Archives for October 2008

7-Eleven Continues Franchise Focus

7-Eleven Inc. said it is continuing its aggressive plan to convert the vast majority of its company-operated stores into franchised operations in the U.S. by 2012. The conversion of company-operated stores in some markets began in 2006, and approximately 4,100, or 75%, of more than 5,600 7-eleven stores in the U.S. are now franchised. Existing

ExxonMobil Posts Record Quarterly Profits

Irving, Texas-based ExxonMobil beat analysts expectations and set new profit records for the third quarter as it reported net income of $14.83 billion – a 58% increase from the same quarter last year. "ExxonMobil’s strong results in the third quarter of 2008 demonstrate the continuedsuccess of our disciplined business approach,” said ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Sheetz Opens Another N.C. Store

Sheetz Inc. said it has opened a store in Greenville, N.C., the fourth in that state for the Altoona, Pa.-based retailer. Doors officially opened to customers on Halloween, though employees are hosting a grand opening celebration on Nov. 6. As part of the opening-day celebration, Sheetz plans to make a donation to Greenville Parks and

Wilson Farms Steps Up

New York c-store Wilson Farms and the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Western New York is asking customers to support the thousands of homebound elderly and disabled New York residents through the “Step Up to the Plate” program. Now in its fifth consecutive year with Wilson Farms, the fundraising campaign will run from Oct. 31

NGA Endorses Pan-Oston

Retail-checkout product designer and manufacturer Pan-Oston is finding a strong supporter in the National Grocers Association (NGA). Pan-Oston’s checkout products include lanes, counters and self-checkout solutions, as well as other retail display products. The company is teaming with NGA, the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocery industry’s independent sector, to deliver products

FuelQuest Appoints New President, CEO

Houston, Texas-based FuelQuest Inc., an on-demand software and services company for the global downstream energy industry, said it has appointed Matt Tormollen to succeed Rich Cilento as president and CEO. >Formerly executive vice president of the company’s Fuel Management Systems business, Tormollen will oversee all daily operations for FuelQuest. Cilento, meanwhile, will remain a strategic

Sokolis Forms Merchant Services Division

The Sokolis Group, of Warrington, Pa., has formed a merchant services division it says will be headed by longtime fleet card expert Steven Fowler. Sokolis President Glen Sokolis said he has “been planning to expand the company to include working closer with petroleum marketers. When Fowler became available to help the endeavor, “it just all

A-B Celebrates 30 Years of Recycling

Anheuser-Busch said a push that started in 1978 to recycle aluminum cans has so far kept the equivalent of more than 460 billion aluminum beverage containers out of U.S. landfills, as well as managing to educate consumers about the power of recycling. “We’re proud of the fact that we’ve helped millions of consumers get involved

Quirky Texas Chain Looks To Grow

Texas c-store chain Buc-ee’s, a 25-store outfit whose eccentricity and quirkiness has made it something of a tourist attraction, is looking to grow by a few stores in the coming year, The Houston Chronicle reports. The full story from the newspaper: Perhaps more than any other Texas store, Buc-ee’s implores people to use its bathrooms.

Atlas Buys 57 BP Sites Near Chicago

Taylor, Mich.-based Atlas Oil Company said it has reached an agreement to purchase and supply 57 BP locations in the Chicago suburbs. The deal includes a number of retail locations owned by BP Products North America Inc., several dealer-owned sites and an agreement for Atlas to continue to grow the BP and ampm franchise in

General Tobacco Sues 52 U.S. AGs

North Carolina-based tobacco manufacturer and distributor General Tobacco said it is suing 52 U.S. attorneys general and 19 tobacco companies, as well as asking for damages in excess of $1 billion from competitors. The company says its competitors allegedly conspired with the states to set up the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) so later market entrants,

Speedway, BP, Circle K Win in Customer Service Ranking

Findlay, Ohio-based Corporate Research International has released the third-quarter 2008 results from its survey, a customer-service evaluation measuring customer perception of brands and customer service. In the c-store category, Speedway took first in customer service, followed by BP and Circle K. Winners in other industries included Olive Garden, Papa Murphy’s Take ‘n’ Bake Pizza,

Sheetz Sues Ohio City

Sheetz Inc. filed a lawsuit in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas yesterday asking the court to review a decision Kent’s Board of Zoning Appeals made concerning the construction of a new Sheetz store, the Daily Kent Stater reported. The Board of Zoning Appeals in Kent, Ohio, granted Sheetz three of four requested building

Gas Station TV Teams With Nielsen For Pocketpiece Report

Destination Media has announced the availability of Gas Station TV’s first Nielsen On Location Media Pocketpiece report, which verifies the network’s audience for potential advertisers and further positions Gas Station TV at the forefront of the digital media landscape. The Gas Station TV Pocketpiece report shows that 76% of Gas Station TV viewers are in

$10, 2 People

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets has introduced a new line of ready-to-eat products that can be combined to create over 200 meal ideas for a party of two. The meals, which run about $10 each, can be built from 30 different varieties of pastas, sauces, meat and vegetarian dishes and various sides. The products contain

For The Peeps, By The Peeps

Peeps-brand Marshmallow candy is serving as more than just a tasty treat this month, as Washington, D.C.-based artist David Ottogalli has used the candy to create a giant sculpture, “Real Peeps Vote!” The sculpture uses more than 3,000 Peeps chicks, bunnies, hearts, stars, cats, ghosts, cut-outs, snowmen, trees, the new Peeps chocolate mousse-flavored bears and

Drop In Gas Prices Could Continue

Declines in demand and crude prices could perpetuate the recent drop in gas prices, albeit at a slower rate, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey. The country has seen a 53-cent decline in gas prices the past two weeks – a record decline – with the average price of regular unleaded at about $2.78 per

Wal-Mart Slowing New Growth

As part of its growth plan, Wal-Mart’s U.S. division plans to spend more on remodeling existing stores and less on opening new ones, according to Capital spending for Wal-Mart’s U.S. presence is expected to drop by about a third to $5.8 billion to $6.4 billion for 2009, down from $9.1 billion in 2008, Eduardo

NPD: Restaurant Deals Trigger Modest Gains

Discounted prices, dollar menus and other promotions are driving customer traffic and keeping the restaurant industry in the black, according to Chicago-based market research company The NPD Group. NPD said total restaurant industry traffic was up 1% for the quarter ending August 2008, with the modest gain driven almost entirely by deals and discounts. As

Manitowoc Completes Enodis Acquisition

Wisconsin-based Manitowoc Company Inc. said it has completed the acquisition of Enodis plc, a designer and manufacturer of commercial foodservice equipment. The $2.7-billion acquisition establishes Manitowoc among the world’s top manufacturers of commercial foodservice equipment, though the company also makes cranes and lifting solutions for the global construction industry. The Manitowoc-Enodis integration creates a company

Ahold May Expand Giant Brand

Dutch retail group Ahold said it plans to expand its Giant chain in the U.S. with the launch of Giant and Go convenience stores, Just-Food reported. A spokesperson for the company told a Just-Food reporter that the new format, which will be launched in Lancaster, Pa., will feature eight fuel pumps and a selection of

Mike And Ike Adds Berry Blast Variety

Mike and Ike candy-maker Just Born Inc. has introduced some new flavors to its Berry Blast variety, including strawberry, peach berry, wild berry, blueberry and blue raspberry. Mike and Ike’s Berry Blast flavors will be available in March. “We are excited about the new Mike and Ike Berry Blast variety,” said Donald Houston, senior brand

Truckstop Diesel Volumes Increase

Diesel volumes at truckstops increased in September over 2007 volumes, according to a fuel survey conducted by NATSO, an association representing 1,100 truckstops and travel plazas. The September results marked the first year-over-year increase in diesel sales volumes since April and followed a sharp 7.8 percent decline in August. NATSO’s survey showed that diesel sales

Fuel Continues to Tumble

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN In a growing number of metropolitan markets, gasoline prices at retail outlets have fallen below their price a year ago, and are still headed lower as demand tumbles on driver conservation and amid a troubled economy. Wholesale markets are factoring in greater decreases in gasoline prices,

Cenex Adds Gift Card Program

CHS Inc. has launched a new Cenex Winter Gift Card Campaign, just in time for retailers to capitalize on an expected increase in demand for gift cards that can be used to pay for household essentials. The winter campaign includes all new in-store merchandising, three fresh gift card designs and professional installation services for retailers,