Archives for 2008

The Man in the Mirror

With the U.S. consuming about 20% of the world’s fuel, it’s time to take matters into our own hands to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. By Jim Callahan You may have noticed that fuel prices seem to be on the rise recently. Quite dramatically you say you’re really ticked off about it–you say

Everything’s Coming Up 7 (and 11)

Leading c-store retailer 7-Eleven is celebrating its 81st birthday on July 11, and as a thanks to customers is offering free 7.11-ounce Slurpees at participating stores. Customers can pour their favorite Slurpee flavor in colorful, 7.11-ounce “birthday” cups throughout the day, while cup supplies last. Home of the Big Bite Oscar-Mayer all-beef hot dog and

Rutter’s Doles Out First of Four Gas Awards

Kathy Wallick doesn’t consider herself a lucky person, and her family members won’t even let her touch lottery tickets for fear she’ll have a negative effect on them. But if you want proof that her luck has changed, consider this: Wallick is the first grand-prize winner in Rutter’s Farm Stores’ gas giveaway, the company said.

Fresh & Easy’s Manhattan Beach Opening Draws 2,600

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market saw nearly 2,600 customers show up to the grand opening of its store in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, the company said. It’s the company’s 62nd store on the West Coast, the others being in California, Nevada and Arizona. The store’s “grill pack” sold particularly well, the company said, adding

Roundup On Competitors …

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks announced plans to close 600 stores this week, while big-box retailer Wal-Mart said it’s stepping up efforts to bring more U.S. farmers into its supply chain as a way to keep food prices down. Dunkin’ Donuts, meanwhile, added a new Southwest Chicken Flatbread sandwich to its oven-toasted menu. Wal-Mart said it’s

Atlas Oil To Acquire 23 BP Sites In Indiana

Atlas Oil Co. will acquire 23 BP retail sites in Indiana, as well as operate a number of sites on the Indiana Toll Road, Crains News Service reported. The deal, scheduled to close this fall, includes a number of retail locations owned by BP and several dealer-supplied sites, Crains reported. As part of the transaction,

Gas And Diesel Demand Down

With fewer people on the road, retailers are seeing fuel demand drop, according to data released by a trade group representing the travel plaza industry. And ask any economist what happens when a product’s supply is ample but demand is lower, they’ll tell you the price of the product is likely to fall. Not so

RedPrairie Optimizes Shipping

RedPrairie Corporation announced enhancements to its industry-leading warehouse management solution, which is designed to improve the quality and efficiency of shipment and delivery of food and other perishable goods. While useful for a variety of multi-environment and campus distribution operations, the enhancements are especially helpful for food distributors and grocery retailers. “In food and grocery

The Cyber Slurpee

A Web site for 7-Eleven’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage,, just got a whole lot cooler, the company said. The redesigned site now includes interactive features, giving Slurpee lovers around the world a chance to post messages and share photos and videos featuring their favorite frozen beverage. The site was renamed Slurpee Nation to reflect

A Billion-dollar Deal?

Delek US Holdings Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn., is in exclusive negotiations to purchase a U.S. refinery for about $1 billion, a deal that could also land the company 400 to 500 retail locations if the plan pans out, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Delek did not name the

Zarco 66 Teams With Dresser Wayne

Dresser Wayne and Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels have announced the grand opening of Zarco’s sustainable and alternative fuel site in Lawrence, Kan. The Zarco location not only dispenses ethanol and biodiesel produced within a 75-mile radius of the facility, it also represents an innovative vision for sustainable construction and energy consumption, according to Dresser

Fresh & Easy Touts Holiday Savings

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is offering a special summer grill pack offering nearly five pounds of beef patties, mild pork sausages and lightly seasoned chicken – and a 12-pack of Fresh & Easy’s Taurino Cerveza beer – for under $10. The company said its USDA-certified grill pack includes a mix of eight hand-trimmed and

Cooking up Surefire Profits

As rising food and gas prices and killer credit card interchange fees are making for one hellacious economic hurricane, a c-store’s foodservice program could prove to be the fallout shelter. That was the consensus from c-store retailers and researchers participating in the first installment of CSD’s Foodservice Webcast Series, sponsored by Sam’s Club, on June

The Wild Ride Continues

As if industry operators didn’t have enough to worry about, ExxonMobil dealers were greeted with the news that the Irving, Texas oil giant decided to exit direct-store operations by divesting 825 company-owned and -operated stations as well as 1,400 stations leased to dealers. This decision thrust those dealers into an anxious state of limbo, an

C-Stores 101

There’s a profitable parable tucked somewhere inside the hodge-podge of mix-and-match cereal containers laid out on a table in the University of Rhode Island’s Corner Store. Something deeply religious, or at least something that screams "diversity" and "open-mindedness." For every Tony the Tiger, there’s a Lucky Charms leprechaun. For every Cookie Crisp, there’s a Cinnamon

NACS: Visa’s Move to Reduce Debit Holds a “Smokescreen”

With retailers and consumers struggling from the card companies’ policy of placing excessive holds on credit- and debit-card transactions at the fuel pumps, Visa announced a plan to reduce hold times to just a couple of hours. Right now, issuing banks impose a hold on funds in their customers’ bank accounts for an amount exceeding

Private-Label Energy Boosts Profits

A little more than a year after teaming with Boo Koo Holdings Inc. to launch GazZu Energy, a proprietary 16-ounce energy drink, the Circle K brand is taking the next logical step and extending the private-label energy lineup to include 2-ounce shots. Dubbed GazZu Shooters, the shots are more than lightening in a bottle for

By the Numbers

» 3 Years Pennsylvania resident Kathy Wallick gets free fuel as part of Rutter’s Farm Stores’ gas giveaway. She is the first of four grand prize winners in the c-store chain’s promotion, which runs through Aug. 24. » 10 Optimum number of seconds for a pumptop TV advertisement to foster greater consumer recall of advertising

Atlas Oil to Acquire 23 BP Sites in Indiana

Atlas Oil Co., of Taylor, Mich., has reached an agreement with BP Products North America to acquire and supply 23 BP branded stores in northwest Indiana. The sale, which is scheduled to close in the fall, includes a number of retail locations owned by BP, several dealer-supplied sites and an agreement for Atlas to operate

Zarco 66 Expanding Alternative Fuels

Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels last month celebrated the official grand opening of its first sustainable and alternative fuel site in Lawrence, Kan. The Zarco location not only dispenses ethanol and biodiesel produced within a 75-mile radius of the facility, it also represents an innovative vision for sustainable construction and energy consumption. Dubbed the "Green

Shoppernomics 2.0: The Not-So-Perfect Storm

There’s a host of ingredients contaminating the retail environment these days, with shoppers dogged by rising costs in energy, food and basic necessities. As a result, shopping habits are being radically reshaped in this new and uncertain environment, said Thom Blischok, president of consulting and innovation at Information Resources Inc. (IRI). "We are living in

The Jackpot in Goldsby

Try as they might, the triumvirate at Nine West Marketplace in Goldsby, Okla., just couldn’t get the beer drinkers in their small Oklahoma town to help themselves to the brews in the beer cave. "We tried everything under the sun to get them to go in there," said Carri Moore-Colwell, one of three owners at

Reshaping the Convenience Landscape

For some marketers and distributors, Exxon Mobil Corp.’s decision to get out of direct-store operations could present the chance of a lifetime; an opportunity to acquire the rights to stores for an entire market, maybe more. For others, the announcement caused immediate fear and panic concerning the long-term viability of their operations and, in some

Prepaid Reaping Financial Rewards

While gift card malls have been getting a lot of attention, prepaid debit, credit, gift and especially gas cards offered by Visa, MasterCard and American Express are quietly booming in popularity. Prepaid’s profit potential is fueled by shifts in the marketplace, wider social acceptance and the nation’s growing population of "unbanked" lower-income consumers. And while

Packaged Beverage Sales Heating Up

New products and flavors, including some with healthier ingredients, are helping soft drinks and teas experience a healthy resurgence in already jammed cold vaults nationwide, even as traditional carbonated soft drinks continue to decline. For operators, keeping tabs on trends and adjusting sets to match ever-changing dynamics remains a full-time job. According to the National