a seed of profitability

Zotes is transforming the seed category with innovative marketing and unique packaging. It has been an unexpected and exciting last two years for ZotesSunflower Co., as the seeds steadily climbed to its current numberone spot in the category touting convenient packaging andunique flavors. While other seeds in the category are packaged in bags anddisplayed on

familial operations

Unlike many retailers profiled in Rising Stars, Kurt Straube always knew he would have a career in the convenience industry. Kurt StraubeDari Mart Stores His grandparents purchased afarm in Junction City, Ore., back in 1940, which grewinto Lochmead Dairy, a milk processing plant, and Dari MartStores in 1965. Three generations of his family have been

indulging new demographics

Research by Mars Snackfood U.S. shows retailers can attract a broader base of consumers with an emphasis on new and premium products. The female customer today makes approximately 85% of allconsumer purchases, so it’s no wonder that convenience storeowners are among the many retailers eager to cater to thisemerging customer base. Traditionally focused on male

new solutions for old stores

Searching for higher and better uses for units that are terminally ill. At the time of this writing, thelong, hot summer of 2007 is finallywinding down and the prospectof a cooler football-inspiredautumn is rapidly taking shape. Duringthis time, my company has been workingon several marketer divestitures that havecommonality in the need to determine anon-traditional future

effective local store marketing

Developing your own coupon book can drive consumer loyalty and cultivate a new customer base. Growing up in Michigan, Iwas a part of a very prestigioushigh school baseball team—thePlymouth Canton Chiefs. Year inand year out, our team was highly rankedand continually vied for the state championship.Playing on this team was a signof prestige at the

cenex gets in style

Generation Image Renewal program calls for the renovation of the chain’s 1,600 convenience stores and the addition of 550 more. Cenex, the convenience-retailing brand of CHS Inc., islaunching a multimillion-dollar rebranding and expansioneffort that will elevate the chain’s visibility in smalland major markets and enhance its overall competitiveviability. As part of its “Generation Image Renewal,”

mso no more

Shell announced that it is removing the multi-site operation model from the U.S. going forward. What does this mean to the company and Big Oil as a whole? Shell Oil Products turned headslast month when the oil giantannounced it would be disassemblingits multi-site operator (MSO)partnerships across the country to continueits strategy of putting the stake

is it time to lower the bar

Retailers that are willing to settle for second best, get second best. By Mel Kleiman I was on the phone recently withthe owner of a chain of Midwesternconvenience stores who said, “It justdoesn’t make any sense for us to eventhink about using pre-employment testingor making our jobs tough to get. We’ve gotto take whatever walks

smoke screen

With an increase in smoking restrictions and the threat of increased taxes, retailers and analysts express serious concerns for cigarette profitability. Convenience stores, backin the good old days beforethey offered the types foodserviceand products thatcould rival other retail segments, wereknown mostly for three things: Cokes,smokes and gas. But despite the industry’sonce-strong foothold, cigarette salesare slumping.

focus on foodservice safety

Poor safety methods could sicken customers and bring down an entire organization. Going above and beyond what’s required is the key to a healthy program. By Michael Ferrari, Staff Writer Adding a foodservice programis an excellent way toincrease profitability and developa more loyal, destination-mindedcustomer base. Committing to foodservice,however, opens the door to new dangerssuch as

flavor du jour

Retailers willing to get more daring with their menus stand to attract more adventurous palates and turn a tidy profit. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor An American Express MarketBrief produced byTechnomic Inc. entitled “Ethnic Foods are in Fashion,”showed that more than half of consumers (51%) reportedpurchasing prepared, ready-to-eat foods from conveniencestores. Convenience stores also showed

calling all dirty cars

The precise mix of equipment and marketing can quickly make the car wash one of the most valuable profit centers in the store. By Kim Sharrah, Associate Editor With high gasoline pricessqueezing fuel margins, theaddition of a car wash canturn a major profit for operatorslooking to make up some of therevenue lost at the pumps.

reaching new heights

Fresh off the acquisition of Cummings Oil, Andrea Jackson leads Jacksons Food Stores’ retail strategy. By Shahla Hebets, Publisher Keeping a low profile hasits advantages, but eventuallya chain’s success starts toattract the attention, and eventhe enmity, of the competitors around it.Jacksons Food Stores is one of the conveniencestore and petroleum industry’sbiggest success stories, yet it

sheetz looks for a few hundred good men and women

Company launches job fair to help staff new kitchen. Sheetz Inc. will host a job fair offering hundreds of exciting employment opportunities at the new Sheetz Bros. Kitchen. The fair will be held at the Sheetz Distribution Center in Claysburg, Pa. on Nov. 2 and 3 from 10:00am to 6:00pm each day. The fair will

ampm makes list of top 200 franchise companies

BP-owned unit ranks 39th as the only c-store on the list. BP’s ampm convenience store has been ranked 39th in the 2007 Franchise Times “Top 200.” The companies that made the list have a minimum of 20% of total units operated by franchisees. Worldwide sales are also a factor in the rankings. ampm is the

tesoro considers kerkorians offer

Company evaluates selling off an additional 16%. Tesoro Corp. has revealed that it is carefully reviewing an offer from billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian to sell an increased stake in the company, according to the Associated Press. The Tesoro board will be in consideration over sale for the next 10 days. The unsolicited offer asks the

titan names anderson ceo of appco

Growing company plans on expanding into new markets. Titan Global Holdings Inc. has appointed Marty Anderson as chief executive of Appalachian Oil Co. (Appco), as well as the appointment of the energy division’s entire senior management team. Appco is the first acquisition of the company’s recently announced Titan Global Energy, which was formed to aggregate

alon picks alliance data systems

New credit card and marketing solution brought into the chain. Alon USA Energy Inc. has signed a multi-year expansion and renewal agreement with Alliance Data Systems Corp. to provide co-brand and private label credit cards services for Alon’s FINA-branded convenience stores. Through this agreement, Alliance Data will provide an integrated credit and marketing solution for

canadian tire chooses fujitsu

New self-checkout systems installed in 100 stores. Fujitsu Transaction Solutions Inc., with Canadian Tire, will install Fujitsu’s U-Scan Genesis self-checkout system at more than 100 of its 468 stores across Canada. “Customer service is a top priority at Canadian Tire and the Fujitsu self-checkout systems will provide a new and enhanced method to efficiently serve

kumgo cofounder awarded for philanthropy

NCEA committee honors Krause with highest honor. W.A. “Bill” Krause, co-founder of Kum & Go, has been named a 2007 honoree of the National Catholic Educational Association’s highest honor–the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award. The committee, which selected Krause, looks for awardees whose contributions to education and youth have been major and far-reaching. Krause was

ameristops receiver calls it quits

Court appoints new one after former leaves due to disagreements. A new receiver has been assigned to manage day-to-day operations of Petro Acquisitions Inc., the parent company for AmeriStop convenience stores, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Leonard Z. Eppel, president of Financial Resource Associates in Blue Ash, stepped down on Tuesday as the court-appointed receiver

iri launches allscan convenience reviews

New 100% POS system assists retail tracking. Information Resources Inc. (IRI) has launched AllScan Convenience Reviews, the industry’s first service that provides 100% point-of-sale (POS)-based convenience store coverage with weekly data for more than 250 product categories and insights for more than 50 states and local markets. This cost-effective, syndicated convenience tracking service combines POS

chevron supporting southern california victims

Donations given to help those affected by wildfires. Chevron Corp. has donated $500,000 to support relief efforts in the communities affected by the Southern California wildfires. The commitment includes a $400,000 contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund that will support wildfire relief efforts across Southern California and a $100,000 contribution that will

cstores named for exceptional customer service

New survey discovers most consumer-friendly businesses. Corporate Research International released the results of RealPeopleRatings.com, its quarterly customer service survey that illustrates the importance of brand image and customer perception. Subway, Chevron/Texaco, Publix and Walgreens were among those that earned the highest marks in their categories this quarter. Other c-stores included were Shell and The Pantry

bp surprises analysts

Third quarter results turn better numbers than expected. BP Plc has reported profit decline less than analysts estimated in the third quarter and said its two largest U.S. refineries are increasing production, according to Bloomberg.com. According to the report, profits excluding one-time items and changes in inventories dropped 6.4%, outgrowing analysts’ estimates for a second

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