Archives for 2009

Couche-Tard Looks to Double its Presence

  Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the operator of Circle K convenience stores, is seeking to double the amount of c-store outlets it operates in the U.S. and Canada during the next few years, the Canada National Post reported.   Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard, the second-biggest convenience-store chain in the U.S. with 3,858 stores in 43 states and

Go Fast Inks Deal with Denver Broncos

Go Fast Sports and Beverage, Co. reached a deal with the Denver Broncos to have its energy drink poured at INVESCO Field at Mile High during the 2009 NFL season. Go Fast Energy Drinks will be available at over 20 different points of sale and have three Go Fast branded bars at high-traffic concourse areas

Kwik Pik Approved as Stalking-Horse Bidder

  The Delaware District of The U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved Kwik Pik LLC, an affiliate of Lehigh Gas Corporation, as the Stalking Horse Bidder in the Uni-Marts Bankruptcy Asset Sale. The court also approved the revised auction procedures. On Sept. 23, a live auction will be held to determine the ultimate buyer(s) of the

Lil’ Drug Store Products Partners With Ricola

  Lil’ Drug Store Products, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Ricola USA, Morris Plains, N.J., today announced that Lil’ Drug Store will be the exclusive distributor of Ricola cough and throat drop sticks to convenience stores across the U.S.   Lil’ Drug Store will begin shipping the product Oct. 1 and will offer four popular flavors

Global Axcess Corp. To Provide ATMs For Regional C-Store Chain

  Global Axcess Corp., Jacksonville, Fla., an independent provider of self-service kiosk solutions, has signed a five-year contract, valued at more than $550,000 per year, with a regional convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S. and will provide ATMs at 52 locations.   The chain, which was not named, is a new customer for Global

Alon Brands Picks Acumera To Manage Network Services

  Acumera Inc., an Austin, Texas-based provider of managed network services, has won the contract for network integration and management services for Alon Brands.   Alon Brands, headquartered in Dallas, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alon USA Energy, Inc. that operates more than 300 convenience stores in the southwestern U.S. Alon Brands also is

Circle K, XYIENCE Offer Harley-Davidson Promotion

  XYIENCE and Circle K stores have joined forces to give c-store shoppers in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada a chance to win a new Harley-Davidson.    The promotion kicks off on Sept. 14 and runs through Oct. 11 at more than 700 participating Circle K locations. Harley-Davidson hopefuls can pick up entry forms in the stores on

Court Approves APPCO Sale

  The sale of Appalachian Oil Company Inc. (APPCO) convenience store chain in eastern Tennessee to Florida Sunshine Investments Inc. was approved by bankruptcy Judge Marsha Parsons yesterday. The closing  is expected to follow today.   “I’m pleased that Florida Sunshine will retain all of APPCO’s stores, a portion of its dealer business, and the

Sheetz Looks to Build New Store

  Sheetz is planning to continue its growth with a new gas station and convenience store in Allegheny County, Pa., but is facing a long road, the Tribune-Review reported.   The c-store company proposed a store that would be located in the East Oakmont section of Plum, Pa., which may be brought before the planning

Computer Hacker Gonzalez Gets 15-25 Years

The computer hacker accused of masterminding one of the largest cases of identity theft in U.S. history, including those involving 7-Eleven, agreed Friday to plead guilty and serve up to 25 years in federal prison, CBS News reported. Albert Gonzalez of Miami was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in federal

Allied Electronics, Gulf Oil Expand Parts Portal

Allied Electronics has been awarded “Preferred Vendor Status” by Gulf Oil L.P. for its online store called Parts Portal, which is designed to save Gulf Dealers up to 40% on key items necessary for running their businesses. Allied and Gulf will expand the program from 300 Assured Dealer locations to 1,300 Gulf Oil jobbers, dealers

Flying J Truck Repair Shops Acquired

  Flying J, the struggling travel center corporation that recently merged with PilotTravel Centers LLC of Knoxville, Tenn., as part of its framework for emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, is selling its truck repair shops, the Post-Tribune reported.   Bosselman Boss Shops of Grand Island, Neb., has acquired the 15 J Care Service Centers, a

R.J. Reynolds Joins Others in Challenging Provisions of FDA Tobacco Act

  R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company joined Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Inc., National Tobacco Company L.P. and Discount Tobacco City & Lottery Inc. in filing a lawsuit Monday to protect their First Amendment right to communicate with adult tobacco consumers about their products, Reuters reported.   The suit was filed in federal court in Bowling Green, Ky.,

Customers Indulging in Chocolate

The Benefits of Chocolate Once considered a “guilty pleasure,” researchers now say that chocolate offers health benefits—when consumed in moderation and provided the chocolate is the right kind. International experiments show that dark chocolate has an impressive array of activities, according to the Harvard Health Newsletter. It’s an antioxidant that may improve cholesterol scores and

Strong Outlook for Meat Snacks

Meat snacks—beef jerky, meat sticks, pork rinds and more—are right at home at U.S. convenience stores. And, despite the rough economy and some sales slippage, new products and popular brands continue to excite customers. Paul Lyons, president and owner of Up North Jerky in Troy, Mich., and a partner, with Sam Kassem and Mike Abdullah,

NAG: Back by Popular Demand

When we purchased CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS nearly two years ago, we heard a constantly recurring question: “When are you going to revitalize the National Advisory Group (NAG)?” With the acquisition we had a lot on our plate, but we were always looking at NAG. We examined carefully why NAG withered, and what was the proper

Keck Oil Does Sandwiches the Rite Way

For most c-store chains, it goes without saying that foodservice must play an integral part in driving traffic and helping maintain sales at a time when gas and cigarette revenues are down. But with so many possibilities to consider, from adding a Dunkin’ Donuts to developing a stir fry offering, deciding which foodservice program will

Make Coffee More Profitable

Tips for Preparing the Perfect Cup • Always use fresh, filtered water. • Always use fresh, whole bean coffee. Coffee is perishable: use within two weeks of roast date. • Store coffee beans in an air-tight container away from heat, light and moisture. No freezer or refrigerator. • Grind just before brewing—a timer will help

Customer Relations Expert

Ralin Nespeca, the customer contact center manager for Oklahoma City-based Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores, learned the value of customer service and an unwavering work ethic at a very young age. Those skills have proved to be a valuable asset on her career path. She joined Love’s in December 2008 as the call center

Sonja Hubbard Paves the Way for Women in Retailing

As CEO of Texarkana, Texas-based E-Z Mart Stores Inc., which operates more than 300 stores in five states, Sonja Hubbard is a true c-store industry veteran. Hubbard was just a child when her father, Jim Yates founded E-Z Mart in 1970 and learned the ropes at an early age. “I grew up with this industry

MAPCO Express Rolls On

While many chains are still feeling the crunch from the current economic recession, others are seeing opportunity. Count MAPCO Express among the companies waiting to pounce. MAPCO Express, a subsidiary of Delek US Holdings, has a long history in convenience retailing. It continues rolling out an upscale convenience store concept, branded MAPCO Mart, and is

Chicken’s Popularity Continues to Grow

Chicken’s economical price and inherent flexibility gives convenience store retailers a myriad of opportunities for growing their foodservice business without sacrificing quality and value. However, deciding whether your stores’ best interests are better served by a branded or proprietary chicken program requires an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks each model offers, said consultant John

Marketing the Menu

The bar has been raised on sandwiches—indeed, on all freshly made to-go dishes—as consumers’ expectations continue to rise and new competitors from outside the c-store universe appear on the horizon. Convenience stores are finding themselves more and more in conflict with players from the fast-food and grocery stores seeking the same “fare” share. With that

Competition Brews for Beer Sales

Convenience stores across the country are facing burgeoning competition on beer and wine sales from drug store giant Walgreens, which is branching back into the adult beverages category. Walgreens is adding beer sales due to “a direct response to consumer demand,” said Robert Elfinger, spokesperson for the Deerfield, Ill. drug store chain. It plans to

Driving Cooler Sales

The economy, the environment and the weather. All three are impacting the sale of bottled water this year. From 1997 until 2007, consumers were thirsty for bottles of clear, refreshing water. Between 2003 and 2008, bottled water sales grew 59% to $5.1 billion, making it one of the fastest-growing drinks on the market. Consumers believed