growing through innovation

Richard Oneslager’s perspective of the convenience industry has benefited Balmar Petroleum, as he capitalizes on real estate and foodservice to differentiate his offering. CSD: You began your conveniencestore experience by managing the familybusiness in 1987. What did you learnthen that you are applying to your businesstoday? RO: Working with my family afforded me manykey learning

innovators come in all sizes

With our annual Chains to Watch issue,we set out to profile companies big andsmall that are doing innovative things,either with technology, operations, design or justgood, old-fashioned customer service. This year

driving instore sales with fuel

Facing increased competition, Fabulous Freddy’s is investing in gas pumps with interactive merchandising displays. Fabulous Freddy’s is looking to cultivate a new baseof loyal in-store customers, and it isn’t going very farto find them. The Las Vegas-based chain is investing innext-generation interactive fuel pumps that communicatestore specials and offer valuable coupons directly totheir fuel customers

belflower finds chemistry at davis oil

While Mike Belflower didn

quickchek expands its empire

With the opening of its first store in New York, the retailer ushers in a new era of convenience retailing. Some companies would celebratetheir 40th anniversarywith balloons and a lot of handshakes.For QuickChek, themilestone was an opportunity to show offits innovation and commitment to growingoperations. Last month, the Whitehouse Station,N.J.-based chain moved into the NewYork

homegrown convenience

Fast Phil’s is making its mark with redesigned stores, innovative card programs, consistent low prices and generous employee benefits. Reliability, a word thatall retailers strive to achievenowadays, is the first wordthat comes to mind whenFast Phil’s is mentioned to local residentsin southern North Carolina. Thechain, which has 12 stores spread outover Troutman, Mooresville, Yadkinvilleand Statesville,

the new age of convenience

Megan Ramey created a convenience concept for worldly urbanites that is a true departure from the gas stations Bubba is used to. From the street, the MoCoMarket in Madison, Wis. looksmore like a beauty salon or a furniturestore—with its large frontwindows and minimalist, communal-stylebench seating—than a convenience store.Once inside, customers are captivatedby its bamboo floors,

cstore financing know your options

Alternative lenders may be offering better deals than traditional banks. Waking up in a cold sweatover those burgeoning paymentson the adjustable ratebank loan you took out for yourc-store? Stop sweating it! With a little preparation—and someone to guide you throughthe process—you can probably get a muchlower, fixed-rate payment using one of severalalternative-financing methods. Frequently referred

bright future for smokeless sales

Once upon a time, cigarettes were the embodiment of“cool.” Then came the health concerns. Then came thegovernment regulations. Cigarette smoking has reacheda point where it is so severely sneered upon that manycities have outright banned smoking in public establishments. Itshould be a surprise to no one that cigarette sales and gross profitmargins have been steadily

freshness in full bloom

Exotic sushi, ready-made salads and fresh-cut fruit are ushering in tasty new eating options while helping customers watch their waistlines. When it comes to developingan exotic fresh food menu, U.S.retailers are drawing on inspirationfrom around the world. Take Torrance, Calif.-based FamimaUSA, for example. The U.S. subsidiary ofJapan’s FamilyMart Co. is drawing on itsJapanese heritage by

payment alternatives show promise

Retailers work around expensive credit card processing fees while integrating rewards for customer loyalty. Due to the competitive nature of the current conveniencestore climate, retaining a loyal customer base ismore important than ever. But even when a store has astrong customer base, it can still be hurt by the excessiveprocessing costs on credit card transactions

the all candy expo sweetens chicago

Over 20,000 show up for biggest event in candy. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) concluded its annual All Candy Expo yesterday in Chicago. Sponsored by the NCA, the All Candy Expo boasted 2,000 new products from nearly 500 exhibitors from 75 different countries. Top trends driving product releases of 2007/08 included: new flavor fusions focusing

chevron supports annual marathon

Company extends sponsorship until 2013. Chevron is keeping people running as it extends its sponsorship contract for the Chevron Houston Marathon, according to runnersweb.com. The Chevron Houston Marathon is the nation’s premier winter marathon, annually attracting participants from all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries. The race has been going on for 35

quiktrip moving into the spring center

The arrangement “will be among the first of its kind in an arena, stadium or entertainment venue,” Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip will open a store in Sprint Center as part of a multi-year partnership with the Kansas City arena, built to host sports and entertainment events. The arrangement “will be among the first of its kind

cigars accelerating category profits by increasing strategic focus

Cigar dollar sales experienced strong growth again increasing 14% in 2006, according to ACNielsen. And, Richard Fasanelli, vice president of John Middleton Inc. adds, "We continue to uncover additional growth opportunities with retail customers by applying strategies less common to cigars, but very common in other major tobacco categories." Don’t miss this opportunity to hear

the end of driveoffs in kansas city

New ordinance dramatically cripples gas thieving. A city ordinance requiring motorists to prepay for gas has reduced the number of drive-offs from more than 1,100 in 2005 to virtually none over the past 13 months, according to an Associated Press report. The ordinance took effect last summer. Since then only 24 drive-offs have been reported

bp waives goodbye to south dakota

Company pulls out to sell closer to its refineries. BP America Inc. revealed that it’s pulling out of most of South Dakota and all of North Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana and Texas, due to a decision to focus on areas closer to its refineries, according to the Associated Press. The company revealed that the Sioux Falls,

industry pioneer swearingen dies

Former president of Standard Oil was 89. John E. Swearingen, oil executive and well-known defender of the industry in the energy crisis of the 1970s, died on Friday in Birmingham, Ala. He was 89 and lived in Chicago, according to the New York Times. Swearingen presided over Standard Oil of Indiana, one of the companies

four down 1200 to go

BP settles multiple lawsuits, but litigation far from over. BP has settled four civil lawsuits filed by contractors who were injured on March 23, 2005, when an explosion killed 15 workers and injured 180 at the company’s Texas City, Texas, refinery, abruptly ending the first civil trial stemming from the blast. Details of the settlement

united fuelenergy acquires sc fuels cardlock

Frank Greinke will continue to lead company. United Fuel & Energy Corp., a distributor of gasoline, diesel, propane and lubricant products to customers in the markets of the southwestern and south central U.S., reached a deal to acquire Cardlock Fuels System Inc., the cardlock operation of SC Fuels. SC Fuels operates 23 unattended fueling facilities

nyacs awards 2007 scholarships

Six students receive a total of $4,500, a new high for the program. The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) has awarded six students for the 2007 NYACS Scholarship Foundation scholarships totaling $4,500. It’s the largest total awarded in the seven-year history of the program, thanks largely to a generous $2,500 contribution by the

phillip morris sues internetbased vendors

New lawsuit attacks the sale of untaxed, imported cigarettes. Philip Morris USA has filed two lawsuits in federal court against Internet site operators engaged in the sale of illegally imported cigarettes bearing Philip Morris USA’s trademarks, including the Marlboro mark. “Philip Morris USA will protect our brands and the law-abiding businesses that sell them from

kwik trip workers become heroes

Employees help save family from burning home. Kwik Trip employees Tammy Schultz and Nancy Sprague didn’t expect to save any lives when they started their early morning shift, but that didn’t stop them from risking their lives to rescue a family from a burning building. The incident, which police are investigating as arson, began at

quickchek comes to hampton township

Chain celebrates the grand opening of a new store. QuickChek, the privately owned, family-operated chain of more than 100 c-stores in New Jersey and Southern New York, will be celebrating the grand opening of its newest location in Hampton Township, N.J. The new 3,800-sq. ft. store will open to the public Sept. 25 following a

executive leadership solutions adds former cstore executives

Brian Matlock and David St. Clair join as a senior executive recruiter. Executive Leadership Solutions, an executive search firm that specializes in recruitment for the convenience store, petroleum and related supplier industries, has added two former convenience store executives to recruiting team: David A. St. Clair and Brian Matlock have joined the company as senior

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