Archives for January 2008

Always Stay Prepared for the Worst

Several clients have recently challenged us to try to creatively refinance convenience mortgages tied to properties that were acquired over the last several years. These properties were purchased based upon high cash flow multiples of seven times or more–multiples that have become the norm with many transactions around the country. When considered in light of

Growing the Family Business

Employee Relations Though its owned and operated entirely by the Huppert family, the Team Oil Travel Center employs 16 people from the local Spring Valley, Wis. community. Tony Huppert, CEO and vice president of the company, calls employees and customer service the backbone if Team Oil’s success. Employees are encouraged to learn many interesting and

Big Stuff From Hot Stuff Foods

In an effort to satisfy large groups of customers, Hot Stuff Foods has developed the Big Stuff Crowd Pleaser Pizza, a 52-inch party pizza ideal for “wowing” hearty appetites at football parties, youth sports events, birthdays, family get-togethers and all other gathering of pizza lovers. The new Big Stuff Pizza delivers about $15 of gross profit

Dispelling Myths About Bottled Waters

The bottled water industry has recently come under attack by critics who say they are concerned about the quantity of water bottles going to our landfills and the energy used transporting them to market. But, Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America Inc., said those who propose bans on bottled water don’t

CipherLab 9400

CipherLab, an innovator in Automated Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) for the retail, warehouse and distribution markets, launched the 9400 Series Industrial Mobile Computer, the second CipherLab product to support Microsoft Windows CE 5.0. Designed to provide wireless anywhere mobility through compliance with all popular wireless communications platforms (including Bluetooth, WiFi and Quad-band EDGE RF),

Smart Drinks for Smart Kids

In an effort to keep America healthy, FUZE Beverage continues to drive the crusade to help fight childhood obesity by introducing the all new 12-ounce PowerFlex plastic bottle. The new package will be available in school vending machines across the country. All of FUZE’s products meet new guidelines for school beverages. FUZE’s healthy infusion of

Leading-Edge Functionality

Cherry Electrical Products announces the introduction of its new LPOS Series full-size keyboard line. This new POS QWERTY keyboard line features an enhanced key layout for POS and commercial applications. LPOS keyboards are available with or without a 3-track Magnetic Card Reader (MSR) and High Resolution Touchpad. LPOS keyboards provide 131-position key layout on models

Finding the Right Loyalty Fit

Finding the right loyalty program “fit” involves a lot more than simply signing up with the first supplier partner you find. Successful c-store retailers need an up-to-date loyalty solution that fits their budgets, their POS systems and their stores. “We’re just gas people—we don’t understand this stuff,” said Gene Tish, vice president and chief operating

Identifying More Effective Profit-Building Strategies

“In a business like cigars, where unit volume is growing 10% plus year-over-year, emerging strategic thinking in convenience retail suggests that retailers can grow even faster by employing a “price-for-volume” strategy for key products.” David Bishop, partner, Willard Bishop This summer, we examined how convenience retailers could manage the cigar category differently to realize above-market

Satisfying Hunger and Thirst

Anyone who’s ever tried to satisfy an urge to snack with a bag of salty chips knows that you have to have a drink to do it right.  That, of course, is the basis of cross-marketing: linking the desire for one product to a perceived need for another—and offering customers cost-saving deals that combine their

Growing the Business Together

On November 29th of this year, one of the most exciting moments of my publishing career occurred when we, Harbor Communications, closed on the purchase of Convenience Store Decisions from Penton Media. It was quick, exhilarating, and I am thrilled to now be the owner of such a groundbreaking, long-running publication serving this vital market.

United They Stand

United El Segundo Inc. Retail arm: United Oil Co. Primary areas of operation: Owns and operates convenience stores in Southern California in addition to maintaining a vast dealer-operated network and a chain of car washes. Long-range plans: Increasing market share while growing store count through new-to-market stores and acquisitions. Established: 1948 Net sales (2006): $1.27

Deal Brewing for Couche-Tard?

Competitive Assortment, Lower Prices Accelerate Cigar Growth

New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the cigar category more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. The data was shared in a Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, sponsored by John Middleton Inc., titled “Cigars: Accelerating Category Profits by Increasing Strategic Focus,” and offered new evidence

Cigars And Moist Smokeless Drive Revenues Even With Concerns Over Tobacco Taxation

The long-predicted demise of cigarettes has not come to fruition, nor is it likely to. But the effect of tobacco taxation and smoking restrictions has made it much more difficult to rely on cigarette sales as the primary category for driving in-store profitability. But don’t read that to mean tobacco is suffering. Retailers are reporting

Slam Dunk

The influx of people moving to western North Carolina from the Northeast and Florida—both areas where Dunkin’ Donuts does a booming business—was one reason Citizens Fuel Co. is excited these days to be adding Dunkin’ franchises to at least three of its 10 Citi Stop c-stores. “We felt it was a huge opportunity to fill

Betting on the Franchise

7-Eleven Timeline 7-Eleven Inc. began almost 81 years ago when a Dallas ice dock operator decided to add milk, eggs and bread in response to his customers’ needs. The company’s first expansion outside Texas was into Florida. The retailer entered the franchising arena in 1964 with the acquisition of Speedee Mart, a chain of franchised

Homer Simpson? Hardly!

No one sells food that is both fresh and convenient in the U.S., sniffed a retailing analyst quoted by the London Economist last year. “The typical American convenience store consumer is Homer Simpson.” Oh, really? Tell that to the hundreds of customers who stood in line waiting for giant British food retailer Tesco’s first Fresh

Building Breakfast Sales

Chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have been busy overhauling their foodservice programs to capitalize on the increased demand for breakfast items, described by foodservice experts as the fastest-growing daypart segment. Convenience chains like 7-Eleven, however, are well ahead of the curve already owning a popular line of breakfast items that continues to expand.

U-Scan Usability

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc. launched the U-Scan Genesis Carousel self-checkout system. The Carousel model offers increased capacity for large orders with a rotating bagging platform containing six bag racks and the option to add a secondary bagging platform. The rotating platform provides shoppers with easy accessibility to the bag racks and limits body strain caused

OPW FlexWorks

OPW Fueling Containment Systems, a division of OPW Fueling Components and the leading manufacturer of primary and secondarily contained fuel delivery systems, introduces FlexWorks, a completely integrated underground fuel transfer and containment system. The FlexWorks system is designed to provide the highest level of dispensing performance, installation efficiency and containment protection. Consisting of highly engineered

Tea For Two

Bigelow Tea and AriZona Beverages are teaming up to offer retailers and tea drinkers a new line of bottled ready-to-drink Chai teas as well as new hot tea flavors. The partnership marks a debut for both companies, with Bigelow entering the bottled, ready-to-drink market and AriZona the hot tea category. Bigelow Tea’s new ready-to-drink flavors

Hot Diggity Value-Priced Subs

Pierre Foods’ newest entry to their Vending and C-stores line-ups will have customers exclaiming “Hot Diggity!” Finally, great tasting, microwaveable sandwiches at an entry-level price point. This line of sub-shaped sandwiches capitalizes on what Pierre Foods does best—full-flavor seasoned and sauced meats on their famous hearth-baked yeast roll. The moderate portion size is also ideal

Innovative Design Concepts

Italian stone and tile manufacturer GranitiFiandre is launching its GeoStyle Collection to the U.S. market. GeoStyle, which premiered at the 2007 Cersaie Exhibition in Italy, is a collection of porcelain surfacing products that highlights the company’s most innovative design concepts and expansive R&D efforts. GeoStyle is a vanguard collection of the company’s most creative and

Latin American Flavored Dairy Beverages

SolMaya Brands, a registered brand of Presto Food & Beverage Inc. successfully launched a new line of Latin Flavored ready-to-drink dairy beverages in four flavors: Mexican Style Horchata, Horchata Sabor de Morro, Morir Sonando/Orange Jubilee and Avena Oatmeal Shake. SolMaya Brands is extraordinarily unique in that it is the only brand, both in the U.S.