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

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

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

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

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

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

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,"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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