Archives for November 2008

Measuring Up Your Supplier

The martyrs in the retail world may think they’re alone as they move to counter the forces perpetually squeezing their profit margins—credit card fees, consumer spending slow-downs, a credit crunch and increased operating costs—but there’s an often-overlooked ally at their disposal: suppliers.  “The supplier representative knows a lot of the retailer’s history and a lot

Examining Alternative Options

One of my specialties has been dealing with the importance of liquidating marginal stores and trying to find solutions for sites that no longer are appropriate for continued retail petroleum use. I recently experienced an amusing encounter that reflects some interesting differences in the direction that our industry may be taking from one coast to

Small Booths, Big Ideas

Sure, there were mammoth setups at the NACS show at McCormick Place in Chicago last month.  Some, like the energy drink makers whose legions of gorgeous gals were sporting free samples, boasted booths worthy of their own postal code. Likewise with the Dresser Wayne and Gilbarco Veeder-Root displays, whose setups offered a cornucopia of innovative

High-Volume Liquid Coffee

The LCR-3 HV, Bunn’s new high-volume liquid coffee dispenser, brings a new level of ease and convenience to serving large amounts of coffee with easy, cost-effective operations, electronic controls and many other unique features. Its stainless steel outer cabinet allows the unit to easily fit into a commercial kitchen environment. Minimal operator training is required

Outdoor Payment Terminal

Gilbarco has expanded its range of compliant payment solutions with the introduction of its fully-certified FlexPay CRIND. The free-standing FlexPay OPT packages Gilbarco’s PCI and EMV compliant FlexPay terminal as an Island Card Reader that can be positioned next to the pump and support single or multiple fuel dispensers. FlexPay OPT supports Gilbarco’s Generic and

Cups for Customers On-the-Go

The new Deli-Wave Cup from PWP Industries challenges assumptions about how a deli cup can turn a typical deli experience into a premium one. The new container sports a unique, sophisticated wave design that stands out on the shelf and protects food with superior strength. A secure, air-tight seal locks in freshness for maximum product

Getting (and Keeping) Customers Inside

Looking for ways to keep your customers coming into your store? You’re not alone. Consumers may understand that convenience retailers need to raise prices, but that doesn’t stop them from buying elsewhere, especially when it comes to buying prepared food. “Food is certainly a good draw, but it’s one of several important factors,” said Sandy

Unleashing the Profit Potential of Meat Snacks

C-store operators need to transcend mere impulse merchandising and gain a real understanding of shifting consumer demographics in order to make the most of the meat snack category. Long considered a convenience store staple, meat snacks—primarily dried snacks and pork rinds—are enjoying a renaissance with the addition of many new flavors, new packaging and better

Finding Balance

Whether it’s maneuvering the fine line between hard work and spending enough quality time with the wife and kids or walking home after one too many at the local pub, finding the right balance is the crucial difference separating success from a split lip. In his poignant memoir, “From Smart to Lucky: Leadership Lessons from

BP’s Midwest Shuffle

Petroleum suppliers and c-store operators Ricker Oil Co., of Anderson, Ind., and Atlas Oil Co., of Taylor, Mich., were the big winners last month as part of BP’s plan to sell off its Midwest retail assets.  Ricker Oil President Jay Ricker, who owns and operates 29 Ricker’s Convenience Stores throughout Indiana, said he more than

Certified Oil Begins Reimaging

Recognizing a need to update its retail image, offer an expanded array of products and services and attract more women, Certified Oil has launched a multimillion-dollar redesign of its convenience store and petroleum network. The company also said it is developing a prototype design for a new brand of Certified convenience stores. The reimaging project

Setting the Standards

On a Thursday afternoon in October, Salt Lake City native Brandon Frampton ditched the office, rolled up his sleeves and joined ranks with a handful of front-line Pantry employees at a store in North Carolina.  Frampton, 38, hadn’t been vice president of foodservice for the Sanford-based Pantry chain for more than two weeks, and already

Avoiding ‘The Checkerboard Effect’

Unlike grocery store shoppers, c-store consumers view the entire store as “one large department with a bunch of pockets of stuff,” said John Clutts, retail practice leader for The Partnering Group in Columbia, Md. This may be something operators focusing on specific sections may not get. The mistake he finds when he walks into c-stores

Cenex Adds Gift Card Program

CHS Inc. has launched a new Cenex Winter Gift Card Campaign designed to help Cenex-branded retailers increase traffic and build incremental sales. The winter campaign includes all new in-store merchandising, three fresh gift card designs and professional installation services for operators, said Rick Cummings, vice president of refined fuels marketing for St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS.

Chevron Honored as 2008 Chain of the Year

It’s been a challenging year for convenience store operators, marked by wild fuel price fluctuations and exorbitant credit card fees. Despite the adversity, Chevron stood apart as one of the premier industry leaders. By advancing its Image Refresh program, growing the Texaco brand and introducing a no-fee credit card for its branded marketers, it was

Ruler Cooler

Sarah Jackson and David Oberman may not realize it, but as a pair they embody a curious trend in the c-store industry’s packaged beverage category these days. “I used to drink energy drinks every day,” said Oberman, 20, standing outside a TravelCenters of America on Interstate 90 at the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. “I was an energy

Drinking For Thinking

Whether they’re touting benefits such as arthritis relief, tanning power or sedation, functional beverages have long surpassed the passé point of added nutrition.  You can divvy up the functional beverage category any way you want: Brain-power libation like Brainiac, by Function Drinks; arthritis-battling brew like Joint Juice, by Joint Juice Inc.; or the sun-tanning stew,

Quick Shot

Lil’ Drug Store Products and AriZona Beverages, the makers of AriZona Iced Teas, have partnered to introduce new AriZona RX Energy Quick Shots. The new AriZona RX Energy Quick Shots were unveiled and sampled last month at the National Association of Convenience Stores trade show in Chicago. The energy drinks are expected to be sold

Sophisticated Yet Practical

The Wilbur Curtis Co. has taken gourmet coffee service to an exciting new level with the Curtis Milano. Combining an inspired design with the celebrated G3 technology famous for precision-controlled brewing, the Curtis Milano delivers the perfected and consistent gourmet coffee customers expect. Vacuum-insulated and designed with brew-through lids and integral faucets, Milano’s sleek servers

Stick with Something Good

Made with an exclusive patented formula, Crisco Professional Pan Release Spray is developed to produce less foam and offer more complete and consistent surface coverage and better overall performance. Available in 14- and 21-ounce sizes to fit any foodservice operation need, Crisco Professional Pan Release Spray has been awarded the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Seal

Sour Burst

In January 2009, consumers can “plug into the sour source” with new Starburst Sour Gummibursts. As the only liquid-filled gummi candy with an intense burst of sour flavor, Starburst Sour Gummibursts will be a hit, based on recent IRI data: Sour is a leading segment in the sugar category, and Gummi was the fastest growing

Costa Rican Coffee

Boyd Coffee Co. introduces Limited Edition Q-Certified Estate Costa Rican, a seasonal single-origin coffee from the Santa Anita Estate near Naranjo in Costa Rica. The medium roast coffee has a unique piquant and caramelly flavor and is available in 3.75- and 7- and 12-ounce packages. Harvested from one of the world’s premier coffee growing regions,

Cheese Champion

Next Generation Organic Dairy announced the addition of probiotic cheese sticks to their current line of dairy products. The cheese is formulated with the immune boosting probiotic GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI30, 6086), which overcomes the shortcomings of other probiotics by withstanding food manufacturing, extreme temperatures, and product shelf life.  The cheese sticks are the perfect snack

The Flex Revolution

Pan-Oston, a subsidiary of Houchens Industries, is rolling out a revolutionary new convenience store merchandising innovation, the C-Flex counter system. C-Flex is a patented design that uses a tubular steel skeletal frame so the units are created as ‘integrated systems’ and not as adjoining cabinets like traditional modular counter units. C-Flex’s design supports virtually any

Roll the Drum Slowly

Drum, a division of Republic Tobacco, introduces four new unique tobacco blends from around the globe. The new blends include: Perique, native to New Orleans, is cured in hickory barrels and pressed with oak blocks for a rich and spicy taste; Latakia, originally grown on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, this blend is cured

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