Archives for March 2008

Chevron Bolsters Management Team

Chevron Corp. has named Joe Laymon corporate vice president of Human Resources, effective immediately. Laymon joins Chevron from the Ford Motor Company, where he was group vice president of corporate human resources and labor affairs. In his new role, Laymon, 55, will oversee Chevron’s human resources and medical functions worldwide. He succeeds Alan Preston, who

NACS Withdraws Opposition to Tobacco Bill

After working with House Energy and Commerce Committee members to include provisions addressing retailer concerns, NACS has withdrawn its opposition to H.R. 1108, a bill that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority over tobacco manufacturing and retailing. For years NACS had opposed H.R. 1108 and similar legislation because of concerns about

IRI Announces Top 30 Beer Brands of 2007

The IRI Beer, Wine and Spirits Practice announced results from its annual analysis of beer sales, pinpointing the Top 30 beer brands and the Top 15 new beer brands in 2007. “The historic trend of consumers trading up and paying a premium price for their favorite brands continued in 2007,” said Bump Williams, general manager

Reynolds American Comes Out Swinging Against FDA

In perhaps the harshest criticism of the government’s plan to regulate tobacco, Reynolds American today questioned the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to effectively oversee the sale of cigarettes and smokeless products as it’s currently constituted. Congress has criticized the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the past year for not ensuring the

Tobacco Industry Facing Tough Market Conditions

Industry analysts say the tobacco industry could see an accelerated decline in sales over the next few years, largely because of more health-conscious consumers and the country’s anti-tobacco movement, according to Dow Jones and the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA). “We have highlighted accelerated volume declines as one of the bigger risks the industry faces,"

Truckers Want Cheaper Fuel, Professor Wants Costlier Fuel

While most are lamenting the cost of fuel, a renowned energy professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business is saying that gas costs should be higher to more accurately reflect the real cost of a barrel of oil. Professor Lester Lave said the real cost of a barrel of oil is more than

Maryland Town Tightens Tobacco Regulations

Lawmakers in the Maryland town of Somerset are tightening restrictions on tobacco sales to minors by revoking business licenses after just two violations within a 24-month period, The Herald (Md.) News reported. The town’s Board of Selectmen unanimously approved new regulations that call for a business to lose its license for three to 30 days

Houston Council Approves C-Store Changes

Houston City Council on Wednesday approved an ordinance that will force convenience store owners to beef up security measures by installing cameras and other crime-prevention mechanisms, Texas Cable News reported. The new law requires the city’s convenience stores to install color digital surveillance cameras as well as other measures, including: * Annual safety training for

Shell Refines “Biogasoline” Idea

Royal Dutch Shell and Wisconsin-based bioscience firm Virent Energy Systems are teaming to develop what they said will be a “biogasoline” made from plant material, the Houston Chronicle reported. The companies say biogasoline can be made from non-food crops like switchgrass or agricultural waste like sugar-cane pulp, while the industry’s existing infrastructure can be used

Seattle Hotel Doles Out Gas Cards

The Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle has created a promotional package to attract guests who may be deterred by the rising cost of fuel. The Guests Gas It Up package offers a $20 Shell gift card for each night a guest stays in a classic or deluxe room at the hotel, where prices start at

Consumers Want Accurate Wine Labels

A national survey reveals that most U.S. wine purchasers want “truth-in-labeling” on bottles of wine, with many believing that the name of a wine region should only appear on a bottle’s label if the wine was produced there. Conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, the poll found that 79% of consumers want to be

Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Year Low

Consumer confidence took a nosedive this month, hitting its lowest level since March 2003, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey by The Conference Board. The index is now at 64.5, down from 76.4 in February, the Consumer Confidence Index showed. The survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households and is conducted

Maryland to Repeal Gas-Pricing Law?

A Maryland Republican lawmaker is hoping to repeal a law he says is keeping competition from driving down gas prices in his state, The Washington Times reported. Delegate Warren E. Miller has been trying for three years to repeal a law “that forces lower-cost gas stations, such as Wawa and Sheetz, to conform to the

Iowa C-Stores Face Added Scrutiny

Des Moines City Council is considering new guidelines that would call for public hearings and increased scrutiny on construction plans and alternations for new convenience stores and gas stations in the city, c-store industry leaders in that city said. “It’s all fine and it’s a standard practice, but the problem is the language is left

Report: Some 43% of Florida’s USTs Non-Compliant

More than 40% of South Florida’s underground fuel storage tanks don’t comply with a state law requiring gas stations and other owners to upgrade their facilities, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Approved by Florida legislators more than 18 years ago, the law requires underground fuel storage tanks to have a double-walled system by 2009 to

Retailers, Legislators Mull Liquor Laws in Pa., Ten.

A proposal to allow wine sales in Tennessee’s retail stores has stalled in the Legislature, while a supermarket and Sheetz store in Pennsylvania are trying to work out the bugs in that state’s interpretation of liquor-license regulations, according to Associated Press reports. The bill in Tennessee would allow an applicant to receive a "wine at

Pay By Touch Shuts Down All Biometric Services

Solidus Networks, Inc., which operates as Pay By Touch, said that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base. The move was effective March 20, the company announced in a statement on Friday. On December 14, 2007, Solidus Networks filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection under Chapter

Starbucks Rolls Out Initiatives, Revamped Brew Program

In a move sure to heat up the coffee war among retailers, Starbucks Coffee Co. has announced plans to introduce a series of groundbreaking initiatives that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says will transform the customer experience. News of the plan was featured in Thursday’s USA Today, though Schultz first presented it to more than 6,000

Two Charged in Cash-Skimming Scheme

Two Massachusetts men running an Exxon gas station in Portsmouth, N.H. face criminal charges for skimming thousands of dollars in cash in an elaborate scheme, TV stations there reported. Manuel Labaki, of Walpole, and Sobh Mossad, of Norwood, allegedly stole $76,000 from the company that supplies fuel to that gas station, stations WMUR and WBZTV

Researchers Moving Toward Safer OTP?

Researchers in North Carolina said they’ve found a way to genetically modify tobacco plants to knock out one of the genes that turns nicotine into one of the carcinogens in cured tobacco, the Web site reported. The Philip Morris-funded North Carolina State researchers say the work, featured in Plant Biotechnology Journal, could lead to

Colorado, Indiana Seek Changes in Alcohol Laws

Colorado legislators passed Senate Bill 82 this week, a crucial step in repealing that state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales. The bill passed the Senate by 24-9, and now moves to Governor Bill Ritter Jr.’s desk for final signature. If he approves the measure, it will go into effect on July 1, 2008. Colorado Sen.

Stations to Refund Customers

Three Hendricks County gas stations agreed to refund their customers up to 70 cents per gallon of gas purchased last Friday after an inquiry by the state’s attorney general revealed possible excessive pricing, The Indianapolis Star reported. A Speedway gas station and two Marathon stations had set prices at $4.09 per gallon of regular unleaded

Company Fined for Fuel Storage Violations

The US EPA’s appeals board has ordered Euclid of Virginia Inc. to pay a $3.16 million penalty for violating regulations at 23 of its Lowest Price gas stations, according to an EPA press release. The EPA filed a complaint against the company in fall of 2002 after it discovered that Euclid may have violated regulations

Now Playing in Boston: Gas Station TV

Following up on a venture that first unraveled in the Dallas area more than two years ago, Gas Station TV is adding 90 flat-screen televisions to fuel dispensers at 50 Boston-area convenience stores, the Boston Globe reported. Gas Station TV first installed televisions at convenience store fuel dispensers in Dallas in January 2006, and has

Couche-Tard Acquires Illinois Stores

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, reached a deal through its Mac’s Convenience Stores subsidiary to acquire 15 units in central Illinois from Speedway SuperAmerica. The deal is expected close by the end of April, the companies said. Couche-Tard, which has been rumored to be nearing a much