Archives for 2008

Spartan Steps Up Expansion Plans

Spartan Stores Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocery distributor that also operates 84 supermarkets in Michigan and Ohio, is looking to add another 10 stores to its portfolio in the next three years, according to the Grand Rapids Press. The construction includes a previously announced flagship store in Grand Rapids, though a timeline hasn’t been

Tough Break For Fast Break Workers

Employees at a Fast Break convenience store in Evans, Colo., may face criminal charges after dumping at least 400 gallons of diesel fuel into a stormwater drain that led directly to the South Platte River, the Greeley Tribune in Colorado reported. Customers saw the employees emptying the fuel into the drain and called authorities Sunday

Putting Feet on the Street

Mark VII Equipment Inc., the Colorado-based subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, has added four people to its direct sales organization, the company said. Mark VII is a leading manufacturer and supplier of equipment and solutions for the carwash industry worldwide. “I’m proud to add these experienced sales professionals to the Mark VII team,” said

Tesoro Closes Up 42 Mirastar sites

Petroleum giant Tesoro said it has closed 42 Mirastar sites located at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, though it will continue to operate another 32 Mirastar stores that are also located at Wal-Mart. Company spokeswoman Sarah Simpson said it was a “business decision” that prompted the closings, declining to delve into specifics. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas,

Marsupial Miracle

Kangaroo, the Sanford, N.C.-based operator of 1,650 convenience stores in the southeastern U.S., was a recent participant in the third annual Dairy Queen “Miracle Treat Day” aimed at raising money for the nonprofit Children’s Miracle Network. Kangaroo is a franchisee of seven Dairy Queen locations as well. The c-store operator was one of thousands of

Energy Drink? ID, Please …

Children and teens younger than 17 who want an energy fix may soon need parental or guardian approval before taking a sip from certain energy drinks if a Michigan lawmaker gets his way, the Sentinel-Standard in Ionia, Mich., reported. Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland, introduced legislation that would bar Michigan establishments from selling certain energy drinks

Maryland Quadruples Seizure of Contraband Cigs

Since the state of Maryland instituted a tax increase of $2 per pack in January, agents with the Maryland Comptroller’s Office have seized more than 46,000 packs of contraband cigarettes, smokes that were brought illegally across state lines, according to a report by the Baltimore Sun. That’s a nearly four-fold increase from about 13,000 packs

Tesco Blowing Into Windy City

Tesco is set to open an office in Chicago as it anticipates expanding its Fresh & Easy stores beyond the West Coast, The UK Independent reported. The UK retailer has property executives who are poised to move to Chicago to identify potential locations for a distribution center and store location in and around Chicago, the

Just Born Becomes Official Candy Sponsor of JCC Maccabi Games

Candy manufacturer Just Born Inc. is returning as the official candy sponsor of the 2008 JCC Maccabi Games, a weeklong athletic and character-building event by the Jewish Community Centers Association. The JCC Maccabi Games, which started in 1982, has grown from a small pilot project in one host community with 300 participants competing in a

Late Summer Price Relief Could be Fleeting

EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of a new partnership with DTN, Convenience Store Decisions will be providing weekly rack prices from DTN along with exclusive trends and analysis from Refined Fuels Editor Brian Milne. By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, DTN Sliding selling prices for gasoline at wholesale terminals in major markets across the United

Madden NFL 09 Launches at 7-Eleven Stores Nationwide

Electronic Arts Inc. has kicked off a month-long promotion of Madden NFL 09 and the 20th anniversary of the EA Sports franchise at 7-Eleven stores nationwide. The promotion runs from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 and will feature a variety of in-store and out-of-store elements, including collectible Slurpee and Big Gulp cups, Madden Meals and

Fresh & Easy Continues Growth

West Coast retailer Fresh & Easy, the U.S. arm of UK-based Tesco, has opened a new store in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. San Diego City Council Member Kevin Faulconer joined Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market CEO Tim Mason in opening the new store, the company’s 71st overall and the seventh in San Diego County.

U.S. Fuel Demand Hits 5-Year Low

U.S. oil demand in the first seven months of this year hit a five-year low compared to demand in the same period from previous years, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported in its Monthly Statistical Report. And while consumers are cutting back on fuel consumption, Bloomberg news reported that U.S. consumer prices jumped to a

Petroleum Pugilism

A gas war between a Chevron and Shell gas station in the Houston area caused chaos at an intersection in Harris County on Tuesday, KPRC Local 2 in Houston reported. "They both have been lowering the price back and forth," customer Brandon Racey told the news station. "They’re dropping the price so fast; can’t even

Texas Brokerage Looks To C-stores

Pinnacle Brokers, Inc., a brokerage firm based in Georgetown, Texas, is expanding its operations into the foodservice, c-store and grocery segments, the company said. The company, founded in 2004, has been a category specialist for the vending and coffee industries. The company has hired Gene Ratliff and Bryan Brewster to manage the new expansion. Ratliff

CVS Purchases West Coast Drug Store Chain

CVS Caremark Corp. is planning to buy Longs Drug Stores Corp. for $2.9 billion, a number of California business journals reported. CVS will acquire Longs’ 521 retail drugstores in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona as well as its Rx America subsidiary, which offers prescription benefits management services to over 8 million members and prescription drug

Mountain Dew Gets Artsy

Mountain Dew is looking for new ways to extend its reach among thirsty young men, and this week will begin rolling out its latest experiment: Six limited-edition bottles designed by emerging artists, reported. The interactive marketing effort by New York-based Seed Gives Life builds on the Green Label Art effort the brand introduced last

Casey’s at The Races

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores will present “Casey’s Night at the Races” at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Aug. 15, an online publication by RaceFan Inc. reported. The retailer is celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer with a number of promotions. In July and August, Casey’s patrons have been able to purchase any 2 liter of

Mid-State Petroleum Launches Loyalty Program

Mid-State Petroleum is launching the FuelLinks loyalty program at 10 company-owned Pop Shoppe locations in the Greensboro-High Point and Charlotte, N.C., markets, the company said. Mid-State vice-president Tony Perez said the 10 stores, which are Citgo-branded, are the first phase of a planned rollout to approximately 40 Pop Shoppe locations – including dealer-owned stores –

Hunt Brothers Launches Racing-themed Web Site

Hunt Brothers Pizza has launched a new racing-themed Web site,, which features racing updates, news, driver bios, a photo gallery and more to keep Hunt Brothers fans up to date on their favorite racing team. “This is a very exciting time for our company as Hunt Brothers competes on racing’s biggest stage,” said Scott

Make New Friends

Market research gurus at the NPD Group Inc. have released the most recent monthly results from “Fast Checks Study: Consumers Speak Out on the U.S. Economy.” The report shows that consumers are changing their shopping purchase patterns. In July, 34% of consumers said they would not change their purchase behavior, compared to April, when 42%

Gilbarco, Cybera Streamline Network Connectivity

Petroleum retailers and convenience store operators will need fewer phone lines, enjoy greater security and faster connectivity as a result of a new partnership between Gilbarco and Cybera, the companies said. The two have joined forces to streamline voice, video and financial transaction data communication into a single, secure, converged network. The partnership is targeted

Clark Partners with Gilbarco

Clark Brands LLC of Naperville, IL and Gilbarco Veeder-Root have entered a strategic alliance that covers point of sale (POS) systems as well as installation services and Gilbarco Fuel Management Services (FMS.) As part of the agreement, Clark and Gilbarco are offering Clark customers a program to upgrade locations that are currently operating G-SITE POS

Retail’s Battle Royale

Showdowns are abounding stateside these days as Tesco’s Fresh & Easy, Wal-Mart’s Marketside and Japanese Famima stores are trying to achieve dominance in the convenience channel. The Orange County Register reported that in Fountain Valley, Calif., Fresh & Easy and Famima are squaring off right across the street from each other. The stores in that

Energy Drinks Need A Boost?

While energy drink sales continue to grow at convenience stores across the nation, the category may not be enjoying the same breakneck pace experienced in the past decade, according to reports from Beverage Digest and Energy drink volume grew 30% last year, but in June was only up single digits (7%), Beverage Digest reported.