorp., as its 2006 Convenience StoreChain of Year. Valero, which will be honored at aawards reception Oct. 9 in Las Vegas during the National Association ofConvenience Stores

unlimited potential

By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor While everyone talks a big game about livingand eating healthier, Don Hamberger knowsthat consumers still love to treat themselves.Candy represents the fourth most profitablecategory at La Platta, Md.-based Dash In Food Stores, behindcigarettes, foodservice and coffee. Confections are up 3.5%from last year, on top of 6% the year before, and

beers back

Study signals strong 2007 Super Bowl sales. The primacy of beer—temporarily lost when Gallup’s2005 poll of alcohol sales and drinking habits showedwine sales ahead of beer for the first time—has beenrestored. The 2006 Gallup poll, released in late July, showedthat brew is back as the top alcoholic beverage in both volume and dollar sales. Forty-one

pick a card any card

Jupiter Research claims that 75% of consumers are card-carrying members of one loyalty program or another. It seems like you can’t buy anything now without bumping into anoffer to join some type of consumer loyalty club. Retailers havelong adopted loyalty programs as a method of getting more salesout of their customers. Whether they “live” offline

cashing in

Putting flow first fuels success. In a fiercely competitive world where declining fuelmargins are forcing companies to find new ways toincrease the bottom line, can small and mid-sizedconvenience store chains stay ahead of the game? According to Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, theycan—provided they manage cash and credit wisely, make a pointof

one family many owners

Experts are warning that fuel prices are likely toremain high until January 2007 as demand for petroleum products soars due to market shortages causedby the damaged pipelines out of BP

smoke signals

Besieged by taxes and a decline in gross profit margins, there are signs that import and specialty brands could be the key to tobacco profitability. Though there have been calls by industry expertsfor convenience store companies to reduce their dependencyon cigarettes, the industry overall is becoming more reliant ontobacco sales. The National Association of Convenience

sheetz continues reinventing convenience

First to market in Pennsylvania with the convenience restaurant and E-85 fuel, the chain predicts strong growth in the coming years. When it comes to delivering quality and value,few chains are as highly regarded as SheetzInc. The Altoona, Pa.-based chain has longbeen admired for its superiority in innovationand its diligent commitment to consumer satisfaction. It’s

whats selling a view from the customers

CSD conducts customer surveys on isotonics and energy drinks in markets across the U.S. The growth of bottled waterhas been well documented, butdata shows energy drinks and isotonics are growing at comparable oreven faster rates. What’s even moreimpressive is that all three of these categories have wide-ranging appeal thatcross gender lines and attract customersof all

The 5 firsts of hourly employee retention

With the labor pool shrinking sources of new hourly recruits are drying up. First impressions are lasting. Newly hired, hourly employees are not. Before they’ve been on the job just six months, more than 50% are gone. Some were probably not a good fit for the job in the first place, but some productive, dependable,

focus on food safety

Just two years after the devastating tomato outbreak at Sheetz, other retailers have benefited from the hard lesson. Any convenience retailer heavily invested in foodservice has to admit their heart dropped when wordspread about the tomato epidemic at Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. A salmonella-tainted shipment of tomatoesled to 400 people getting sick in July 2004,

target customer with knowledge of trends

Understanding health and wellness developments can increase sales. The health and wellness landscape has been undergoing some major changes over the past several years, spurred by various factors, including scientific discoveries, nutrient breakthroughs, changing lifestyles and demographics, rising obesity, desire for wellness personalization and demand for corporate social responsibility. All of these transformations can make

ice cold profits

Finding the right ice machine can turn the dispensed beverage business into one red-hot category. Ice and ice delivery is a vital part of a convenience and/or gas store’s inventory. Whether it’s used to complement selfserve beverage systems, for sale as bagged ice or within the store for icing down beverages and food displays, ice

how to buy a reachin refrigerator

It can easily be argued that refrigerators are the most critical piece of equipment in your kitchen. No matter what type of foodservice operation you run, you need refrigeration. Keeping food at the proper temperature without using too much energy is essential to food quality, food safety and your bottom line. Before you buy, there

is hedging right for you

Minimizing risk is key to maximizing fuel profitability. The post-Hurricane Katrina era is presenting a flood of challenges for uneasy marketers at the most inopportune time. Competition from multiple retail channels has never been greater, credit card fees are eating away store profits and fuel supply is being called into question forcing pump prices to

all in the familyinside japans familymart

Japan’s FamilyMart, whose Famima convenience store brand is attracting an upscale clientele in Southern California, readies expansion to several new markets and New York City may be on the agenda. With the experience of operating 12,452 convenience stores worldwide, Tokyo-based FamilyMart Co. felt the time was right to take on the complex U.S. market. So

faceoff

Fuel Hedging: Aggressive or Moderate? Face-off is a regular feature in Convenience Store Decisions that gives retailers, suppliers and consultants an opportunity to debate the issues affecting the convenience store and petroleum industry. Have an idea for Face-off? Contact John Lofstock at 201-845-2468 or via email at jlofstock@penton.com. Aggressive:Philip J. Baratz, C.T.A.President, Angus Energy Inc.

family affair

Just two months after Convenience Store Decisions was first to announce details of Tesco's foray into the U.S. market, we were able to get an exclusive tour of FamilyMart's operations in Southern California with Shiro (Sho) Inoue, president and CEO of Famima Corp., the Japanese retailer's U.S. subsidiary. Inoue's candid interview, part of our "2006

display cases run hotcold

A great display of food will stop customers in their tracks. Here’s what you need to know to buy merchandising equipment that will make your food look irresistible. Not too long ago, food-merchandising equipment was limited to a few grocery store-type cases from only a few manufacturers. Today, there is a wide range of quality

Cooking at the speed of light

A new breed of supercookers promise to cook food faster than you ever imagined. Here’s what you need to know to buy a unit. When you hear the term “fast food,” most don’t think of fresh, elaborate food that’s prepared quickly. But that’s changing. Manufacturers have recently developed and continue to refine equipment for high

cigar sales smoking

Retailers report strong sales and profits in OTP boosted by cigars. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores’ 2006 State of the Industry (SOI) report, retailers can expect the other tobacco (OTP) category to keep on growing with flavored cigars driving that growth. Cigar sales last year jumped 5.2% and accounted for 30.48% of

from bubba to betty

For a channel centered around serving blue-collar, 18- to 35-year-old men, how can it evolve to attract the finer sex while not alienating its existing customers? It’s no secret that women are a mystery. Ask any man who has ever tried to figure out how to attract a woman or make her happy. Many thought

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