Archives for May 2009

Gasoline Prices Climbing as Memorial Day Nears

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices will move higher across the country’s major metropolitan regions this week after values surged in wholesale markets during the first full week of May. The spark that lit the upside price rally afire was financial trading in energy commodities on signs suggesting

Spotlight on HR

Practically anything anybody wants to know about franchising a 7-Eleven store can be found on a comprehensive, new website –, which officially launched today.   The new Web site, which also can be reached by selecting the “Franchising” tab at the top of the company’s home page, is devoted solely to all-things-franchise including:  

No Smokes in Texas?

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in Texas has approved a statewide smoking ban proposal by a 5-3 vote, and has sent the bill to the full State Senate for debate, the Austin American-Statesman reported.   The proposed ban would forbid smoking at indoor workplaces in Texas, including bars and restaurants.   This

Hershey Launches Industry-Focused Web Site

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa. has announced its new Web site, which offers targeted communication for more than 90,000 independent convenience store retailers in the U.S.   “Strong brands, category leadership, and exciting programs and promotions make Hershey’s the Perfect Partner for retailers across the Convenience Store Industry. The Hershey’s Convenience Web site is an

United for a Cure

This fall, Lion Uniform Group is partnering with convenience stores across the country to introduce Fueling Awareness, a nationwide campaign in support of breast cancer awareness.   This October, employees across the country will join the movement by trading in their usual work apparel for limited edition pink ribbon polos to be worn in observance

FOAC Members Convene for Annual Trade Show

By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor   More than 100 vendors and storeowners were on hand last week to participate in the 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association of Chicagoland (FOAC) annual trade show in St. Charles, Ill.   Franchise owners came together to discuss goals for the future and the state of the economy, as well as

PM Goes on the Offensive

Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest tobacco company, is taking a New York retailer to court after it allegedly sold counterfeit cigarettes and illegally used the company’s Marlboro trademark, the Associated Press reported.   The accused retailer is N.Y.-based Tammy’s Smoke Shop, where 184 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes where reportedly confiscated on Tuesday by Suffolk

N.Y. City Cracks Down on Late Night Stores

C-stores that operate all night in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. may soon be facing new fees and regulations, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.   A new city ordinance would impose tougher rules on c-stores that operate between 11p.m. and 5 a.m., including a mandatory $500 yearly permit from the city. Leaders citied issues with illegal drugs sales, loitering

Chevron Reveals 2008 Performance Report

Chevron Corp. released its 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report this week, showing it invested $160 million in communities around the world, posted record safety performance and completed major energy efficiency projects.   “Energy is the foundation of global growth and prosperity,” said Dave O’Reilly, Chevron chairman and CEO in a press release. “But Chevron does much

Sheetz Supports Special Olympics

On Monday, checks were presented to the Special Olympics programs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, after Sheetz Inc., which operates more than 350 locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, teamed up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and raised more than $36,000 for the cause.   As part of the fund-raiser, Sheetz

ExxonMobil Draws Customers with Navigation Tool

Fairfax, Va.-based ExxonMobil has launched an improved station locator Web site that provides customers with one-stop shopping and easier navigation. The site helps customers identify Exxon and Mobil stations along driving routes, using Google mapping technology and features turn-by-turn directions to stations with specific services, including convenience stores, service bays, diesel fuel, ATMs and car

CITGO Owners Gather to Expand Skills

Two CITGO retailer meetings come none too soon for c-store operators looking for ways to improve efficiency and cut costs at the nearly 7,000 locally owned CITGO stations nation wide. The annual Wisconsin Retailer Meeting in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. on April 28 and the Northeastern Region Retailer Meeting in Mashantucket, Conn. on May 28, include

Say it Ain’t So: A Smoking Ban in Texas?

Residents on both sides of a proposed smoking-ban bill in Texas met head to head at a hearing Tuesday evening before the Texas Committee on State Affairs to debate whether the law is a necessary for the safety of public health or an attack on the rights of business and property owners, the Star (Texas) Telegram

Harm Reduction: The Voice of Reason

Despite all the naysayers, safer tobacco products are a reality convenience  store owners should embrace. Great strides have been made within the last year to introduce new tobacco products that would, from my perspective, reduce harm when compared with traditional cigarettes. I must say, though, that I would have never thought the quest for harm

Things I Learned on the Way to the Convenience Store

The term “blessed” is trite but, in this case, true: My journey through the convenience store industry has seen me blessed with the friendships of so many special people. More than a few of them fit the mold reserved for greatness. I’d like to share some of the wonderful wisdom I’ve learned from them.

A Vending Machine for the 21st Century

Coca-Cola North America announced that “Coca-Cola Freestyle” is the brand name and logo for its new proprietary fountain dispenser, which is set to begin market tests this summer.   “Coca-Cola Freestyle brings to life the refreshingly positive outlook that has always been associated with Coca-Cola,” said Chandra Stephens-Albright, senior director of marketing and business development

Anger Over Proposed Smoking Ban in La.

If the Louisiana legislature passes an anti-smoking bill, the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), Columbus, Ga., said it may boycott the state for its conventions. Its August convention would bring some 5,000 attendees to New Orleans.   “And we are just one convention,” Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR told the

Midwest Madness

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices will move higher in most metropolitan markets in the United States during the first week of May, pushed up by climbing costs passed through from wholesale markets. May 1 was the deadline for all terminals that supply retail outlets to have summer

“Hot Fuel” Settlement Hurts Consumers

A proposed settlement agreement with Costco over “hot fuel” is the latest attempt by trial lawyers to mislead the public, according to Lisa Mullings, CEO of NATSO, a national association representing travel plazas and truckstops.   Despite claims that the warehouse club will “fix hot fuel,” the only likely results from the 19-page settlement agreement

Fuel American Freedom Acquires C.A. Torbett

CA Torbett Inc. , a long time BP wholesaler and marketer in New Tazewell, Tenn., has been acquired by Fuel American Freedom LLC of Madison, Ga.   Founded in 1931, the company serves both retail and commercial customers throughout Northeastern Tennessee.  “My wife Mary Lou and I are happy that the legacy that was started

7-Eleven Blasts Stars in New Terminator Movie

7-Eleven Inc. storms the big screen in Terminator Salvation, the convenience retailer’s biggest participation ever in a major motion picture. Leading up to the movie’s May 21 release, 7-Eleven has turned its stores totally Terminator, with special Slurpee flavor Apocalyptic Ice, four premium collectible cups and two paper Slurpee cups, four Slurpee spoon-straws and a

Nice N Easy Recognizes Top Employees, Trade Partner

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes wrapped up its annual trade show and year-end meeting last week in Syracuse, N.Y. President and CEO John MacDougall announced that w008 was a record year for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and he credited the success to the company’s focus on people and customers.   Several top employees were

Slow to Market

Fewer new products are showing up on supermarket shelves this year as companies cope with the changing economy. New data from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows total food and drink product launches have been cut in half since last year (a 51% decline from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009).   Compounding the

Recession Buster

Steve’s Frozen Chillers Inc. said it is launching new creative financing options for convenience store operators, including 0% financing for the first 12 months, on its line of convenience store slushee machines.   Steve’s, which was founded in 2001, has been one of the fastest growing frozen beverage companies in the U.S. and now has

Small Change Leads To Big Shrink Dollars: Shrinking the Opportunity by Keeping the Cash Drawer Closed