Archives for 2009

Westbrock Honored by NAMA

The National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) has named Leon Westbrock, executive vice president and chief operating officer of energy for CHS Inc., its 2009 Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the Opening General Session of the 2009 Agri-Marketing Conference, “Hot Ideas, Sizzling Solutions,” April 16, 2009

Clean Sweep

Mark VII Equipment Inc., a leading supplier of innovative solutions for the carwash business worldwide, said it has signed Midwest Carwash Systems as its distributor in Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and with offices and technicians in Des Moines and Omaha, Midwest Carwash Systems is owned by Darrell Winter. The company

You Are Known by the Company You Keep

The contacts and friends you make in this industry can become lifelong confidants. This one’s personal. As the saying goes, this is not my first rodeo, but amazingly I’ve come through with very few of life’s saddle sores. Now in my 40th year in the industry, I’ve worked for some amazing people, learned many valuable

Green by Design

Georgia-Pacific Professional said it received EcoLogo certification on a broad selection of the company’s tissue, towel and napkin products. This designation by the EcoLogo Program, a third party environmental certification organization, is another building block in Georgia-Pacific Professional’s Green By Design program. The facilities that manufacture Georgia-Pacific Professional’s EcoLogo certified products underwent a rigorous independent

Platinum Power

The use of additives is necessary to maintain high quality fuel operability. This is why Atlas Oil Co. created its own in-house additive–Atlas Platinum Power. Used each year from Oct. 1-March 31 for 15 years, Atlas Platinum Power provides an additive blend needed for the following weather performance benefits: * Lowers cold filter plugging point

Clark Unveils Redesigned Web Site

Clark Brands has introduced its fully redesigned Web site. The new site is a part of Clark’s Image 2010 initiative, a series of fresh programs and enhancements to existing programs all designed to lead Clark and its brands into the next decade. The enhanced Clark site, found at, features a comprehensive and user-friendly design

MillerCoors Steps Up Charity Efforts

MillerCoors said the final numbers are in and the 17th annual St. Jude MillerCoors Halloween promotion was another success. The brewer said it raised more than $4.78 million for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the October fund-raiser. Participating convenience stores, restaurants and retail outlets helped collect money for St. Jude, one

PCATS Appoints New Secretary

The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) today announced that Kraig Adams, director of collaborative customer capabilities of The Coca-Cola Co. has been appointed to serve as Secretary of the PCATS Board of Directors. Adams also serves as vice-chairman of the PCATS Membership & Marketing Committee. Adams will serve out the remainder of the

Circle C Files for Bankruptcy

Circle C Food Stores, a Huntsville, Ala.-based convenience store operator, filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to liquidate. The company, which operates eight stores in the Birmingham area, cited debts of between $1 million and $10 million, and assets of less than $500,000 in a filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Decatur, Ala. The company,

Wisconsin Milks the Cash Cow

On the heels of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which increased the federal tax on tobacco 156% to $1, Wisconsin has proposed a $1 tax increase on cigarettes for the new Wisconsin State Budget. However, the timing of the tax and strategy behind what the state hopes to accomplish was blasted as irresponsible by

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


TOP PERFORMERS PaySpot Inc. Coinstar Inc. Verizon HONORABLE MENTIONS InComm AT&T With the economy bogged down in a recession and job losses at the highest levels in decades, spooked consumers are no doubt learning to live on less—less money, less credit and less frivolity.  Prepaid solutions—whether it’s wireless sales, debit card transactions, gift cards and

Cash Management

TOP PERFORMERS Tidel Engineering Triton Systems Brink’s Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Armor Safe Technologies Tokheim Operators in any retail channel will find it impossible to survive in today’s environment without a secure, accurate and reliable cash-management system, though convenience retailers in particular are faced with added challenges on this front.  A tough economy increases theft internally

Point Of Sale

TOP PERFORMERS Gilbarco Veeder-Root Verifone Inc. Professional Data Solutions Inc. (PDI) HONORABLE MENTIONS Dresser Wayne FACTOR Inc. Pinnacle Corp. With convenience stores offering more services and profit centers, operators need a point-of-sale (POS) system that can easily integrate each component without driving up operating costs. Consider the rapid expansion of loyalty programs—successful chains have been

Smokeless tobacco market plans, snue and spit free product information

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Philip Morris USA) Skoal (Philip Morris USA) Grizzly (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) HONORABLE MENTIONS Kodiak (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) Timberwolf (Swedish Match) Longhorn (Swedish Match) Few product categories are as dynamic as smokeless tobacco, which helps make managing the set all the more interesting. With so many new products, flavors and line


TOP PERFORMERS Swisher International Inc. Swedish Match Altadis USA HONORABLE MENTIONS John Middleton (Philip Morris USA) Royal Blunts (New Image Global) PrimeTime Cigars New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the tobacco segment more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. “Retailers focused on offering a


TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Liggett Vector Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco taxes and sales from tax-free sources continue to plague the convenience store industry. Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly