CarWash

Car Washes Can Clean Up

After committing to the upfront costs, convenience stores can wring regular profits from an automatic car wash operation. David Bennett, Senior Editor Gross revenues at convenience stores are affected by a multitude of market forces. Everything from constrained gas prices to tobacco taxes to bank fees can combine to impede cash streams. In fact, there

NAG-Todd Jenny

Self-Distribution Drives Discussion at NAG

C-store executives explain how a self-distribution model can cut out the middle man, helping your chain cut costs. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Todd Jenney, president and CEO of North Carmi, Ill.-based Huck’s Convenience Stores, remembered that the company’s first warehouse operation ran from the back of Huck’s first store. Now with a 93,000-square-foot building

NAG-Lynn Hochburg and Joe Hamza

Fresh Foodservice Is A Growing Staple

C-stores like Wawa and Tedeschi are meeting customer expectations with innovative food offerings. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Ed Burcher, principal and president of Burcher Consulting, has studied principles and developed strategies of how convenience stores can improve their foodservice programs that will appeal to customers’ changing tastes, and add to a company’s bottom line.

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Distribution Models That Deliver

A self-distribution model can cut out the middle man and help your chain save on costs, but is a big capital investment. Partnering with a good distribution provider can be the right course of action, but only if the arrangement brings value to your operation. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Candy, tobacco, drinks, food and

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Deriving Loyalty From Data

Scanned data is putting basket-level insights in the hands of decision makers who can turn this information into strategies that drive profitability. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A customer’s continuing business is no longer guaranteed. Because of that fact, convenience stores strategize more and more on the need to understand their customers better, and to

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Managing Loss Prevention

Shrink comes in all shapes and sizes, but knowing how to identify and remedy these occurrences can enable c-stores to turn losses into gains. By David Bennett, Senior Editor When a convenience store is humming along efficiently, the signs are unmistakable: The coffee is fresh and flowing. People are enjoying prompt foodservice offerings. Motorists are

Somerset Station

Kentucky Town Fuels Debate

In an effort to balance fuel prices for local motorists, officials in the city of Somerset, Ky. have gone into the gas business despite complaints from area retailers. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Consumers frequently voice their displeasure over high gasoline costs but often find themselves over a barrel because they don’t have the means

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Buc-ee’s Eying Another Enormous Store

Plans call for a 60,000-square-foot convenience store, which has become a normal model for the expanding Texas chain. By David Bennett, Senior Editor They say everything is bigger Texas, and Buc-ee’s Ltd proves it with every new convenience store it builds. Its newest location is in the works in Corinth, Texas, after that city’s planning

Somerset Station

Kentucky Town Now Selling Gas

Following years of residents’ complaints over local gas prices, the Kentucky city of Somerset has opened up its own pumps to the public. By David Bennett, Senior Editor. After much anticipation on the part of motorists—and hand wringing by local gas retailers—the city of Somerset, Ky. opened its new fuel pumps to the public Saturday,

energy

Energy Drinks All The Buzz

Once a fringe player, the energy drink segment today is a billion-dollar business and according to analysts, there’s still room for growth. By David Bennett, Senior Editor As consumer tastes have shifted, carbonated soft drinks (CSD) top perch within the pantheon of packaged beverages has eroded considerably over the last few years. During that period,

Print

C-Stores Change with the Times

Whether it’s technology, the workforce, or the weather, the industry has always adapted and moved on. By David Bennett, Senior Editor There are few Years more turbulent in the history of the convenience store industry than 1990. Just prior, the total number of c-stores had peaked at 83,000 in the late 1980s. The market was

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VCU Earns C-Store Accolades

After putting a novel spin on an existing theme, Virginia Commonwealth University is named top innovator in 2014’s NACUFS New Store Design competition. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience stores aren’t new to U.S. college campuses. For years, universities have afforded students expedient spaces where they can purchase beverages, snacks and merchandise. However, just like

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Blu Tops in E-cig Sales

Lorillard remains category leader with continued strong c-store sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Lorillard Inc.’s (LO) popular blu e-cigarette continues to garner strong sales, retaining its No. 1 spot in the c-store channel. Lorillard garnered 42.0% $ share in the recent period ended June 7, according to data from Wells Fargo Securities LLC. Logic

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Choosing the Right Foodservice Partner

Want to avoid the deep end of the proprietary food pool? A co-branded relationship with a QSR can keep your operation flowing smoothly. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Today, quality foodservice is a key ingredient in profitable convenience store operations. Just how key? Foodservice accounted for 18% of total c-store sales in 2013, which also

cigars

Regulators Chew on Cigars

While federal officials weigh new standards for the tobacco industry, retailers hope cigar sales don’t go up in smoke. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took a big step towards regulating other tobacco products (OTP), including cigars, by proposing to assert deeming regulations under the 2009 Family Smoking

Charles Robinson

Employing a Special Workforce

In following through with its unique hiring policy, VERC Enterprises has positively impacted surrounding communities. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Most convenience stores strive diligently to create a working environment where employees feel wanted and useful. VERC Enterprises Inc. has taken that page and written its own book, which began more than a dozen years

snack aisle

Snacks Remain A Mainstay

Salty snacks again are grabbing a lion’s share of c-store snack sales, but healthier offerings are making noise. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience stores represent five times their fair share when it comes to grab-and-go snacking occasions, beating out grocery stores and even discount stores, according to a 2013 study by market research firm

atm

Weighing Financial Services

Whether it’s check cashing or the latest mobile wallet technology, providing customers with useful financial offerings can help your bottom line. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Cash makes up nearly 29% of U.S. consumer transactions per year, or about $1.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Among those transactions last year were a lot of

altria

Lorillard Joins Altria In Pricing Action

Tobacco companies enact pricing adjustments, raising the cost of popular cigarette brands in the next few days. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Lorillard Inc. (LO) is pushing through a six-cent per-price increase across the some of its key cigarette brands, a move that will keep pace with rival Altria Group Inc., according to analyst reports.

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Commonwealth-Altadis Unveils Packaging Innovation

“Slide up, light up” feature sure to strike it big with consumers, CA officials predict. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Kicking off a company Webcast describing the latest upgrade to its flagship cigarette brand, Commonwealth-Altadis Inc. (CA) CEO Kevin Freudenthal said “it’s the most exciting thing in packaging for USA Gold in CA’s history.” Rolled

Candy

Chocolate: Sweet Returns

Finding out what confectionery products your customers will gobble up in 2014 can be a recipe for more sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor You don’t need to be Willy Wonka to know that chocolate candy is a sweet product in terms of generating impulse sales. The National Confectioners Association (NCA) recently reported that the

Frank

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Filling Station Rises in Buffalo

A transportation museum in the Queen City is putting the final touches on Frank Lloyd Wright’s first service station design, providing a glimpse of how modern service stations evolved. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Before Route 66 was designated Historic Route 66, and well before convenience stores offered the first Gas Station TV monitors above

Conexxus

PCATS Rebrands For The Future

Name change signifies organization’s refocused mission. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Searching for a stronger identity to match its technical expertise, the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has been rebranded as Conexxus. Gray Taylor, executive director of the newly branded Conexxus, said Tuesday night that the name change signifies the refocus of the

Mobile

Mobile Commerce Gets A Workout

The Conexxus (formerly PCATS) mobile committee works on developing standards streamlining mobile transactions. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Even before the former Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) rebranded as itself as Conexxus, its Mobile committee was living to the group’s new motto: Solve Forward. Tuesday’s Mobile workshop was one of a half-dozen working

grabngo

Embracing a Healthier Menu

For convenience stores, healthy food offerings are creating a convergence of nutrition, foodservice solutions and profitability. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Problem: Customers want healthy,grab-and go-meal options.Solution: Add fresh cut fruits, yogurts and salads to the  menu. They’re quick, easy and appeal to a wide variety of customers. Also consider more wholesome ingredients like baked

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