Archives for March 2009

Kentucky Flame Out

The Louisville, Ky., Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee unanimously passed an ordinance this week that bans the sale of lighters that “are not readily identifiable as lighters.” Fire officials say they are often picked up by children. The ordinance will go before the full council at next week’s meeting and will be on the consent

Stamp of Approval

Tesoro Hawaii convenience stores soon will offer postage stamps at face value. Tesoro has enrolled 30 of its 2Go convenience stores on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Stamps to Go” program that allows Tesoro to buy stamps at face value and then requires them to sell that postage for

Off to the Races

Bristol Motor Speedway officials today announced an agreement with Fas Mart Convenience Stores naming the company as a new partner during major event weekends. NASCAR fans in town for races and the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will be able to find Fas Mart convenience items without having to leave the BMS campgrounds. “Fas Mart is

Mark VII Launches Two New In-Bay Automatics

Mark VII Equipment Inc. announced its next generation of rollover carwash systems, the SoftWash XT and AquaJet XT. Each system leverages the best features of its predecessor while adding unique new features that drive incremental revenue, lower operating costs, increase customer satisfaction and reduce consumption of precious resources. Both have been redesigned from the ground

Fuel Trending Upward

By Brian Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, DTN After making a U-turn and moving down more than a nickel in late February, the U.S. average price for regular grade gasoline at retail outlets will again increase, pushed up by sharp gains in the wholesale market. The wholesale markets remain extremely volatile, and we could see wholesale

F.A.B. Leaps into Foodservice

F.A.B. Inc. (Frosty Acres Brands), the national foodservice purchasing cooperative for independent distributors, is stepping up its focus on fresh foods with the launch of the Up for Grabs foodservice program. The Up for Grabs program offers distributors an exclusive brand designed for the convenience channel. With a variety of premium products, specialized merchandising systems,

ShortStop Enhances Financial Services

ShortStop, a ConocoPhillips branded convenience store chain in Boulder, Colo., is expanding its current mobile gift program to include Mocapay’s mobile loyalty solution after a successful three-month mobile gift trial. ShortStop, a four-store chain that has served the Boulder community for more than 30 years, expects to launch its mobile loyalty program in the second

SCHIP Federal Tax Increase Update

The federal cigarette and tobacco tax increases signed into law in early February by President Obama will take effect on April 1, 2009. With the tax increases less than one month away, tobacco retailers should review the list of recommendations below to help prepare for these tax increases: 1. To minimize the floor stocks tax, retailers

Chevron Names John Watson Vice Chairman

Chevron Corp. said Vice Chairman Peter J. Robertson will retire from the company and its board after more than 35 years of service at the San Ramon, Calif. oil company. Robertson will be succeeded by John Watson, currently executive vice president of strategy and development. The company also named Charles A. James, currently vice president

Two-Ounce Energy Shots

TOP PERFORMERS Living Essential 5-Hour Energy NVE Stacker Upshot (Drinks That Work) HONORABLE MENTIONS BDI Mini Thin Rush NRG Make room for the new kid on the block: Energy shots, those concentrated versions of energy drinks that are beginning to mirror the high sales figures of their parent product.  Energy shots have as big a

Isotonics and Energy Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Red Bull Monster (Hansen Beverage Co.) Gatorade (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Powerade (Coca-Cola Co.) Full Throttle (Coca-Cola Co.) Gulf Oil General Manager Terri Murray sums this category up about as sweetly as you can. “When energy drinks first came out, I don’t think any of us were sure what was going to happen,” Murray

Juices And Teas

TOP PERFORMERS Lipton (PepsiCo) Tropicana (PepsiCo) Minute Maid (Coca-Cola Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS AriZona Beverage Co. SoBe (PepsiCo) While innovation is a valued component to every category, the juices and teas segment of packaged beverages seems to be particularly prone to new twists and creative concepts. Largely in response to consumers looking for more functionality and

Soft Drinks

TOP PERFORMERS Pepsi Coca-Cola Mountain Dew (PepsiCo) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Sprite (Coca-Cola Co.) Carbonated soft drink sales may be slowing a bit, but they still dominate convenience store coolers. Chalk it up to brand-loyal buyers or market saturation, but one thing is certain: This is a packaged beverage segment retailers

The Impact of Tobacco Federal Excise Taxes

The increase of federal and state cigarette excise taxes will have a far-reaching, negative impact on the convenience store industry. With the exception of petroleum products, no other category is more vital to the industry’s success than tobacco products. Given that cigarettes represent 30-45% of c-store inside sales, the deterioration of this category will have

What’s Your Solution?

SKU SLEUTH … Rick Cosmer, vice president of retail sales and operations at Mansfield Oil Co. in Georgia, has found cutting-edge back-office systems can offer huge payoffs in terms of data analysis and sales tracking. Cosmer said the most powerful piece of his system allows him to drill down J.D. to individual products to determine

Choosing the Right ATM

With the number of ATMs in service across America rising and their average transaction dipping for a decade, convenience store operators face a variety of choices in how they choose to deploy them. Viewed as revenue generators or simply services for customers, cash machines present c-store executives with a variety of options and challenges, beginning

Driving HBC Sales

Convenience store operators preparing to expand their health and beauty care (HBC) category in time for the summer months may be facing some challenges. With the moribund economy depressing impulse sales across retail, this may be a bad summer for new products, while tried-and-true brands of medicines, sunscreen, sunglasses and other warm-weather favorites remain strong.

Bursting With Energy

Sultry Sales One new energy-shot sales trend WSCO’s general retail manager Darrell Looney sees is that some shots are being touted as aphrodisiacs. “The last NACS show was the first time I really noticed the presence of products that specifically spoke to potency and endurance,” Looney said, adding that it’s probably too soon to tell

Energy Drinks Holding Strong

Energy Crash Ahead? Driven by studies that demonstrate the adverse impacts high levels of caffeine have, a “truth-in-labeling” movement is gaining strength that may strongly impact energy drink retailers from Maine to California and could raise liability issues for the fastest-growing products in the cold vault.Because energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements rather than

Service Reigns Supreme

There is no greater ally for convenience store owners than their supplier partners. When retailers boost sales and satisfy their customers, everyone in the supply chain benefits. When Convenience Store Decisions launched its Reader’s Choice Awards four years ago, our premise was simple: To find out just who retailers identified as their top supplier partners.

Retaining Talent For The Future

The best thing about the economy being such a dog? Employers get the pick of the litter when it comes to job candidates. Worcester, Mass.-based Honey Farms Mini-Market landed an expert last month when it hired retail veteran Lisa Clement to oversee nine Honey Farm stores in the Worcester and Middlesex county markets. Just weeks

Road Ranger Growing

Tough economic times mean new opportunities and Road Ranger just found one. The Rockville, Ill., convenience store chain entered into operating lease agreements for 15 Fast Break Food Mart gasoline and convenience stores in the Louisville, Ky., market. The deal increases Road Ranger’s network of travel centers and convenience stores to 88 locations in seven

Sunoco Downsizing

Sunoco Inc. said it is selling off 165 convenience stores and gas stations in the Eastern U.S.  The properties are located in selected markets in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Philadelphia-based Sunoco operates a network of approximately 4,700 retail sites—including the APlus

Budgets Tightened, Jobs Squeezed

As retailers big and small continue shedding jobs amid economic troubles, some convenience and petroleum brands bleed a little, some bleed a lot.  The industry is taking its share of hits in this economic tsunami, but if there’s any consolation, it’s this: Their wounds aren’t nearly as deep as those suffered in other retail channels.

Cody’s Goes To Kum & Go

Cody’s Convenience Stores at a Glance Headquarters: Springfield, Mo. Store Count: 37 Fuel Brand: Phillips 66 Missouri Markets: Battlefield, Bolivar, Clever, Fair Grove, Hollister, Joplin, Monett, Neosho, Nixa, Republic, Rogersville, Springfield, Waynesville and Webb City. Distinctions: The Cody’s Gift Card, live bait, financial services, full-service delis and various leading foodservice concepts. It took the right

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