Archives for January 2009

Fresh Start To A New Year

After noticing a sharp spike in sales of canned foods – particularly fruits and vegetables – at its stores in the past few months, West Coast c-store chain Fresh & Easy said it has launched a line of 98-cent produce packs to help consumers budget for fresh quality products. “It’s clear customers are trying to

Celestial Convenience

Leaders at Jordan Lutheran Church in North Carolina are promoting a gas discount at a BP station in Cary, N.C., to show people that God cares about their practical needs, too, TV station NBC 17 reported. The church will promote 50-cent-per-gallon gas at Dolphins BP on Jan. 17 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., NBC 17

Innovator Of The Year

The Griffin Report of Food Marketing has named Rutter’s Farm Stores as its 2008 Convenience Store Innovator of the Year. The Griffin Report (www.griffinpublishing.net) covers the food industry for supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores from Maine to Florida, and has a monthly readership of more than 50,000. Award criteria included foodservice offerings, store design, environmentally

Why Not Wi-FI?

BP North America has turned to Dayton, Ohio-based network management company HarborLink Network and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Wi-Fi services company Ruckus Wireless to offer a next-generation Wi-Fi service for free at 50 BP sites nationwide. If it’s well received, the service could be rolled out at additional BP locations, said BP Spokesman Scott Dean. Dubbed “Smart

Tesco, Wal-Mart Dig In Their Heels

It’s been more than a year since Tesco and Wal-Mart first scrawled their battle lines for a convenience-channel fight on the West Coast, and already analysts are predicting that retail Goliath Wal-Mart could have a fight on its hands. A report by Business Week said that Tesco’s Fresh & Easy stores, launched in November 2007

Winnings For All

A Detroit gas station owner is discounting gas prices after one of his customers won a $1 million lottery prize last week, the Detroit Free Press reported. Kayed Bazzi, owner of a BP in Detroit, received a $2,000 commission from the Michigan State Lottery after he sold the winning ticket. One day next week, he’s

Sheetz Awards Free Gas To Ohio Resident

Sheetz Inc. awarded a Canton, Ohio man free gas for a year on Tuesday as part of a gas-giveaway promotion in its Ohio stores. The man won $2,000 worth of free gas after signing up for a My Sheetz Card. The company is awarding the prize to 17 other customers in Ohio in the coming

Operations Wake-Up Call

Tougher economic times are pushing convenience retailers to look at how they can improve operations. While cutting costs may be one common theme, savvy retailers are also looking at other avenues to help them stand out among the competition. “The economy changed and that changes how people are buying,” said Brooks Blair, owner of Bells

Reaching Your Target Audience

When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise. There’s no doubt we’re trudging through some tough times—it’s been this way for at least the past year. And there’s certainly no “crystal ball” to tell us when it’ll all be over. We might pull out of this down cycle sooner

Americans’ Changing Love Affair with Pizza

Consumers have shifted their pizza-ordering habits, cutting back on weekdays but ordering more often on weekends, Technomic Information Services found earlier this year. In 2006, Technomic found that 35% of consumers indicated that they would primarily order pizza for dinner during the week, and just over a quarter (28%) typically ordered pizza for dinner during

EZ Energy Acquires 42 Stations

EZ Energy USA Inc., the U.S. entity of Israeli-based EZ Energy Ltd., has signed a contract to acquire 42 gas stations in the U.S. and all related inventory—as well as four lots—for a reported $32.6 million. When the deal is closed, EZ Energy will own 93 stores that sell approximately 160 million gallons of gas

Step One: Knowing Your PCI Merchant Level

Merchant Levels are designated by the PCI Standard as follows: Level 1: Any merchant, regardless of acceptance channel, processing over 6 million Visa transactions per year; that has suffered a hack or an attack that resulted in an account data compromise; that Visa, at its sole discretion, determines should meet the Level 1 merchant requirements

Pilot Testing Electronic Smokeless Products

In an effort to boost sales in the smokeless category, Pilot convenience stores in the Knoxville, Tenn., market are testing the Vegas E-cigar, a product manufactured by Minneapolis-based Ruyan America Inc. that looks and feels like a premium cigar, but uses a microchip and nicotine-infused liquid to produce a vapor that provides its user with

Casey’s Intros New Store

In keeping with a plan outlined in 2008, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores is rolling out expanded store designs. Casey’s executives said that roughly six stores with the new design are open or nearing completion, and the company hopes to finish a total of 20 by the end of April. The new ‘O’ floor plan

BP Flies High on Atlas Oil’s Flagpoles

A visit to BP’s ampm stores a few years ago convinced Simon that BP’s established ampm brand—and its decision to divest itself of stores in the Midwest—was an opportunity for Atlas to acquire stores for its own dealers, as well as operate more stores on its own. In December 2007, Atlas forged an alliance with

Convenience Stores Hurt by Tobacco Taxed Ad Sales

Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly basis, the industry per store average over the past year was $39,127. However, its gross profit contribution slipped to 3.2% to $6,152 falling behind package beverages ($6,526), according to the National Association of Convenience Stores State of the Industry report.

Lighting for Less

Lamar Lighting, a manufacturer of stock and custom-made fluorescent lighting fixtures, has introduced Max-ER lighting. The Max-ER recessed direct/indirect revitalization luminaire features 89% luminaire efficiency, up to 97 Lumens per watt (LPW)1 and tool-less ballast access. The Max-ER is sure to be a hit with building owners and maintenance personnel alike, arriving straight from the

Coffee with a Kick

Boyd Coffee Co. has added French Vanilla Coffee to its successful Hi-Rev Coffee House Roasters beverage line. The higher-caffeinated product with vanilla flavor will be available across the country in the more than 11,000 convenience stores, quick-casual and self-service establishments that carry Boyd’s products. Boyd’s Hi-Rev French Vanilla Coffee will be available in cases of

Essentially Flavorful

Coca-Cola North America is launching its much-anticipated Dasani essence brand in three flavors: Lime, Strawberry-Kiwi and Black Cherry. Dasani essence has no sugar, calories or preservatives and offers a light flavor with a tinge of all-natural fruit flavor. Available in February 2009, the new brand comes as the bottled water industry is experiencing record growth–about

Tiny Lite

Scripto introduces Tiny Lite sparkwheel lighters to its line of disposable cigarette lighters. The new mini-lighters are compact, fitting conveniently in pockets and handbags. Tiny Lite lighters are available in red, green, blue, purple and black and are offered in a choice of five-pack or 50-count Display-A-Tray with printed theme headers. The Tiny Lite Display-A-Tray

Heart Healthy Super Juice

Drenchers new all-natural 100% super juice, Heart Healthy, does exactly as its names states: It helps keep your heart healthy. Each 8-ounce serving of Heart Healthy has only 120 calories and contains two servings of fruits and vegetables. Available in shelf-stable 12- and 64-ounce sizes, Drenchers Heart Healthy all-natural 100% super juice contains Bodyguard, a

Organic Treats

Classic Foods has taken their organic tortilla chips and topped them with America’s favorite gourmet dip to launch Stoned Classics Organic Spinach Artichoke & Cheese. These tortilla chips are made with organic yellow corn that is stone-ground to ensure supreme flavor and texture. Then they are lightly seasoned with spinach, artichoke and parmesan cheese to

Organic Energy

Honey Stinger, manufacturer of honey-based nutritional products, introduces Cherry Blossom Organic Energy Chews, formulated for health-conscious individuals and athletes who want a great-tasting energy snack. Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are the first to include naturally occurring fiber and protein derived from organic tapioca syrup and honey. This is the company’s second chew flavor; the

Super Blends

The Sun Shower brand just got better with the addition of its new lineup of Super Blends iced coffees, teas and lattes. Each flavor contains Lifeguard Protection, a fortification package with powerful antioxidant vitamins A, E and Zinc and has half the calories of the leading brands. The Sun Shower Super Blends line is comprised

Cash Solutions

Tidel Engineering LP, a leader in cash-management systems and robbery prevention products, has introduced the Revolution, an innovative solution to manage high volumes of coins and notes. The Revolution includes three segments: A coin recycler that validates, counts, sorts and dispenses high volumes of coins, which are dispensed directly into a till drawer or coin