Archives for 2008

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

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

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

Game Changers: Lessons Learned From the Election

The 2008 Presidential election will go down as one of the most dynamic elections in U.S. history. I have lived in my neighborhood for 10 years and have never seen an election that brought more diverse signage dotting the lawns around my home. The most interesting representation of this: A nearby house displayed signs for

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

Progress in Processing

Convenience store operators’ turbulent relationship with the credit card industry is set to enter a new phase in 2009 as a pair of legislative initiatives—one for consumers, the other a point of serious contention for retailers—come front and center. From both angles, facing off with credit card companies over the huge profits they’ve been reaping

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

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 RealPeopleRatings.com 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