Top 10 Emerging States for C-Stores

CSD examines certain U.S. states that have the economic might to shoulder future industry growth.  By David Bennett, Senior Editor San Antonio-based CST Brands Inc., a Texas-born company, is known as an industry leader not only because of its strong Corner Store brand, but the bolt-on acquisitions it achieved in the last few years. For

Power Mart Flexes Its Brand

A unique retail service provider is expanding its vision for the future. By David Bennett, Senior Editor If casual observers fail to recognize that Sam Odeh has the power then they aren’t reading the signage. The entrepreneur and broker of the Power Market brand, Odeh, founder and CEO of Power Buying Dealers USA Inc. (PBD

NOCO: Expressing Success

As on-the-go needs of convenience store shoppers evolve and change, New York’s NOCO Express is positioning itself as a go-to destination. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Like many regions, western New York is a microcosm of the convenience store industry and its developing penchant to provide more wholesome snacking and food offerings, reflecting the growing

Reinventing Sobeys Express

It’s still early in the rollout of Canadian grocer Sobeys Inc.’s new convenience store program, but the results are promising. By David Bennett, Senior Editor It’s true that every chain begins with one link. Of course, it helps when you have several other chains to take up the slack, if necessary. Last December, Sobeys Inc.—a

Swiss Farms Building a Healthy Future

The earlier purveyor of drive-through retail, Swiss Farms today is directing its efforts toward nutritious food offerings and modern customer service. By David Bennett, Senior Editor For a c-store that’s customers’ primary shopping experience begins and ends at the drive-through, Swiss Farms is in the process of re-branding its position within the marketplace. The retailer’s

Moving Forward

In many family convenience stores, next-generation leaders are helping forge their companies’ futures. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In the U.S., 97% of family businesses don’t survive past the third generation, according to the Family Business Institute. No doubt that among those elevated statistics are convenience store entrepreneurs who had a succession plan, but determined

FDA’s Deeming Regs and What You Should Know

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized final deeming rules that pertain to other tobacco products—most which are important contributors to convenience store sales. Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), answered questions about specifics that c-stores should be aware of. By Dave Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience Store Decisions

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

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