alons jeff morris provides industry insight

Fresh off its acquisition of Good Time Stores in El Paso, Texas, Alon USA’s President and Chief Executive Jeff Morris sat down with Convenience Store Decisions to get his take on the changing face of the convenience industry and to share his perspective on what differentiates his stores in the marketplace. CSD: What is the

maximizing margins

Carwash dollars compensate for shrinking gas profits. Remember when convenience stores and gas stations used to give a free carwash with the purchase of a full tank of gas? Now, shrinking fuel margins are causing an increasing number of store operators to look to carwash sales to boost the bottom line. According to the International

jaded in new jersey

As New Jersey faces its fourth excise tax increase in four years, retailers are watching their dwindling tobacco sales head across state lines. Every state has its own issues to deal with, but it seems that New Jersey has been dealt a particularly difficult hand. “New Jersey is a difficult state for convenience stores to

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 highspeed

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

wawa turns to merrychef

With its focus on meeting the demand for quick, quality foodservice solutions, the Pennsylvania retailer enlisted the help of Merrychef’s accelerated cooking ovens. Being one of the top foodservice providers in the convenience store industry requires more than a commitment from foodservice managers and store personnel. It demands vision, innovation and, perhaps most importantly, the

convenience stores and the can

Consumers are driving even more innovation and differentiation. It’s no mystery that convenience influences how consumers shop and what they purchase. “What used to be a leisurely activity, [shopping] has turned into a rushed, stressed nuisance for some,” said Todd Hall, vice president of ACNielsen’s Consumer Insights, advising that retailers that acknowledge this stay one

problem solver

Tom Newbould graduated with an accounting degree, but after crunching numbers for six months at BP as an auditor, he realized his career aspirations just weren't adding up. Newbould began working for the British powerhouse during college, but he had his sights set on the retail marketing side of the business. So he paid his

actions speak louder

How you present information determines how well training works. What Employers Are Doing More careful employee selection 57% Better compensation & benefits 50% Tuition reimbursement 47% Improved training programs 45% Better orientation programs 39% Casual dress code 38% Flexible hours & schedules 33% Providing health insurance 29% Conducting exit interviews 28% Profit-sharing 17% What Employees

a different world

Technological advances in Asia could have far-reaching implications on the U.S. convenience industry, from cell phone payment to RFID to the networked store. It’s one thing when your grandmother, who still favors the rotary telephone, is impressed by technology. It’s another when it’s Scott Hartman. President of Rutter’s Farm Stores, a 50-unit chain based in

campus competition

From coast to coast, colleges and universities operate campus convenience stores, offering everything from entres to organics— and, they say, they’re not in it for the money. Forget Ramen noodles and those little boxes of cereal that wouldn’t satisfy a baby’s grumbling stomach. The college convenience store has evolved into much more. Consider Harvard University,

a fresh look

NOCO Express is steadily redesigning its upstate New York locations, while BP has converted a dozen South Florida stores to its popular am/pm brand. What was once a two-bay, NOCO Express gas station tucked in the historic village of Williamstown, N.Y., is now nothing if not top of the line. The fourth of NOCO Energy

designing a security strategy

Regarded as an innovator in employee safety, Tesoro spares no expense when it comes to protecting the perimeter. Tesoro Corp. has undergonea transformation through theyears from a small local refinerto a multi-state marketer that’s willingto take risks to grow the business. Over the past eight years the San Antonio-based refiner has become a full-service marketer

protecting the perimeter

Tesoro Corp. has instituted a series of safeguards to keep employees out of harm’s way. Frank Coletta has every reason to take his job very seriously. If he eases up on the rules and regulations just a little bit, employees could get hurt, or worse. So this savvy industry veteran has no plans to go

ethanol fuels tank concerns

New oxygenates could cause clogged filters, phase separation without proper preparation. Ethanol may be good for the environment and it may reduce U.S dependence on foreign oil, but it’s murder on underground storage tanks. With ethanol-blended fuel on its way to gas stations and convenience stores across the country, petroleum marketers are beginning to realize

pcats pushes loyalty standards

Initiative would streamline access to rewards data for convenience store and petroleum marketers. The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards(PCATS) is developing a domestic standard for loyalty cardprograms to allow them to be integrated into the multiple point-ofsale and back-office systems now servicing in the industry.Working through PCATS’ Retail Financial TransactionsCommittee, the initiative aims to

on the road with nice n easy

The chain has built a a well-deserved reputation for its quality and distinction in the marketplace. Driving eastbound towardCanastota, N.Y., I caught sightof Graziano’s, a quaint andunassuming restaurant on Highway90 frequented by the executive teamof Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. Itwas there that I had the pleasure ofspeaking with company founder JohnMacDougall, senior executive vicepresident

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