Convenience Store Retailers Stepping Up Tobacco Lobbying Efforts

States are effectively cutting their own throats by continually hiking excise taxes on tobacco products–chasing away revenue, encouraging criminal behavior and unfairly penalizing smokers and retailers–and it’s up to the c-store industry to help them understand that. In fact many operators and state associations already are fighting the good fight by lobbying legislators, educating consumers,

Building New Relationships

Anyone who’s been in the industry as long as Dennis Lane is more than supremely qualified to help other retailers cope successfully with the changing c-store landscape. Lane—who was elected last November to head the 2,000-member National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association after serving for the past several years as vice chair of merchandising

Pivotal Year for Beer

What’s brewing in the beer category? A combination of higher prices, smaller crops, tighter dollars and expanded ethnic offerings may well make 2008 a memorable one for convenience store operators. A variety of forces are pushing and pulling the beer category in several directions. For instance, the higher prices of items like cigarettes and gasoline

Michelada, Anyone?

Chelada, Anheuser-Busch’s new Clamato and beer beverage, isn’t really new at all. A variation of a beverage called Michelada, it belongs to a genre of drinks known in Spanish as cerveza preparada, which means prepared beer—a drink category that’s been around since at least the 1940’s in Mexico. One version of Chelada’s origins is that

Bypassing the Interchange

Alot has changed on the credit card fee front since last year’s NACS/Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, but retailers are still faced with the daunting challenge of finding creative ways to bypass the high interchange fees that plague the c-store industry. The industry’s efforts to battle these fees is getting attention, fostering the hope that real

Making It in the Marketplace

Driving business with new products is hardly a novel idea, but it’s also one that convenience store retailers rarely use to their advantage, said David Bishop, a partner with research and consulting firm Willard Bishop in Barrington, Ill. When retailers actively participate in the process of bringing a new product to the marketplace by helping

Getting Back to Beer

America’s changing demographic will continue to add new contours to the beer category, and that has some operators optimistic that beer could experience strong spring and summer selling seasons. The major breweries are expected to introduce products that target health-conscious consumers. For example, SABMiller this month will begin test-marketing its Miller Lite Brewers Collection, consisting

It’s All About New

Frequent new product launches have become de rigueur in the world of retailing, with customers expecting new product introductions on a regular basis. “Convenience customers love new items,” said Bill Tencza, senior category manager at Quick Chek, a chain with more than 100 stores in New Jersey and Southern New York. “And our customers look

Just Desserts

Despite unchanging consumer demand and fickle consumer tastes, the market for frozen desserts is expected to grow by more than $4 billion by 2012, according to The U.S. Market for Ice Cream and Related Frozen Desserts, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. Dollar sales continue to grow annually, but not because Americans

Tesco Selects Four New Locations

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the U.S. unit of Britain’s biggest grocery retailer, plans to open four stores in the Sacramento area, according to liquor license applications with the state. The Sacramento locations named in the filings include 3311 Northgate Blvd. and 3615 Bradshaw Road. Two Folsom sites, 25000 Blue Ravine Road and 9522 Greenback

Big Incentives For Susser Holdings

Susser Holdings Corp., the parent company of more than 500 Stripes convenience stores in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, has received $640,000 in tax incentives from the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. and the city’s Business and Job Development Corp. With the Texas-based company’s recent acquisition of Town & Country Food Stores, Susser plans

To Market, To Market…

Every year, thousands of new products are introduced into an already crowded marketplace. In fact, a record-breaking 182,000 consumer packaged goods made their debut in 2007, up 17% jump over the previous year, according to Mintel International, a marketing research group. Some were hits, some were misses and some found their way onto convenience store

Kum & Go Introduces Private-Label Wines

Kum & Go L.C., operator of more than 430 convenience stores in 12 states, introduced Napa Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and Sea Ridge Merlot wines to its long list of private-label offerings. The wines are sold exclusively at Kum & Go stores in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. Kum & Go set out last year to provide

Private Label Case Study: Tesco

Jim Hertel, the senior vice president of retail consultant Willard Bishop, spotlights international retailer Tesco PLC’s Fresh & Easy concept, which at presstime had been rolled into eight stores in Phoenix, with 26 more planned. Hertel noted that Tesco’s use of private label brands "turns a lot of conventional wisdom upside down. Many food retailers

By the Numbers

» 1 Year That’s how long one Quick Chek customer will win free coffee for as part of the chain’s partnership with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Other prizes include autographed memorabilia, game tickets and dinner with a former Devils player. » 4 Lawsuits filed in federal court by Philip Morris against importers aimed at

Cody’s Acquires Express Lane Stores

Cody’s Convenience Stores acquired six bankrupt Express Lane stores, making it the second-largest owner of convenience stores in southwest Missouri. With the purchase, Cody’s surpassed fellow Springfield-based chain Rapid Roberts’ 23 area stores. The chain’s portfolio now comprises 25 stores, second to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go’s 33 stores in southwest Missouri. Cody’s,

A [Private] Affair

More. That’s what convenience store customers can expect to see of private-label brands–and what convenience store operators need to do in order to make those brands successful. The costs are too low, opportunities to build brand equity and loyalty too high, quality is rising too quickly and the benefits are too numerous for retailers with

Atlas Oil Expanding Retail, Fuel Distribution Portfolio

Atlas Oil Co., a Taylor, Mich.-based fuel marketer, has acquired five convenience stores in Battle Creek, Mich., from R&J Inc. and has folded that company into its own retail segment. The transaction essentially buys out the ownership stake of R&J partners Richard Folk and John Reed, and all remaining employees at the five stations. "We

QuickTrip Garners National Honors

Paid sabbaticals for long-timers and bonuses for part-timers helped make QuikTrip Corp. one of the nation’s top employers again this year. The convenience store chain ranked 28th in its sixth straight appearance on Fortune magazine’s "100 Best Companies To Work for" list. "We are honored to receive this award," said Chet Cadieux, president and CEO

The Simple Secrets of Getting Ahead in the C-Store Business

First, it is an established fact that getting ahead in the convenience store industry is much, much easier than in most any other industry. While we absolutely believe in the value of a good education–indeed many company’s help fund continuing education for their employees–our industry does not require a college degree. Many managers and general

Couche-Tard Realigns Retail Operations

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Chain of the Year, announced a dramatic realignment of it retail business that creates two new business units in the U.S. These units will be identified as the Southwest Division to be based in Dallas and will be comprised of the states of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New

Leadership Tactics to Make 2008 a Pivotal Business

s you look back over 2007, you’re feeling a vague sense of discontent. Business is sluggish. Several key employees have left. And with new competitors springing up every day, you need to be at the top of your industry. Things are not terrible, but they could be a lot better. You need to turn things

7-Eleven Embraces Nutritional Snacks

At a time of year when people are focused on health and fitness, 7-Eleven Inc. is adding three more sensible snacks for the “on-the-go” crowd–Weight Watchers snack cakes and muffins, LARABAR all-natural raw food bars and, in March, its own proprietary MEGA protein bars. Approximately half of all Americans entered 2008 resolved to do something:

Five Steps To Build a Winning Corporate Culture

If I asked your employees, "What’s it like to work at your company? What kind of place is it?" their answers would largely describe your company culture. How would your employees answer? Would you like what you heard? If not, a leader’s responsibility is to change it. Some leadership teams attempt to create culture by

Reducing Operating Costs

Many believe better lighting can improve retail sales. But as one business owner found out, automated lighting can not only increase profits, it can also help make running the business more convenient. Terry Beachler, owner and president of Beachler’s Servicenter & Car Wash in Peoria, Ill., discovered the validity of this concept when he investigated

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