Archives for 2013

BP Franchise ampm, MoneyGram Partner

Consumers gain access to international money transfer services. ampm, BP’s West Coast convenience store franchise is set to offer MoneyGram’s full suite of consumer products at participating ampm locations in the Western U.S. Under the agreement, BP is promoting, on an exclusive basis, MoneyGram’s money transfer services, bill payments, money orders and prepaid cards to

Developing A Winning Foodservice Strategy

By: John Matthews, founder of Gray Cat Enterprises. In the convenience store marketplace, margins continue to tighten on core products such as candy, snacks and tobacco. Prudent operators are attempting to stem the tide by introducing foodservice items into their stores. Most facilities provide plenty of customer traffic and space within the store to enable

Kangaroo Express Adds NEO E-cigs

Retail agreement with The Pantry Inc. brings NEO to more than 1,250 stores; marks the first time the brand will be sold at retail. The Pantry Inc. is set to distribute NEO e-cigs by Ballantyne Brands LLC, in more than 1,250 Kangaroo Express stores. The Pantry and Ballantyne Brands said the NEO brand began appearing

Futures Surge Push up Wholesale Gasoline Costs

By Brian L. Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric In futures trading, the nearest delivered New York Mercantile Exchange RBOB (reformulated blendstock for oxygenate blending) contract surged 17.82 cents or 6.2% from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, with supplier postings at terminals serving major metropolitan markets up sharply, reflecting some of that increase from paper trading.

Parker’s Hires Jeff Bush as Director of Fuel Services

“Jeff’s military background, commitment to excellence and attention to detail make him an excellent addition to the Parker’s team,” says Parker’s CEO. Parker’s recently hired Jeff Bush as Director of Fuel Services. In his new position, Bush is responsible for overseeing fuel logistics, pricing strategies, supply costs and supplier negotiations. He previously served as business

Gas Prices Weigh Heavily on Consumers’ Minds

 Some 65% of customers say they select a location based on the price sign at the store. Gas prices play a significant role in how consumers feel about the economy overall, according to the results from the new 2013 NACS Consumer Fuels Report.  Nearly nine of 10 consumers (88%) surveyed in the national poll of

Consumers Want Deals When Purchasing Gas

Female consumers are more likely to be swayed by cash discounts than males. Price, deals, discounts and loyalty programs are increasingly influencing where consumers purchase gas, how much they spend, and which brands they purchase, finds recent motor fuels research by The NPD Group. Volatile gas prices and a challenging economic environment have taught fuel

Barry Callebaut Presents Top Chocolate Trends

Cocoa producer offers insight into the future at the International Sweets and Biscuits Fair. While consumers always expect a personal experience, they are also interested in convenience and authenticity, at least according to Barry Callebat’s predictions for the chocolate market of 2014. The sector is constantly changing, and with it, so is consumer demand. In

Hoshizaki Acquires Jackson MSC

The acquisition will expand the lineup of foodservice products, including ice machines and refrigerators. Hoshizaki Electric Co. Ltd. has announced the acquisition of Jackson MSC Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Hoshizaki USA Holdings Inc. Jackson, an American dishwasher manufacturer located in Gray, Ky. was previously owned by The Manitowoc Co. “We’re excited to add

Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow

Team Oil secures its future as an employee-focused organization by promoting from within. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Tony and Eric Huppert, owners of Team Oil Inc. of Spring Valley, Wis., have promoted Carrie Vanasse to head of operations, following Tony’s announcement this year of his upcoming retirement. The succession plan was implemented to secure

Basic, Necessary, Affordable Business Insurance

Whether it’s a fire, a natural disaster or protecting yourself from slip-and-fall lawsuits, convenience store operators must have the proper coverage to protect their investments. By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Can any convenience store chain, franchisee or independent gasoline marketer withstand the financial hit of a fire that results in a two-month shutdown of

Securing the Back Office

From PCI compliance to loyalty programs, ensuring customers that their private information is secure and being used appropriately is essential in gaining their trust. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Consumers trust retailers with vital personal information every day. For their sake—and yours—protect it. It’s not as hard as some may fear. There are some basic

Category Management Planning

By: John Matthews, founder of Gray Cat Enterprises. With the New Year upon us, planning for your annual merchandising and promotional schedule should be in place. For the multi-store operator, identifying the key initiatives for each of the merchandising categories is critical to remaining on plan (and on budget) throughout the year. Each category should

8 Years, 244 Days

By: John Matthews, founder of Gray Cat Enterprises.  It is official. As of Dec. 5, Gray Cat Enterprises marks the longest consecutive stint in my background for one place. Gray Cat Enterprises hit eight years, 244 days old on Dec. 5, which now surpasses the time I spent at Little Caesars. It is hard to

Speedway Raises Over $53 Million For Children’s Miracle Network

Donations up 5% over 2011. Through generous donations from its customers, vendors and employees, Speedway LLC contributed $6.4 million to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2012, propelling the company’s total fundraising to more than $53 million since 1991. Donations in 2012 were up 5% over the previous year and benefitted 17 member children’s hospitals. “Crossing

Credit Card Appeal Delayed Until Fall

“It is important to note that if you do nothing, it will be presumed by the court that you accept the terms of the proposed settlement,” says NACS president. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Court has ruled that an appeal of the proposed swipe fee settlement that was announced July 13, 2012,

Hunt Brothers Continues Four Race Primary Sponsorship

No. 33 Hunt Brothers Pizza to debut at the Texas Motor Speedway in April. Hunt Brothers Pizza will be the primary sponsor for four races with Richard Childress Racing’s new 2013 Chevrolet Camaro NASCAR Nationwide Racecar. Kevin Harvick will drive No. 33 at the Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2013. “We are eager for

New Industry Report Offers Powerful Strategies

“The most important question for any organization is this: Are we changing as fast as the world around us?” says industry consultant. During a time when convenience organizations are struggling to remain relevant, while combating increasing competitive pressures and operating costs, poor human capital ROI, and customers whose loyalty is to the store selling the

Roller Grills Go Global

It takes very little real estate to offer a world of flavors. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor. A year and a half ago, Scott Zaremba removed all the roller grills from his Zarco 66 stores. “We weren’t doing a very good job of merchandising them, so they became almost an expense item for us,” the

Safeway, ExxonMobil Partner For New Fuel Rewards Program

“By teaming up with ExxonMobil, we’re able to thank our customers with a loyalty program that makes two frequent and critical purchases lead to real savings,” says Safeway spokesperson. Safeway Inc. and ExxonMobil have teamed up to provide Safeway shoppers a new way to save at the pump. Safeway shoppers and ExxonMobil customers can now

PCI SSC Releases E-Commerce Security Guidelines

PCI Special Interest Group offers guidance to merchants to help secure payments accepted over the Internet. The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), an open, global forum for the development of payment card security standards, has published the PCI DSS E-commerce Guidelines Information Supplement, a product of the E-commerce Security Special Interest Group (SIG). Businesses

Wawa Repairs, Reopens Stores After Hurricane Sandy

Wawa’s seven impacted stores to be renovated and reopened by Spring of 2013. Wawa Inc. announced that the seven stores still closed due to Hurricane Sandy’s impact, will reopen by spring of this year. Wawa teams have been working to reopen these stores, completely renovating and rebuilding them in some cases, and most will now

Improving C-store Operations with Network Automation

Better ROI on staff-time, fuel operations, maintenance and more Ensuring a great customer experience is a critical component for increasing store sales, but that is challenging because of staffing issues.  Hiring good people and keeping them on board is top of mind for many companies, but the store employees are really just part of the

Mark Oil Moves To KSS Fuels PriceNet Cloud

Rapid implementation and low cost of ownership the silver lining to new cloud-based solution. Mark Oil has selected KSS Fuels’ PriceNet Cloud to support fuel pricing across its network of 17 retail locations. In addition to the benefits to its fuel pricing process, Mark Oil was attracted by the speed, ease of implementation and low

The Hershey Co. Announces Q4, Full Year Results

“Hershey had a solid 2012 and we expect to build on our success in 2013,” says Hershey’s CEO. The Hershey Co. has announced sales and earnings for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2012.  Consolidated net sales were $1,751,035,000 compared with $1,567,145,000 for the fourth quarter of 2011. Reported net income for the fourth quarter