Archives for April 2009

Retail Gasoline Prices to Extend Higher in Early April

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Retail gasoline prices will continue higher across the U.S. during the first full week of April, pushed up by increases in gasoline’s wholesale markets from coast-to-coast. Expectations are that gasoline prices will continue to edge higher through much of spring, which is typical. The Energy Information

Arkansas Gambling on a State Lottery

The Arkansas lottery is getting closer to becoming a reality for the states convenience store and gas station customers. Last month, Gov. Mike Beebe signed both the identical Senate and House bills passing the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Act. Arkansas will soon join boardering states Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas in the lottery fraternity, according

Houchens Expanding

Houchens Industries, operator of 215 Save-A-Lot stores and 85 convenience stores, reached a deal to acquire Sheldon’s Express Pharmacies, a two-unit chain based in Bowling Green, Ky. The Sheldon’s units are described as state-of-the- art prescription drug stores that deliver quick service, extremely competitive pricing, and friendly service to their loyal customers. Sheldon’s Express Pharmacy

Meijer Plays Fare

Meijer is having a Simply Give spring food donation to help stock the shelves of 185 food pantries throughout the Midwest. People can buy $10 donation cards at Meijer stores, gas stations and convenience stores from Sunday to May 30. The donation equates to a typical bag of groceries from Meijer. The chain will seed

Light Beers Poised for A Big Year

Think the U.S. leads the world in beer consumption? Think again. Though America has a larger population than beer-drinking countries like Germany or Britain, the winner in this year’s beer sales sweepstakes is a brew many Americans have probably never heard of: A Chinese beer named Snow. “SAB-Miller was going to roll Snow beer into

The Night They Burned Tobacco Down

Increases on cigarettes have put the category’s long-term viability in jeopardy. By Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions I recently saw a statistic that declared tobacco was no longer king in convenience stores. While that is not yet true for most of us, it’s about to become an indisputable fact. The entire country now gets to

FDA Moves Closer to Tobacco Oversight

The federal government would for the first time have regulatory powers over the tobacco industry under a bill the House approved today after years of campaigning by anti-smoking forces. The measure, passed 298-112, gives the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate–but not ban–cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Senate could take up its version

Pollution Rules on Hold in California

As small businesses struggle to weather the economic downturn, California lawmakers are scrambling to temporarily suspend state rules requiring gas station owners to install costly pollution control equipment. California Assemblyman Martin Garrick introduced a proposal Wednesday that would suspend the start date for enforcement of the rules by one year, to April 1, 2010. The

MAPCO Partners with nFinanSe

In an effort to capitalize on the growing prepaid gift card trend, MAPCO Express Inc. said it would carry nFinanSe’s Discover Network General Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards at its more than 450 MAPCO Express convenience stores. Consumers can purchase the nFinanSe General Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Card for only $5.95 and conveniently add

Electrolux Rolls Out Energy-Saving Equipment

Foodservice operators can make a positive contribution to the energy-saving effort and their bottom line by using professional kitchen equipment that features energy saving technology. Through committed research and development, Electrolux Professional has incorporated energy-efficient features into their foodservice equipment that are both operator-friendly and earth-friendly. Energy-conscious operators can use Electrolux air-o-steam combi ovens, both

Sweet Profits

Confectionery manufacturer BestSweet Inc. has introduced a new, smoother shape for its licensed Baskin-Robbins Smooth & Creamy Hard Candy.  In addition to the new candy shape, updated packaging for the product is also being introduced and will prominently feature a picture of the new shape on the front of each candy bag. The new Smooth

Fuel Island Vending

As retailers continue to look for new profit centers, Vendgogh has introduced its first gas island vending product allowing retailers to tap the 70% of consumers that pay at the pump and never enter the convenience store. Vendgogh has developed a creative and profitable way to bring the c-store to the gas island, while combining

Chewy Trail Mix

Since 1975, Nature Valley has used wholesome ingredients to make its best-tasting granola bars, with flavors and types for every taste. For the first time, Nature Valley is bringing chocolate to its great-tasting granola bars. The new Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mix bar and the Dark Chocolate & Nut bar, now available to convenience store

Krafting a Snack Offering

Shelf-stable Handi-Snacks and Kool-Aid branded snacks offer a convenient single-serve snack for on-the-go consumers and time crunched operators. Handi-Snacks Pudding Snacks are available in consumer preferred chocolate and vanilla varieties, while Kool-Aid Gels come in two refreshing fruit flavors, Strawberry and Orange. New packaging with rounded cups offers an easy-to-handle snack, perfect for the on-the-go

Hot Food? Convenience Solutions

Foodservice equipment manufacturer Lockwood Manufacturing has introduced a new cabinet in a long line of time tested quality cabinets. The new CA69-PFIN-18CDD offers retailers an efficient method of holding and displaying hot food and baked goods for their customers. Featuring a fully insulated frame, external heat unit controls, digital thermometer and heavy duty casters all

Getting Cheesy

Utilizing its unique category focus and a new approach of utilizing its expertise to create powerful business solutions, the Kellogg Convenience Store Team is excited to launch Cheez-It Duoz baked snack crackers to its salty snack set. With two flavors in one bag, Cheez-It Duoz baked snack crackers offer consumers the tasty crunch and bold

Functional Focus

The bright light in the bottled water category remains enhanced waters, which consumers looking for more than just refreshment are coming to appreciate. That said, selling enhanced–or any other bottled waters in troubled economic times–means taking greater advantage of supplier programs and doing some savvy marketing and merchandising. The year just passed was difficult on

Is Green in Your Future?

Being green. You can’t go a day without hearing about it. Escalating energy costs and a renewed awareness of the environment have put green initiatives at the top of the agenda for the global convenience industry. Retail industry leaders such as Walmart and Tesco are setting targets to reduce energy use by at least 20%.

Cooler Control

Operators looking for greater energy efficiency should cast an eye on their coolers, where centralized controls, lighting adjustments, basic ongoing maintenance and employee training can save them money. “Coolers are typically an opportunity for improvements in maintenance and operational practices,” said Jerry Lawson, national manager for Energy Star Small Business and Congregations Network, a division

Recovering With New Tax Breaks

Shortly after last November’s election, Thomas Zaucha, president and CEO of the National Grocers Association (NGA) called upon the President-elect to kindle the economy with a stimulus package that included “tax incentives used by retailers and wholesalers to invest in technology, energy saving equipment and trucks for their businesses.” President Obama’s reply, The American Recovery

Can Packaging Boost Sales?

The Anti-Styrofoam Brigade C-store retailers beware. If the current political and regulatory trends continue, you may have to find an alternative packaging that doesn’t contain Styrofoam, and fast. Because non-biodegradable garbage threatens more and more marine and coastal ecosystems as it continues to accumulate in the world’s oceans, California legislators have introduced a bill that

Focused on the Franchise

BP At a Glance BP is one of the largest integrated oil companies in the world, with an estimated global market share of around 3% of oil & gas production and 4% of refining capacity in the major global markets in which it operates. Its U.S. retailing brands are BP, ARCO and ampm. Global sales:

Fuel Dealers Refuse to Quit

Gasoline dealers in New Jersey have won a string of major victories in their race to stave off what they predict will be dire consequences stemming from Exxon Mobil Corp.’s large-scale pullout from parts of the Northeast. Dealer groups have succeeded in pushing legislation through both the state Senate and Assembly in hopes of getting

When One Size Fits All Doesn’t Fit

I have always been a c-store guy, I just did not realize it until I became affiliated with this publication and started paying more attention to the intricacies of the segment.  Thanks to my wife, I rarely go to the grocery store anymore–she actually likes the experience. I also rarely take the time to enjoy

Convenience Concerns

I was getting breakfast at my local convenience store recently, an unbranded joint close to my office, when I noticed a new addition to the store. Right by one of the two pay stations was a neatly handwritten sign that read, “No Cell Phones in Line.” I have to admit this message surprised me. The