N.C. Chief Wants Increase In Smoke Tax

In his final budget proposal as an officeholder, North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley wants lawmakers to raise the state tax on cigarettes from 35 cents per pack to 55 cents, mainly to boost teacher salaries to the national average and repair the state’s mental health system, The Associated Press reported. Easley’s $21.5 billion spending plan

Starbucks Adds Energy Options

Starbucks customers have another option for caffeine infusion now that the Seattle coffee chain has unveiled its “+Energy” products in U.S. stores, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported. The new caffeine ingredients can be added to any existing Starbucks handmade beverage by saying “plus energy” at the end of an order, the newspaper reported. Baristas have

Chevron Gives $2M To Myanmar Cyclone Relief

Chevron Corp. has contributed $2 million to provide assistance to those affected by the May 2 cyclone in Myanmar, the company said. The International Federation of the Red Cross will receive a $1 million contribution, while the remaining $1 million will be given to four other organizations: the International Organization for Migration, Mercy Corps, Pact

The Pantry Cutting Costs in 2008

The Pantry Inc., of Sanford, N.C., is positioning itself to cut capital expenditures and put a halt to purchases for the rest of the year after posting a loss in the second fiscal quarter, though the company’s shares jumped after posting better-than-expected sales, the Triangle Business Journal reported. The announcement came about a month after

Shell Transitioning 20 Gas Stations To Nakash

Shell Oil Products U.S. is transitioning 20 of its branded gas stations in the Sacramento, Calif.-area to Nakash Enterprises LLC, the Houston Business Journal reported. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Nakash Enterprises is an affiliate of Vintners Distributors Inc., a California-based real estate development and management firm that already owns 22 Shell-branded

ExxonMobil Program Donates $2.5M To La. Schools

ExxonMobil Foundation’s 2007 Education Matching Gift Program has donated more than $2.5 million to 19 colleges and universities in Louisiana, the company said. ExxonMobil employees, retirees and others from the company contributed more than $900,000 to Louisiana higher education institutions in 2007, a number matched by the ExxonMobil Foundation with $1.6 million in unrestricted educational

Price Chopper Recalls Hamburger Patties

Price Chopper grocery stores, of Schenectady, N.Y., has issued a voluntary recall of pre-packaged 90% lean ground sirloin patties after three reported incidents where crystallized fragments were found in the product. The sirloin patties have a sell-by date of May 19, 2008, and were manufactured by FairbanksFarms of Ashville, N.C., for Price Chopper and other

Wendy’s Buyer Slips Into Red

Just weeks after signing a merger agreement with Wendy’s International Inc., Atlanta-based Triarc Companies Inc. posted a $67.5 million loss in the first quarter, Business First of Columbus reported. Triarc, the parent company of fast-food restaurant Arby’s, was hurt by a $68.1 million investment income loss related to its investment in Deerfield & Co., which

Too Costly To Count

Fuel prices flirting with the $4 mark are causing problems for thousands of rural fuel dealers whose pumps can’t count that high, the Associated Press reported. Fuel equipment suppliers are reporting a surge in demand for fuel equipment that allows older fuel pumps, which use mechanical reels instead of digital readouts, to display prices up

The New Face of Fuel?

Gas Station TV has whittled its pool of contestants to 10 in the ongoing hunt for a new face to anchor GSTV Network’s lifestyle segment, the company said. “We are blown away with the extremely talented, diverse group of individuals competing in this contest,” said David Leider, CEO of GSTV. “As advertising media evolve, from

Dead River CEO Retires

P. Andrews Nixon, the head of the largest distributor of residential heating fuel in New England and the operator of the Dead River chain of 20 c-stores in New England, has retired after 35 years, Mainebiz.com reported. Dead River, of Portland, Maine, was founded in 1909 and employs 1,000 people. The company operates a chain

Free Samples Becoming Promo of Choice

Industry giants McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are resorting to free product sampling, a tactic typically used by smaller chains that can’t afford to advertise in mass media outlets, mediapost.com reported. Timed with the launch of a new commercial touting its iced coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts is urging consumers on May 15 to get a free iced

Manage a C-Store, Xbox-style

Pulling a page from the blockbuster videogame SimCity, Asian videogame maker Nippon Ichi Software has developed “Combini 200X,” a videogame where users can manage their own convenience store, Wired.com reported. The game lets players become owners of a chain of convenience stores, which are called “kombini” in Japanese and usually written as “combini” in English.

Couche-Tard, Irving Oil Expand Partnership

Irving Oil Limited and Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. today announced the expansion of their existing partnership to include 252 Irving Oil convenience retail sites across Atlantic Canada and New England. Couche-Tard and Irving Oil entered into a convenience retail partnership seven years ago in Quebec, though the newly expanded partnership will provide both companies with opportunities

7-Eleven Partners with Coca-Cola, Activision, Microsoft

To promote its new Full Throttle Frozen Blast Slurpee drink this month, 7-Eleven Inc. has partnered with Coca-Cola, Activision Inc. and Microsoft Corp. in a public relations blitz aimed at “music-loving, videogame-playing, techno-savvy, 18- to 34-year-old males,” the c-store giant said. The promotion will use contests on the radio and online, as well as grassroots

Kum & Go Opens Store in Brighton, Colo.

Kum & Go LC has opened a 3,400-square-foot in Brighton, Colo., making it the 27th store in that state, the company said. The new store features 12 conventional fueling stations offering unleaded, unleaded plus, premium and diesel fuel, as well as the company’s wide selection of food and beverage products such as Java Ridge Premium

Crime Doesn’t Pay (Unless You Report It)

Rutter’s Farm Stores presented customer Deitrick Davis with a $250 reward for assisting in the capture of a suspect in an April 25 robbery at the company’s store in Waynesboro in Franklin County, Pa., the company said. Davis, a Waynesboro resident, had walked into the Rutter’s at 141 S. Potomac St. as a robbery suspect

Chevron Aids Disaster Relief

Chevron Corp. has stepped up and contributed $2 million to provide assistance to those affected by the recent devastating cyclone in Myanmar. The International Federation of the Red Cross will receive a $1 million contribution. An additional $1 million will be allocated to four other organizations: the International Organization for Migration, Mercy Corps, Pact and

Fortune Votes Valero Best Big Company To Work For

Valero Energy Corp. was chosen as the No. 1 Best Big Company to work for in the U.S., according to Fortune magazine’s annual ranking. Out of 33 companies that were listed on the "Best Companies to Work For" list and the Fortune100 list, Fortune chose Valero as No. 1. On the Fortune 100 list itself,

Alon Acquires Krotz Springs Refinery from Valero

Alon USA Energy Inc. signed a purchase agreement to acquire the Krotz Springs refinery from Valero Energy Corp. The purchase price of this transaction consists of $333 million in cash plus an amount for working capital, including inventories, to be determined at closing. Also, both parties have agreed to a five year off-take agreement along

MasterCard, FleetCor Target Small Businesses

MasterCard Worldwide will offer small businesses automatic savings on fuel and maintenance through the addition of the Fuelman Network, a nationally recognized fuel and maintenance network, to the MasterCard Easy Savings program. MasterCard BusinessCard credit and signature debit cardholders enrolled in the program will now receive savings on fuel and maintenance purchases at more than

Love’s Partners with Postilion

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores will deploy Postilion solutions to enable the company to centralize fleet card authorization and transaction capture. The Oklahoma City-based chain chose Postilion, Postilion, a provider of integrated solutions for payment processing and self-service banking, because they are able to streamline its authorization and transaction capture process by integrating payment

MetroSplash Teams With Fiscal Systems

MetroSplash Systems Group Inc., of Highland Village, Texas, said it’s teaming with Fiscal Systems Inc. to expand MetroSplash FuelLinks, a loyalty program offering gasoline discounts to customers who shop at participating retailers. “MetroSplash Systems Group Inc.’s partnership with Fiscal Systems Inc. will benefit retailers by reducing costs while cost effectively driving brand loyalty to a

The Price is Right

A sales promotion in Bay Shore, N.Y., by radio station 106.1 FM WBLI this week offered 106 customers at a LukOil gas station a massive discount on fuel, WABC news reported. The average price for a gallon of gas in New York City this week was about $3.85 a gallon. The radio station offered a

Susser Sales Up In First Quarter

Susser Holdings Corp. said its total first quarter 2008 merchandise sales increased more than 80% to $168.8 million, compared to $93.4 million a year earlier for the stand-alone Susser operation. The company’s recent acquisition of Town & Country Food Stores helped bolster the sales. On a same-store basis, merchandise sales at Susser increased 8.2% from

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