Nouria Tapping Retail Potential

In the past 10 years, Nouria Energy Corp. has put together a savvy organization, which is taking the necessary steps to grow its retail brand in New England. By David Bennett, Senior Editor There comes a point in every successful convenience store company’s existence wherein it’s time to broaden the customer base, introduce new products

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Rainbo Discovers Pot of Gold

Rainbo Oil Co., which operates the Kwik Stop convenience chain, is exploring various opportunities in 2016. With new store locations and a dynamic foodservice plan, the company has developed an enviable gem in its marketplace. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In the convenience store industry, there are plenty of chains that fly under the national

CST Brands Under Scrutiny

Kim Lubel, president and CEO of CST Brands recently outlined the long-term benefits of some high-profile company moves, including the acquisition of Flash Foods. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In business circles, the term “inside baseball” connotes something highly detailed—usually operational. It can be as detailed as the diameter of customized bolts included within a

Everything Is A-OK at OnCue

While some c-stores might celebrate their 50th anniversary with a party and cake, OnCue Express is celebrating its Golden Jubilee with eight new stores in the pipeline and a growing reputation as one of Oklahoma’s premiere convenience retailers. By David Bennett, Senior In the last decade, Stillwater, Okla.-based OnCue Marketing LLC has taken incremental steps

Remembering QT’s Chester Cadieux

In 1958, the co-founder of QuikTrip set out to exercise his entrepreneurial spirit. A half-century later, he had helped convert the convenience store industry from a gas station culture to a trusted retail enterprise. By David Bennett, Senior Editor An entrepreneur who over his career gained much success putting forth a business ideology that focused

TravelCenters Set to Close Quaker Steak Deal

By David Bennett, Senior Editor TravelCenters of America LLC expects to complete the acquisition of Quaker Steak & Lube chain in the next few days, said the national owner and operator of truck stops and convenience stores. Famous for its hot wings and burgers, the Sharon, Pa.-based Quaker Steak & Lube filed for bankruptcy in

M-PACT Teaches Best Hiring Practices

There’s more to developing a solid workforce than just hiring to fill a vacancy. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Hiring the right people for a c-store operation can be challenging. One expert at the M-PACT Show in Indianapolis, which concluded March 24, explained how to build a better mousetrap to capture capable candidates. Over time,

Gasoline Reigns Supreme

Electric vehicles are becoming more popular, but won’t replace combustible engines anytime soon. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Though alternative fuels are gaining momentum nationwide, gasoline is still the primary fuel that Americans use, explained John Eichberger, the executive director of the Fuels Institute, a nonprofit think tank, at this year’s M-PACT Show, which is

Rotten Robbie Ready to Grow

The northern California convenience retailer prepares to tackle the next phase of its future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Arguably, California sports its own version of what may be perceived as the gold standard: the California Gold Rush, the state’s rich citrus industry, the Golden State Bridge, Beverly Hills and maybe even the Golden Warriors’

How QuikTrip is Shaping its Culinary Future

Nick Powell, corporate chef for QuikTrip Corp., has helped guide the convenience store retailer to the top of the foodservice pyramid. By David Bennett, Senior Editor While working in research and development for Tulsa, Okla.-based Bama Frozen Dough Co. seven years ago, Nick Powell enjoyed being part of a hometown company with a big business

How Flory’s Is Carving Its Own Niche

With a full-service deli business, idiosyncratic stores and strong community ties, this second-generation convenience chain is the best pit stop in the eastern Hudson Valley. By David Bennett, Senior Editor During the heyday of travel on Route 66, gas stations had their own unique identities. Akin to motels adorned with massive wagon wheels or furnished

FriendShip Enjoys Smooth Sailing

With its expanded Anchor Café foodservice program, new store locations and stronger customer engagement, Ohio-based FriendShip Food Stores is charting its course for the future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Situated between Toledo and Cleveland, the Ohio city of Port Clinton means walleye fishing, the dizzying roller coasters of Cedar Point and the eminence of Lake

Alternative Fuels Gain Traction

Retailers such as OnCue Express and Kum & Go are cultivating business opportunities by offering consumers more options at the pump. By David Bennett, Senior Editor After much hand wringing on various fronts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued its final rule, establishing renewable volume obligations for 2014, 2015 and 2016. The EPA did

A Vision for the Future

This retailer’s natural growth progression and organic ingenuity has it well suited to compete in the New York state marketplace. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Not every convenience store operates with a full vision for the future. Some in the industry seem to function in the dark for the most part, blindly trying new innovations

How To Heighten The Customer Experience

More c-stores are coming up with innovative concepts to heighten the customer experience, resulting in increased sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In the competitive climate, in which convenience stores operate, one of the biggest advantages that the channel holds over other retail segments is obviously convenience. It’s the one business aspect that other channels

How Duchess is Growing With Foodservice

With its prototype store now open to the public, Englefield Oil’s Duchess brand is positioned to build upon its legacy as Ohio’s ever-evolving c-store chain. By David Bennett, Senior Editor As two children looked longingly at the new frozen drink dispenser, tethered balloons wafted away from the heat that escaped from the hot pizzas taken

NACS Sessions Explore Design and Food

Foodservice is moving from a key concept to critical component for c-store operators. By David Bennett, Senior Editor NACS 2015 continued Oct 13 with various education sessions meant to inform and explore. Many attendees packed the room to hear discussions from a session, titled, “The Psychology of Store Design.” Joseph Bona, president of the retail

NACS Experts Get Fresh

Retailers learn the benefits of fresher food options, as well as cutting costs. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Fresh is easier said than done, especially in the convenience store business. But for operators looking to introduce fresh food options in their stores, there’s practical ways to go forward, according to a panel that shed some

NACS Discusses Fuel, Employees and Branding

NACS 2015 kicks off with education sessions that strike at the core of c-store operations. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In the session, Preparing Your Infrastructure for Future Fuels, Norman Turiano, principal of Turiano Strategic Consulting, theorized that because gasoline costs will likely rise again, alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) will continue to increase in number

How Stinker Stores is Refreshing for the Future

With a new store design and a myriad of new company initiatives, everything is coming up roses for Stinker Stores. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The interactive LED display boards now being erected outside select Stinker Stores locations provide customers the latest in-store promotions, cool graphics and crisp digital messaging all at the flip of

How to Foster a Stronger Workforce

As convenience retailers compete with other channels to attract qualified workers, it may be time for c-stores to rethink their strategies. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The old adage that one bad apple spoils the bunch can apply to numerous things—from pies to politicians. Inside c-stores, a bad apple can impair customer service, productivity and

Farm Aid Ensures Fresher Connection for Retailers

Now in its 30th year, the grassroots festival to benefit farmers has grown to become a significant advocacy resource that savvy c-stores might benefit from. David Bennett, Senior Editor Thousands gathered Sept. 19 to witness the sights and sounds of Farm Aid 30, held at FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago. While concert

How Loyalty Is Taking a Front Seat

Loyalty providers are meeting customer expectations with innovative programs. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Today, loyalty programs aren’t only providing Americans with savings at the pump and inside the store, but are enabling convenience retailers to boost sales and engage their customers in ways like never before. Loyalty was in the spotlight at the 2015

How to Deal With Real Estate

Anytime a c-store acquires an existing property, there are various items to consider—from the environmental pollution that might exist in ground, to the traffic patterns on the corner, to the competition down the road. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A popular saying touts that the three most important considerations of a real estate deal are

How Non-Chocolate Candy is Wooing Customers

Whether it’s by the bite or by the bag, non-chocolate candy remains a staple of in-store sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Many convenience stores are heeding growing non-chocolate candy trends by stocking more chewy products and bite-size brand extensions. Of course, c-stores have only so much dedicated space and must be studious in order

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