cigs

The Future of Cigarette Retailing

With graphic new warning labels destined for individual packages and higher tobacco prices, retailers are facing a harsh new reality. On November 10, 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled 36 graphic warning label images, one of which will be selected to go on every cigarette package no later than Sept. 22, 2012.

Chicken is the most versatile food. You can put it in any form you want—chicken sandwiches, fried chicken, roasted chicken, hot or cold.

Chicken Fuels Foodservice Flexibility

Whether it’s grilled, baked or fried, poultry meal solutions are available in a variety of dishes that are helping operators create a diverse menu. Chicken has a “health HALO,” in the foodservice industry’s parlance, meaning consumers perceive it to be a healthy alternative to burgers and pizza. Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD

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Endless Pizza Opportunities

Whether going with a branded option or developing a proprietary menu, pizza appeals to a wide variety of pallets. There will always be a market for pizza. Customers love it. It’s fast, fresh and convenient—everything that helps make convenience stores a top option for on-the-go foodservice. However, choosing a branded pizza partner means balancing a

No longer just a venue for traditional American hot dogs, roller grills that sport everything from Mexican tortas to pork-filled Chinese steamed buns to breadsticks stuffed with jalapeño peppers and cheese are popping up all over the country.

Roller Grills Growing Up

Thanks to a surge of new products focused on ethnic diversity, the roller grill is hotter than ever before. There has been so much emphasis on fresh, made-to-order food and upscale coffee programs in the convenience store industry it’s easy to forget the tried-and-true roller grill. Sometimes implicated as part of the industry’s food-image problem—burned

More and more convenience store operators are following Starbucks’ lead and embracing special brews, such as Rainforest Alliance certified beans and unique country blends.

Defend Your Hot Beverage Business

Tips for protecting sales and profits in today’s climate. Intensifying competition for the morning daypart and escalating commodity costs for coffee drinks have forced convenience retailers to make trade-offs between pricing and profits. This is no small issue as hot dispensed beverages are strategically vital to a retailer’s morning business segment and fresh foods program.

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Attacking Shrink from All Angles

Loss prevention in retail is becoming a more challenging task as the economy stumbles along. In order to keep costs down it is important to put measures into place that will deter thieves. In a tough economy, every dollar counts. But loss prevention is often overlooked by convenience stores, even when following through on upholding

Using scan data, store operators now have the ability to assess consumer buying behavior, create effective promotions, eliminate out-of-stocks and replace slow-moving merchandise.

Effectively Managing Scan Data

Before executives at The Spinx Co. roll out a sales promotion to their 75-plus convenience stores in the Carolinas, they carefully review current point-of-sale (POS) sales data. “We’re able to pull all sorts of data by store, by category and by items,” said Bryan Zeiger, category manager for Spinx, who relies on the reports when

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Marketing and Social Media

In 2011, look for cause marketing to be a bigger trend. An expert panel at the U.S. Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) annual meeting revealed that the trend toward cause marketing is the next step in engaging customers and increasing loyalty. But it’s not enough just to pick a cause and throw together a promotion. Customers

Retailers are finding new ways to reach customers in the forecourt. WilcoHess,  for example, is testing vending machines at the fuel pumps.

Emerging Retail Trends

Convenience store owners should expect to embrace new technology and a fresh set of rules for communicating with today’s consumers as 2011 approaches. A  year that witnessed a whirlwind of technological advancements proved that retail is all about change. The best retailers are embracing that change and  diversifying their technology investments in order to stay

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Convenience store operators must take the time to observe how their competitors are marketing tobacco. In most of the presentations I have given over the past few years, I challenge my participants to take the time to understand how their business is doing, but to also make sure to check on the competition. After all,

Employees may not like working holiday shifts. It’s important to remind them of the valuable service they provide to the industry’s loyal consumers.

Meeting the Demand for Convenience

  Even during the holiday season customers expect their local c-store not only to be open, but to meet their diverse needs. Every year during the holidays I have cashiers tell me that customers ask them why our stores are open on days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Customers often remark, “It’s a

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Raising the Bar on Automotive Accessories

Car care merchandise is delivering incremental sales with the help of private labels and impulse purchases. Customers have long ventured into local convenience stores to grab a bottle of windshield washer fluid or oil for their cars. Years ago, a small display would hold a few bottles of automotive fluids in case of an emergency.

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Networking at the NAG Ideas Conference

David Johnson named group chairman as the National Advisory Group concludes its 2010 meeting focused on building profits and relationships. The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference wrapped up in Charleston, S.C., offering convenience store owners a much better understanding of the issues facing small and mid-sized businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing

DISCOUNT-T-CITY

Discount Tobacco City Takes on the FDA

When a number of major tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Inc. and National Tobacco Co., decided to take on the federal government’s ban on tobacco advertising, they were looking for one retailer to step up and join the fight. They got their wish when Frank Hinton,

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Tracking the Trends

While the convenience store industry is in a much better position to withstand the strains of the current economic recession, one thing is painfully clear. Customers are changing the way they buy goods and services and retailers must keep up with those changes to avoid becoming obsolete. A new generation of Millennials, those born between

thepump

California Rolls Out Improved Cigarette Tax Stamp

Improved high-tech tax stamps with a new design will soon be available and affixed to packs of cigarettes sold in California. The Board of Equalization (BOE) has approved the use of the updated stamp to further reduce the trafficking of counterfeit cigarettes and related excise tax evasion in California. The BOE is responsible for the

purplestuff

Some 1,264 C-Stores Add Purple Stuff

A large number of retailers have added Purple Stuff, a relaxation/focus soda into their 2011 store sets. The retailers joining the Purple Stuff family in January 2011 include: Mini-Mart Convenience stores operating 18 convenience store locations around Kerrville, Texas; Signature Austin Stores with 20 locations in and around Austin, Texas; EZ Go Foods out of

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District Court Throws Out NYC Cigarette POS Warnings

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York declared null and void the New York City resolution mandating that retailers who sell cigarettes display signs containing graphic health warnings, according to Philip Morris USA. The court ruled that such requirements were preempted by federal law. “We are pleased that the Court

SUNOCO

Sunoco Acquires 25 Locations in New York

Sunoco Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to acquire 25 retail locations from Lehigh Gas Corp., a Bethlehem, Penn.-based distributor of petroleum products. While the terms of the purchase were not disclosed, the retail assets are located in the Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, and Rochester markets of central and northern New York. “The acquisition of these

TA Adds DEF Island Pumps

TravelCenters of America LLC (TA) is rolling out on-island Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) dispensers. TA expects to install about 50 on-island DEF dispensers at locations across the country in 2011. Installations will utilize new dispenser and point-of-sale (POS) systems that will make purchasing DEF quicker, more efficient and customer friendly. Sites will feature dedicated DEF

Egg Lawsuit Filed in Pennsylvania Court

A group of grocery and convenience store chains, including Kroger, Walgreens, Safeway and Albertsons have filed a lawsuit claiming many of the nation’s largest egg producers, egg processors and their trade groups have engaged in a decade-long price fixing conspiracy for eggs sold to stores and restaurants nationwide, the Hoosier AG Today reported. The grocery

Subway Opens 500 New Locations

The Subway restaurant chain is growing at a fast pace. Subway’s franchisees, between Oct. 1 and Dec. 21, opened more than 500 new restaurants around the globe. Milestones for the period include reaching more than 33,700 locations worldwide, of which 9,900 can be found in international markets. The 500 new Subway restaurants accounted for some

Geo H. Green Oil Co. Raises $24,000

Pictured: John Bushaw, general manager of Fairburn Family Travel Center for the past eight years, and Donna Nichols an 18-year veteran Green Oil employee and champion fundraiser. Geo. H. Green Oil Co.’s annual Charity Fund Raising efforts were successful in raising some $24,000 for its three adopted charity partners – Greater Atlanta’s “Empty Stocking Fund,”

New Bill To Overhaul Food Safety Laws

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved a bill that will overhaul the nation’s food safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression. President Obama has indicated that he plans to sign the bill into law. Debra Strauss, J.D., associate professor of business law at Fairfield University, explained that the legislation

Swiss Farms’ First Franchise Store Opens

Swiss Farms, America’s Drive-Thru Grocer, opened its first franchise store on Dec. 17, with veteran Starbucks and Auntie Anne’s franchisee and a 2010 IFA Franchisee of the Year, John Betz. The store, which is located at 6 South White Horse Pike, Somerdale, N.J.,  is also Swiss Farms’ first expansion into New Jersey. “I am excited

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