Archives for May 2008

High-Tech Hoagies

Wawa Inc. is expanding a pilot program for a service allowing customers to pre-order food through text messages or online, the company said. Partnering with GoMobo, an innovator in mobile payment technology, the Pennsylvania retailer launched the service in two Pennsylvania locations earlier this year, and is now rolling it out to six other Philadelphia-area

Pilot Opens New Travel Center in Tenn.

Pilot announced it will open a new travel center in Jackson, Tenn., on May 12. The new, 11,423-square-foot facility features six fuel islands, eight diesel islands, a CAT scale and seven showers. “We hope that Jackson area residents and fleet customers will welcome having our new travel center just around the corner,” said Jimmy Haslam,

Chrysler Offers Gas Price Protection

As gas prices climb, more and more companies are offering ways to save at the pump. Now Chrysler dealerships are on board. Starting Wednesday, the “Let’s Refuel America Program” will give new car buyers the opportunity to pay $2.99 a gallon for three years, no matter how high gas prices rise. The price protection program

Not Until You’re 21

“No Sale, No How, No Way.” It’s what teens who may attempt to buy alcohol during prom and graduation season will hear from retailers who are on alert and committed to helping prevent underage drinking. That’s according to a new poll that shows preventing minors from obtaining alcohol is a priority for those who sell

The Pantry Rolls Out Retalix

The Pantry Inc., has begun rolling out Retalix StorePoint, Retalix Fuel, and Retalix HQ convenience software to its more than 1,600 retail locations. The Pantry, whose primary brand, Kangaroo Express, has a strong footprint in 11 southeastern states. Many of its 1,643 locations offer gasoline, while commercial fuel is also offered at about 80 travel

VeriFone Offers Pump Protection

VeriFone Holdings Inc. is extending its VeriShield Protect credit and debit card encryption technology to Secure PumpPay, its PCI-approved solution for upgrading fuel dispensers to accept electronic payments securely. VeriShield Protect, introduced last month, is designed to thwart continuing criminal efforts to gather unencrypted account holder data via breaches of merchant networks, applications and servers

Valero Strikes Deal with Albertsons

In a sign that Albertsons may be getting out of the fuel business or at least sharply centralizing its fuel operations, San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. reached a deal with the Boise, Idaho grocer to acquire 72 convenience stores and fueling centers in four major markets. The fueling sites are located in Texas, Colorado, Arizona

Gilbarco Launches

To help retailers better understand compliance and payment security, Gilbarco Veeder-Root has launched an interactive payment security Web site, The site lets retailers learn directly from Gilbarco payment security experts and includes powerful information featuring: Video questions and answers from industry experts. Downloadable white papers regarding PCI compliance. A blog forum for asking questions

Rutter’s Opens Redesigned Pa. Store

Rutter’s Farm Stores held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning to mark the completed expansion and renovation of its store in East Berlin, Pa. Company representatives were joined by East Berlin officials for the event at the store, which reopened on April 25. Rutter’s also presented a check for $25,000 for the borough’s “Build a Park”

Wawa Increasing Coffee Prices

Wawa Inc., which operates 570 convenience stores in five Mid-Atlantic states, began notifying customers today that it is raising the price of coffee to help offset the increased price of fuel. In-store signs at many of its units are letting customers know that hot beverage prices will increase by six cents per cup. Wawa says

Kum & Go Stores Hit the Auction Block

Kum & Go LLC, of West Des Moines, Iowa, has retained The Energy Exchange of Chicago to coordinate a sealed bid auction for 21 Kum & Go locations that don’t align with the company’s future plans, the company said. The sealed bid auction will include 12 locations in Iowa, three in South Dakota, two in

Out With the Old, in With the Wawa

A drawn-out process involving the demolition of a historic store in East Brandywine, Pa., to make way for a Wawa c-store has reached a critical point, The Daily (Pa.) Localin Chester County reported. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and preservationist groups reached an agreement with Wawa recently that would allow Wawa to tear down

Houchens Acquires 22 Grocery Stores

Grocery store native Houchens Industries has signed a letter of intent to purchase Buehler Foods Inc., which operates 22 grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky, the Bowling Green Kentucky Daily News reported. Since its founding as a grocery business in 1917, the Kentucky firm has spun off into a number of other industries, everything

Turkey Hill Dairy Gobbles Up Award

The unveiling of Turkey Hill’s new frozen dessert, Duetto, in 2007 was backed by a campaign that has been named “Best in Show” by the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) in its annual round-up of the industry’s best promotional efforts. The Duetto campaign was a collaborative effort between the Lancaster County-based Turkey Hill Dairy and

Couche-Tard Strikes Deal with Spirit Energy

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, reached an agreement to acquire 83 stores in Missouri and central Illinois area from Spirit Energy. Of the 83 convenience stores, 69 operate under the Convenient Food Mart banner and are all company operated. The stores would be operated by the Circle

Racetrac Honoring Moms on Mother’s Day

For the second year in a row, RaceTrac, one of the Southeast’s leading convenience store companies, will honor Moms by offering its customers a free 22-ounce coffee mug featuring a special Mother’s Day design. On May 3, customers can stop by any of the 242 RaceTrac locations in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas and pick

ROI: Return on Involvement

To the lay observer, it was just a Styrofoam cup jammed between the windshield and dashboard of a working man’s pickup parked outside an Indiana convenience store. To Jay Ricker, it was testament to the importance of mastering the fundamentals, concrete proof that having a good thing means knowing when you should or shouldn’t mess

Secure Your System

MasterCard announces that more than 40 million credit card numbers belonging to U.S. consumers have been accessed by a computer hacker and are at risk of being used for fraud; however, company officials can’t say how long the confidential information has been missing. A disgruntled technology employee cracks his former company’s computer system and destroys

Sweet Deliverance

Caffeine-infused potato chips. Ginseng-infused coffee. Guarana-infused gum. No matter the combination, functional food manufacturers are probably trying it. Add this one to the list: Sedative-infused chocolates. The confectionary world is on its way to proving the salability of health and energy products doesn’t have to end at the threshold of the candy aisle. In the

Moving Over to the Dark Side

Chocolate may be bringing up the rear of America’s upscale revolution, but consumers and a growing number of c-store operators aren’t complaining. Higher-priced, better quality chocolates are finding acceptance on more store shelves all the time–great for consumers and great for operators’ bottom lines. Resistance to the higher price points will fade in time as

Driving the Dairy Business

Convenience store operators nationwide are grappling with nearly unprecedented food inflation, particularly involving bakery and dairy products, that is sending tremors throughout the retail supply chain. Recent price volatility fueled by a weak dollar, rising energy costs, consumer wariness, competitive pressure and other factors is making it difficult to market staples like bakery and dairy

Is Bulk Candy Marketing Right for You?

While single packs of gum and candy get the most attention in the candy aisle, retailers often report strong margins from bulk packages and multi packs, which carry a higher price and typically offer a greater value for consumers. But will that greater value translate into consistently stronger sales? The answer appears to be yes…sometimes,

Where to Find the Best Hourly Employees

You might be surprised to learn that the best source of new employees in convenience retailing has changed very little over the past 25 years. The number one best source of great employees still is and always has been referrals—people you already know or who your employees know. In surveys we conducted between Feb. 2007

Bring Trust and Loyalty Back to the Workplace

Once upon a time in corporate America people actually liked going to work every day. They enjoyed the camaraderie of their co-workers, and they truly believed their work was making a difference, not only in the organization, but also in the world. Likewise, the company took care of its people, listened to them, and provided

Tobacco products that reduce harm featured at Tobacco Plus Expo

It all began to take place on April 23, 2008 on US Airways flight #797 as I was headed to the Tobacco Plus Expo 08 in Las Vegas. As usual I was excited to explore new products and programs at this year’s show, and as I would learn, the show would not disappoint. The night