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

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

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

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

Green and Envied

Scott Zaremba grew up in the fuel business. As president and CEO of Zarco 66, the petroleum company his father founded in 1968, Zaremba is battle-tested in the trenches and has the scars to prove it. But what motivates this savvy industry veteran every day is the opportunity to push the boundaries of creativity and

Breakfast, The Daypart That Delivers

In March, Rick Pajak and his team rolled out a new breakfast sandwich program under Wilson Farms’ self-branded Fresh N Ready label. The sandwiches come in four varieties produced by Lettieri’s, a division of Hot Stuff Foods, which was able to tailor the menu according to the chain’s tastes. The previous program required employees to

Condiments: The New Category

Rick Pajak breathed new life into Wilson Farms’ hot and cold dispensed category by treating condiments less as an afterthought and more as a category of its own. “We look at the condiment section as one of the longest stops in the store,” he said. “Why not give them the right space and right opportunity

Fertile Ground

WILSON FARMS TIMELINE * 1960: Tops Markets is co-founded by Savino Nanula and Armand Castellani. 1969: Tops Markets opens the first Wilson Farms Neighborhood Food store in Tonawanda, N.Y., naming the store after a company-owned farm in Wilson, N.Y. 1978: Wilson Farms expands in N.Y. to Rochester and later to Syracuse. 1980s: Tops Markets is

Taking Stock in Kieler

Ashley Cullen doesn’t fancy himself a holy being among retailers, but he does know that dropping an occasional bag of Combos onto a gondola doesn’t make for the crowning achievement in inventory management. “When I first got here, we were lucky if we got $200 a day in deli,” Cullen said. “Now we’re averaging $450

The $10 Test

Mel Kleiman offers the $10 test: Give your applicant a $10 bill and tell him to buy something in the store—a sandwich, a fountain drink, anything of his choosing—and ask him to return the next day with an assessment of the experience. The applicant will do one of three things: • Take the $10 and

Where to Find the Best Workers

Among retailers who tuned in to CSD’s Webcast on hiring foodservice employees, more than 57% said finding part-time workers is one of their biggest hiring challenges. A second Webcast poll showed retailers rely on three primary sources to find the best employees: • Referrals: 50% • Walk-ins: 37.5% • Advertisements: 12.5% Mel Kleiman, of Humetrics

Filling Up on Food Sales

Five years ago, Open Pantry was poised to move beyond the humdrum in southeast Wisconsin. The 26-store convenience retailer was bracing for big changes inside and out, all part of a mammoth push to polish the chain’s image with new products, programs and brands. A gourmet sandwich line was added. Larger roller grills were installed

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

Chevron Named CSD’s 2008 Chain of the Year

At a time when many industry marketers are struggling with high gas prices, exorbitant credit card fees and few options, one company is shining above all others. Over the past 12 months, San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron has reduced credit card processing fees for its branded marketers, launched a new “no fee” co-branded Visa credit card

NATSO Blasts DOT’s Commercialization Proposal

The Bush administration’s recent proposal to commercialize rest areas in 10 states would devastate highway-based businesses, such as travel centers, truckstops, restaurants, gasoline stations, convenience stores and lodging establishments, according to NATSO, the nonprofit organization representing America’s travel plaza and truckstop industry. The Department of Transportation released its proposal this week for reforming federal surface

Destination Media Launches C-Store TV Network

Destination Media, an industry leader in digital out-of-home television, has launched C-Store TV network in top U.S. media markets, the company said. C-Store TV will initially launch in Boston, New York and Los Angeles with 100 new locations, though the launch will be followed by C-Store TV’s introduction into a number of other leading markets

Circle K Expands Use Of KSS PriceNet

Circle K, a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard, has expanded its existing licensing agreement for the KSS PriceNet system to include an additional 124 retail locations in the northeastern U.S., KSS said. KSS is a global supplier of fuels pricing analytics, execution and optimization systems for the oil and gas industries, as well as convenience stores,

7-Eleven Takes Prepaid Wireless Global

Dallas-based c-store leader 7-Eleven Inc. is taking its prepaid wireless program global with the launch of its 7-Connect program in Singapore, the Dallas Business Journal reported. 7-Eleven decided to roll out the private-brand wireless program in Asia after successfully launching a similar program in the U.S. and Canada. The 7-Connect program will give Singapore consumers

Kroger Teams With Cellfire To Offer Mobile Discounts

Cellfire Inc., a nationwide mobile coupon and discount service, has partnered with grocery giant Kroger Co. to supply consumers with mobile grocery coupons for products made by more than half a dozen leading consumer product manufacturers. The new program will allow consumers to save on individual grocery items using their mobile phone. The program is

Fresh & Easy Adopts Local Flair

A Fresh & Easy store in Fresno, Calif., will be the chain’s first to include design elements borrowed from the local community and neighborhood, according to various online reports and a Fresh & Easy blog site, freshandeasybuzz.blogspot.com. The Fresno location received approval from council members in that city last week. Located on Tulare Street, the

Beer is Again America’s Alcohol Beverage of Choice

According to a new Gallup poll, beer’s lead over wine and spirits has returned to double-digits for the first time since 2002, particularly among adults between the ages of 30 and 49 who tried wine for a few years then shifted back to beer. The annual Consumption Habits poll, released through Gallup’s Web site, shows

Rutter’s Expands York, Pa., Site

Rutter’s Farm Stores has opened a Pennsylvania store that’s twice as big as the store that was razed to make way for this new facility. The former store at Pennsylvania Avenue in York, Pa., was razed April 14, giving up ground for the new 5,200-square-foot Rutter’s store offering an automatic car wash and 16 fueling

Retail, restaurant industry form nonprofit networking association

Retail and restaurant industry professionals and those in insurance, law, vending and related industries have united to form the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association (NRRDA), an organization aiming to serve the legal, informational and networking interests of the retail and restaurant industries. NRRDA said it provides live educational and Web-based seminars focusing on cutting-edge

Texas Dept. of Agriculture Finds C-Store Cheated Customers

Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples this week provided results from his agency’s "Operation Spotlight," a major investigation into Petroleum Wholesale L.P.’s Texas fuel stations operating under the name Sunmart. The investigation has confirmed that numerous Sunmart gas stations cheated Texas consumers by giving them less fuel than they purchased, and the findings strongly

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