Archives for May 2008

Finding Success with Divesting Dealer Sites

I’ve devoted several articles over the past few years to the necessity of implementing a network rationalization strategy whereby marginal retail sites are divested and proceeds redeployed to improve chain quality. Heeding the call, several marketers have enlisted our support to find optimal solutions for their unique retail circumstances including both direct store operations and

Changing the Channel

Maybe it’s all headed toward a day of total convergence, when the lines separating one industry from the next will be irreversibly blurred. Consider the freewheeling dynamics of retailing in the past few years: McDonald’s has been offering DVD rentals by way of in-store kiosks. Blockbuster stores have begun offering c-store fare such as fountain

Energy Boost

The trend-setting, off-the-charts energy drinks from Monster will command more real estate on c-store shelves with the introduction of five exciting new products further enhancing the already diverse Java Monster energy drink lineup. The new beverages include: Lo-Ball, Nut-Up, Irish Blend, Russian and Chai Hai, Monster’s first tea-based energy drink. “Everybody at Monster Energy knew

Hinsdale’s Friendly Faces

Whether they’re spending $2 or $250,000, customers descending on the 200 block of East Ogden Ave. in Hinsdale, Ill., are likely to require some fundamental features in the products they purchase. It doesn’t matter if it’s a turkey on rye from Hinsdale Shell Food Mart at 210 East Ogden Ave. or a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

No Mystery Here: Speedway Voted Best Customer Service

It’s impossible to know if the pool of customers hired by market research firm Corporate Research International (CRI) would have pegged Speedway SuperAmerica LLC as the leader in customer service five years ago. The Enon, Ohio-based marketer wasn’t even among the handful of convenience store chains whose customer service was evaluated quarterly by the research

P&G Plans Car Washes in Ohio, Kentucky

After seeing strong sales at two test locations, Procter & Gamble is planning to open up to seven more Mr. Clean Performance Car Washes in southern Ohio and Kentucky. Procter & Gamble plans to test several full-service locations in the Cincinnati area before deciding to launch a national chain, though the company has yet to

A Call to Arms

Richard Oneslager enjoys a good joke, so he couldn’t help sharing one of his new favorites. "Did you hear the one about the retailer who sat down with Visa to discuss his interchange fees? Of course you didn’t. Visa doesn’t sit down with retailers!" Oneslager, president of Balmar Petroleum and chairman of the National Association

NACS SOI Reveals Mixed Results

Convenience store industry sales reached a new high of $577.4 billion in 2007, but profits dropped by $1.4 billion, largely because of higher credit card fees, the 2008 NACS State of the Industry report found. Overall, industry revenues climbed only 1.4%, leveling off an extraordinary decade of growth that saw industry revenue grow more than

Fresh Look for Quick Chek

Quick Chek Food Stores, the Whitehouse, N.J. chain of more than 100 stores throughout New Jersey and New York, launched a new brand positioning complete with logo, private-label product packaging and enhanced Web site. With its new logo in the shape of a bright, lime green-colored letter "Q" with tail shaped like a dark green

Wawa Offers Gas Discounts To Customers

Wawa Inc. is trying a fuel discount program at nine stores, offering customers a discount if they pay for gas with cash rather than credit or debit cards. The discounts are a way to skirt the interchange fees charged by credit card companies, though Wawa said the savings from the new program are ultimately being

Chevron Announces Revamped Credit Cards

Chevron and Texaco personal credit cards are being reintroduced with enhanced benefits, such as no annual fee and flexible payment options. Chevron Global Marketing will offer customers newly designed Chevron and Texaco personal credit cards that offer enhanced benefits, the company said. In the coming weeks, active Chevron and Texaco cardholders will be reissued the

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 the 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

McLane Show Draws Record Numbers

The Temple, Texas distributor hosts the show annually to bring its retailer and supplier partners together to help educate marketers on current industry trends and make them aware of the new products they could expect to see in the coming months. This year’s show went a step further. In addition to national and regional vendors

Kum & Go Stores on 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

Fuel Costs Drive Verc from Exxon to Gulf

Verc Enterprises, a Duxbury, Mass. company with 20 c-stores in the New England area, is planning to convert its Exxon stations to the Gulf brand by the end of this year. The move is being made to get a better wholesale deal on fuel, Verc CEO Leo Vercollone said. "I think Exxon is a more

By the Numbers

» 2 Lawsuits filed by Philip Morris USA in federal court in Los Angeles aimed at stopping the importation, distribution and sale of counterfeit cigarettes and the unauthorized use of its trademarks » 10 New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets Tesco plans to open in Las Vegas within the next few months. Despite reports the

McDonald’s Eyes C-store Customers

McDonald’s Corp. is urging its store owners in the Western U.S. to slash large soda prices to $1 this summer in a move the company hopes will attract consumers away from convenience stores, a company memo obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business showed. "Let’s take the c-store drink out of their hands and build our transactions,"

Banking on Big Branding

When it came to choosing between a bank and quick-service restaurant to complement a Tom’s Convenience Store in a travel plaza just outside State College, Pa., Tom’s parent company, Shipley Energy, placed its money where the mouths are. It’s a decision that could pay big dividends for York, Pa.-based Shipley Energy, owner and operator of

Lime Light

Anheuser-Busch, the leading American brewer, has launched Bud Light Lime, a crisp light lager beer that combines the superior drinkability of Bud Light with a splash of 100% natural lime flavor. Bud Light Lime tastes great ice cold or straight from the bottle, and pairs well with spicy, grilled meats and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Secure Video Management

Electronics Line USA launched the ETV 5 Flex Video Recorder that allows more flexibility and data integration opportunities for retailers. The ETV 5 is a combined network video recorder/digital video recorder that boasts real-time exception-based reporting, remote access, centralized management, support for up to 32 traditional and IP cameras, better-than-broadcast quality images, as well as

Hangover Defense

Drinkin’ Mate is nature’s answer to alcohol’s unpleasant side effects. Made with all-natural guava leaf extract, Drinkin’ Mate maintains balance in the body and defends against headaches, queasy stomach and dehydration. Media testing was conducted in five markets during the fall of 2007 to determine the most effective methods of establishing awareness with 21-to-44-year-old males.

Prairie Four-Pack

Prairie City Bakery offers retailers the foodservice bulk bakery solutions they need, with the right size packages, right now to meet the needs of their morning bakery case customers. Its foodservice bulk bakery solutions in four-packs and new white box donut six-packs are the ideal morning solution. The cinnamon rolls, muffins, danishes and doughnuts are

Energy On the Go

Dynatabs Energy Support are natural dietary supplements in fast-dissolving, great-tasting, fun- to-take convenient strips offering consumers that extra boost of energy. Its unique oral strip format allows for the strip to dissolve quickly on the tongue so customers don’t need any water.  They’re packed in ultra-thin pocket-pack dispensers making them convenient to carry around. Taking

Team M&M’s

Mars Direct Inc., a division of Mars Snackfood US, reached a licensing partnership with Major League Baseball Properties to create the new My Team M&M’S Brand Chocolate Candies. MY Team M&M’S features the team logos of any of the 30 Major League Baseball Clubs on M&M’S. MY Team M&M’S give fans a fun and delicious

Affordable Tank-Monitoring Solution

Accurate, error-free management of fuel inventory in aboveground storage tanks at tank farms and bulk-storage facilities has never been easier than it is now with OPW Fuel Management Systems’ new SiteSentinel iSite automatic tank-gauging system. The iSite system provides site operators with a revolutionary new solution that is easy to use and install, while it

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