Archives for August 2008

Gulf Oil Selects KSS Fuel Pricing Solutions

KSS, a supplier of fuels pricing analytics, execution and optimization systems to oil and gas industries, convenience stores, grocery and big-box retailers, said Gulf Oil Limited Partnership has selected its PriceNet and Visualizer solutions. Gulf Oil, a Massachusetts-based wholesaler and distributor of petroleum products. Will use KSS’ RackPrice solutions to help manage its fuel prices

Nestle Waters Steps Up Hispanic Campaign

In its first national marketing campaign targeting Hispanics in the U.S., Nestlé Waters North America has signed a two-year deal with Hispanic television personality Cristina Saralegui to become a spokesperson for Nestle Pure Life, reported. The multimillion-dollar Spanish-language campaign, "Vive Sanamente" (Live Healthy), includes 15- and 30-second television ads on Univision, TeleFutura, Galavision and

Americans Cut Back on Beer, But Wine is Fine

Americans are drinking less alcohol and middle-aged people are consuming about one-third less alcohol than they did 50 years ago, according to research by the Boston University School of Medicine. The study, according to HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg, shows that Americans are drinking less beer, though liquor consumption has remained steady while wine consumption has

Citi Card, ExxonMobil Team To Launch Gas Rebate Program

Citi Cards and ExxonMobil today announced a new rewards program for the ExxonMobil MasterCard consumer co-branded credit card program, which will offer rebates of up to 15 cents per gallon on gas purchased at Exxon and Mobil stores nationwide. Starting Aug. 29, 2008, those who open a new ExxonMobil MasterCard account by Dec. 31, 2008

Casey’s Walljasper: No More Franchising

Casey’s General Stores Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William Walljasper gave an earnest interview to The Wall Street Transcript this week, touting the chain’s rural store format and conservative strategies as pivotal elements to its growth over the years. The chain has 1,450 corporate-owned stores and 14 franchise locations, though all of those

OTP: Onward To Playboy?

Skoal smokeless tobacco is giving as many as 2,000 contributing editors the opportunity to contribute to the January 2009 issue of Playboy, which will be the magazine’s 55th anniversary issue, reported. The "Skoal Builds Playboy" promotion will allow fans to help put together a 12-page special section in the magazine, the Web site said.

20 days, 3,300 Customers, $660,000 in Free Gas

Southern California grocery leader Stater Bros. is launching an ambitious promotional program giving 3,300 customers free fuel for about a month. The Stater Bros. gas giveaway works like this: Each day from Aug. 6 to Aug. 26, the retailer chooses 165 customers to receive $200 in gas gift cards. That’s $660,000 the grocer will dole

Aritmex Acquires Baked Goods Producer

Bakery product producer Artimex LLC has acquired the Tina’s brand of baked goods, the company said. Artimex has gained exclusive rights to produce the full line of Tina’s-brand bakery goods, including a continuation of the original recipes that made the brand a success. Artimex produces a variety of frozen dough and fully baked products, with

Tank n’ Tummy, Wallace Oil Merge

Wallace Oil Co., of Colorado’s Arkansas Valley area, is joining forces with Oklahoma-based c-store chain Tank n’ Tummy, The Pueblo Chieftan reported. The agreement will turn six Wallace Oil stores in Colorado to Tank n’ Tummy stores, either through sale or lease-purchase, the publication reported. A wholesale gasoline distributor, Wallace Oil will continue providing gasoline

Crackdown on Houston C-store Crime Gets Slow Response

Police in Houston have begun enforcing new regulations requiring convenience stores to register with law enforcement, but only 158 of 2,000 c-stores in that market have registered under the new program so far, according to an Associated Press report. According to the Houston Chronicle, stores have anywhere from three months to two years to comply

Dunkin’ Donuts Rolls Out Healthier Menu Items

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced the launch of its new DDSMART menu, the brand’s first to offer better-for-you options on food and beverages. Labeled with a distinctive new logo, the new DDSMART items include new and existing Dunkin’ Donuts food and beverages that meet at least one of the following criteria: 25% fewer calories; 25% less

Amstel Light Leverages Unique Brand Equity

Amstel Light, a leading imported light beer from Holland, unveiled a powerful differentiator to drive its new marketing campaign–the brewing tradition and free spirit of its birthplace, Amsterdam. Research showed that the most ownable space for Amstel Light was based on a brand equity it had all along, but just hadn’t fully leveraged, and that

Building Brick by Brick

At a quick glance it makes for a dismal picture: Killer interchange fees, nightmarish margins on gas, ever-rising tobacco taxes thanks to the whimsies of politicos. There’s a host of potholes marring the road to profitability, and few convenience chains on the market can afford to bankroll a multimillion dollar facility to optimize their foodservice

For Health and Wellness Devotees, Money Doesn’t Matter

A study by the Natural Marketing Institute found retail sales within the U.S. foodservice and consumer packaged goods’ health and wellness industry hit $102.8 billion in 2007, representing 15% growth since 2006, adding that there doesn’t seem to be any signs of a slowdown in this sector. NMI predicted that double-digit growth of the health

Profit$ You Can Bank On

Here in the 21st century, providing c-store customers with financial products and services like money orders, check cashing, ATM access, electronic bill payment and payday loans can be as easy, and as necessary, as selling soda, candy and beer. But it requires a bit more thinking. Convenience store operators are increasingly partnering with providers like

Health and Beauty Benefits

Health and Beauty Care (HBC) has been known to create more pain for c-store operators than it relieves for their customers. Managing it well—knowing the trends, keeping up with new products and line extensions, establishing workable price points and merchandising it carefully—is a precarious balancing act. The trend today is smaller, both for product packaging

Salty Snacks Make for Sweet Sales

U.S. Potato Chip Sales in Conveniece Stores Brand Dollar Sales Unit Sales Lays Potato Chips $134,799,200 118,439,400 Ruffles Potato Chips $66,052,770 50,400,370 Pringles Potato Chips $49,686,480 33,452,710 Lays Kettle Cooked Chips $16,943,230 12,468,950 Baked Lays Potato Chips $13,905,450 12,278,340 Wavy Lays Potato Chips $12,319,640 5,579,530 Utz Potato Chips $11,325,480 9,010,104 Cape Cod Potato Chips $11,185,150

You Don’t Have a Turnover Problem?

Most employers in the convenience store industry think they have a frontline employee turnover problem and, heaven knows, the research surveys seem to confirm your thoughts. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey in February 2008, 78% of 16- to 19-year-olds and 54% of 20- to 24-year-olds had a tenure time of 12 months

Retention of Frontline Employees

» More careful selection in hiring (57%) » Better compensation and benefit (50%) » Tuition reimbursement (47%) » Improved training programs (45%) » Better orientation programs (39%) » Adoption of a casual dress code (38%) » Flexible hours and schedules (33%) » Providing health insurance (29%) » Exit interviews (28%) » Profit-sharing (17%) Source: The

Somebody IS Watching

In an age of cameras on nearly every street corner, toll booth and ATM, the coming of interactive audio and visual systems at retail is hardly a surprise. What may surprise some, however, is the way in which such systems can transcend security and provide what some might suggest amounts to a whole new layer

To Boost Sales: Add Helium

Somewhere around elevation 16,000 feet, Kent Couch might have been wondering if he’d bump into the tip of the bar graph charting the rise in credit card interchange fees.   Or maybe he was just too busy enjoying the view. “It’s just a beautiful way to see Oregon,” said Couch, 48, a two-time cluster-balloon flyer


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Prepackaged Options Expanding

Prepackaged food sales are booming nationwide and new choices are springing up to help convenience store retailers grow in-store sales. Successful prepackaged food merchandising is all about display, said Jerry Weiner, vice president of foodservice for Rutter’s Farm Stores in York, Pa. “Grab-and-go sales have tripled since we moved products from four-foot open-air cases to

Ethanol and Biodiesel: What You Need to Know

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made primarily by distilling grains such as corn, wheat, barley and other food crops. It is an alcohol that is mixed with gasoline when used in vehicles. Cars can run on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, but typically ethanol is only used as a fuel additive in

Discovering New Land

The Discovery Trifecta Location: Coolidge, Ariz. Opening: September 2008 Key Features: 2,400-square-foot c-store on one acre; 1,400 square feet for Little Caesars pizza; four pumps offering unbranded standard fuels and E85; a sizable coffee cafe; beer cave and 20-head soda fountain top it off. Details: Positioned within a town of 9,000 residents, the store will