Tobacco Is a Hot-Button Issue

A long-time magnet for governmental regulation and unyielding taxes, tobacco remains a vital category for convenience retailers. Under a new administration, should retailers expect any lessening of federal controls of tobacco products such as e-cigarettes? By CSD Staff Tobacco products have been a darling of sin taxes and anti-smoking advocates for decades. Despite tobacco manufacturers’

Millennials Willing To Pay More for Health

Shoppers continue to evolve and retailers adapt to keep up with changing needs. Millennial shoppers are concerned not just with personal health but also environmental health, and they’re willing to pay extra for products that are sustainable. This is one of hundreds of findings in What’s in Store 2017, the latest edition of the annual

Love’s Opens Two New Travel Stops in Texas and Nebraska

New locations offer amenities, such as showers, restaurants and parking spaces to professional drivers. Love’s Travel Stops has added two new locations, one in Syracuse, Neb. and one in Angleton, Texas. The new locations join Love’s Travel Stops’ network of more than 410 stores across 40 states. The Syracuse travel stop is located at State

Packaged Facts Offers Free Culinary Trend Webinar

Webinar to discuss key trends such as the evolution of value and premium as well as the globalization of the menu. Market research firm Packaged Facts starting 2017 with a free food and beverage industry webinar starting at 2 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The webcast, entitled “Trends on the Edge: 2017 Culinary Forecast

CITGO ‘Spirit Pumps’ Help Fuel Local Community

Designated gas pumps helped raise funds for schools and charities in local communities throughout 2016. CITGO Petroleum Corp., along with its Marketers and Retailers, raised approximately $30,000 in 2016 through the installation of “Spirit Pumps” at participating CITGO stations across the nation. These specially-wrapped, branded fuel pumps were operational at different times throughout the year

Cigarette Sales Decline as Smokeless Sales Grow

Cigarette industry volumes expected to dip 3.4% in fiscal year 2017. Wells Fargo reported that cigarette dollar sales dipped as volume decelerated significantly and pricing held steady at the end of 2016. Cigarette dollar sales decreased -1.9% during the recent four-week period ending Dec. 31, 2016 (+0.2% for 12-weeks; +1.2% for 52-weeks) driven by a

CSD and Humetrics Launch the 2017 HR Benchmarking Survey

From recruiting and hiring employees to understanding healthcare costs, the 9th annual HR Benchmarking Survey will help you learn how you stack up against others in the competitive convenience store business. Staffing is one of the biggest investments in the convenience store industry. To help convenience store retailers better manage their workforce and understand what

Kroger Honored With EPA ‘Food Recovery’ Award

Works toward goal of zero waste threshold by 2020. The Kroger Co. has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its efforts around sustainable food management. Kroger participated in the EPA’s 2016 Food Recovery Challenge and was named Region 5 Winner in the Grocers category. “Kroger is a proud participant of the

AFPD Elects Executive Board Members

Phil Kassa replaces John Denha as chairman. The Associated Food and Petroleum Dealers (AFPD) has elected its new Executive Board members. The following members were elected to a one-year term, but can serve up to two consecutive terms. John Denha, owner of four supermarkets including Huron Foods Market in Waterford, Mich. and 8 Mile Foodland

Former Pinnacle President Drew Mize Joins PDI

Mize to head the PDI integration of Pinnacle’s ERP assets. PDI has selected Drew Mize as vice president of PDI/Pinnacle Operations. Mize will spearhead PDI’s integration strategy following its recent acquisition of The Pinnacle Corp.’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) assets. “We are very pleased to welcome Drew to PDI,” said PDI CEO Jimmy Frangis. “This

Millennial Consumers Want Personalized Customer Service

Millennial buying power continues to rise. Time Trade released the following infographic to show the personalized customer service they expect. Source:

NRF Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court For ‘Free Speech’ on Credit Card Fees

Justices are hearing arguments in a case challenging laws in 10 states that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge when customers use a credit card. The National Retail Federation (NRF) called on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow merchants to freely and accurately show customers the added costs that come with paying by credit card

Keurig Introduces New Website for Commercial Operators

C-store operators can find everything from menu ideas to insights to merchandising support. Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (Keurig) has rolled out its first dedicated website,, designed to help operators looking to build premium coffee and beverage options in the away-from-home channel. The new site, combines visually-appealing design with simplified navigation. This mobile-friendly site

Is Daypart or Dynamic Fuel Pricing Right for You?

New survey aims to understand effective pricing strategies for c-store retailers. Changing pump prices multiple times per day based on demand, sometimes referred to as daypart pricing, or dynamic pricing, is becoming more commonplace. Examples might include adjusting fuel prices with the morning or evening commute or special discounts during lower demand times. Note this

Consumer Holiday Spending Up in 2016

Shoppers continue to gravitate online, with retail eCommerce transactions increasing 12% year-over-year. First Data has released its Holiday 2016 SpendTrend report, which found that overall consumer spending growth increased 4.7%. Whether using a PC, tablet or mobile device, Americans continued the recent trend of making their holiday purchases online as retail eCommerce transactions grew by

CITGO Kicks Off Annual Marketer Roundtable Meetings

2017 sessions to showcase trends, new initiatives and best practices. CITGO Petroleum Corp. kicks off its annual Marketer Roundtable meetings on Jan. 10 with an emphasis on new initiatives, industry trends and best practices. Continuing through Feb. 2 in various cities throughout the company’s marketing regions, CITGO marketing personnel will address the following and more:

7-Eleven Grabs No. 1 Spot on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500

Franchise owners a key part of 7-Eleven’s success, says CEO Joe DePinto. Convenience store giant 7-Eleven Inc. has won the coveted No. 1 position among the franchise elite in Entrepreneur magazine’s 38th annual Franchise 500. Billed as the most comprehensive franchise ranking in the world, the Franchise 500 presents the top franchise opportunities based on

C-Store Sales Soft At Close of 2016

Higher gas prices could be one factor. Wells Fargo, citing Nielsen c-store channel data reported that c-store channel sales results were soft for all major categories through the end of 2016. Dollar sales growth in the U.S. convenience store channel for each major category during the four-week period ending Dec. 31, 2016 were: Cigs -1.9%

Heineken Introduces “They Score. You Score” Program

Encourages soccer fans to choose Heineken for all soccer viewing occasions. Heineken strengthens its longstanding support of the beautiful game by maintaining its partnership with the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and Major League Soccer (MLS), to ensure soccer fans stay engaged and refreshed throughout the 2017 season. Beginning March 1, Heineken’s fully-integrated, 360° retail and

Consumer Optimism Up At Start of 2017

Growing gas prices don’t appear to damper consumer sentiment. Consumer optimism remains very strong at the start of 2017 despite a continued rise in gasoline prices. For the third month in a row, a majority of consumers (57%) say they are optimistic about the economy—despite gas prices rising all three months, according to the latest

Sweets & Snacks Expo Welcomes Iconic Brands

McKee Foods and Clif Bar set to exhibit in 2017. The Sweets and Snacks Expo is welcoming two iconic brands to its 2017 expo. McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snacks, and Clif Bar will exhibit for the first time at the 2017 Sweets & Snacks Expo. Hosted by the National Confectioners Association, the Sweets

Hunt Brothers Pizza Sponsors Kevin Harvick

Partners for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and four NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2017. For the seventh consecutive year, Hunt Brothers Pizza is sponsoring NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick. This season, the two will pair up in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). This marks the

National Gas Price Average Hits Numbers Not Seen Since June

As markets react to OPEC deal, pump prices move higher. The national average price of gas sits at $2.37 per gallon—the most expensive average since June 2016—after prices climbed for 40 of the past 42 days. AAA noted that the uptick is a result of market reactions to the OPEC oil cut agreement. South Carolina

VERC Enterprises Awards Grant To Cold Spring Elementary School

Grant made possible through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program. VERC Enterprises is again giving back to schools in its local community. Most recently the c-store chain presented Cold Spring Elementary School in Plymouth with a check for $500—a grant made possible through the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program. VERC Enterprises is a convenience store and Mobil/Gulf

Pilot Flying J Grows Travel Center Network

Debuts enhanced mobile app. Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, expanded its number of Pilot and Flying J stores in 2016 by adding 58 additional locations to its network. Through PFJ Southeast LLC, a joint venture with Speedway LLC, Pilot Flying J completed the conversion of 41 former Speedway/Wilco