NAG/CSD Idea of the Day: Tax Code 199

Today’s idea of the day:  IRS tax code 199. Are you eligible? The section 199 tax deduction is also called the domestic manufacturing deduction, U.S. production activities deduction and domestic production deduction. It allows a deduction equal to 9% of the lesser of the “qualified production activities income” (QPAI) of the business; the operation’s taxable

NAG/CSD Idea of the Day: Pump signage

Today’s idea of the day: Use four-inch riser signage on all fuel pumptoppers. You can sell space monthly to local companies or trade space for free advertising on local radio and TV. Casey’s General Stores is one of the companies that has perfected this type of marketing. It turns every pump in your chain into

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Growlers

Today’s Idea of the Day: Explore a draft beer program (Howlers/Growlers). Growlers are a great way to gain a loyal craft beer following and expand your beer offering without taking up more cooler space. Plus, you ensure repeat business and earn great margins on the beer and the bottles. If you have an idea to

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Error Keys

Today’s idea of the day: Remove or forbid the use of the error correct key on the cash registers. That means theft. Error corrects and voids should be warning signals. Make it store policy that shift managers must approve error corrects and voids and provide documentation of these transactions. Plus, when applicable, use video monitoring

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Fewer SKUs

Today’s idea of the day: Analyze scan data frequently! Fewer SKUs mean more sales. Analyzing scan data will help you know what your customers are buying. Run velocity reports that set minimum sales standards. If a product falls below your standard for a month, look to rotate it out in favor of a higher-selling SKU.

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Candy Sizes

Today’s idea of the day: On all candy, bigger sizes are better because they bring better margin and higher sales. Especially when it comes to merchandising candy items at the front counter, always go with the bigger king-size bars and multipacks. From the customer perspective the price difference is negligible, but for the retailer, the

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: DSD

Today’s idea of the day: Use warehouse programs and discontinue any duplications with DSD (direct store delivery). Do you have an idea to share? Email Senior Editor Erin Rigik Del Conte at edelconte@csdecisions.com.

CSD Announces Consumer’s Choice Contest Winners

Customers lined up to taste-test new products at the Consumer’s Choice Contest hosted at a truenorth convenience store. Convenience Store Decisions (CSD) has announced the winners of the second-annual Consumer’s Choice New Products Contest. The product contest, hosted by Truenorth Energy, took place on Thursday, July 28, in the parking lot of a truenorth convenience

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Identify EBT Products

Today’s idea of the day: Utilize shelf tags and other signage to identify EBT-approved products. Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT, is used in all states to issue food stamp benefits to recipients. Recipients are issued an “EBT Card” similar to a bank ATM or debit card to receive and use their food stamp and cash

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Outdoor Advertising

Today’s idea of the day: Incorporate the fundamentals of billboard marketing and design in outdoor advertising to maximize potential. Here are some ways to maximize outdoor advertising success: Remember you are communicating with driving and distracted people on the move. Be brief but focused with ONE idea. Make it a big idea that’s relevant to

Green Zebra Earns its Stripes

With a focus on healthy food, aggressive expansion plans and a c-store model that evades the boundaries of normal classification, Green Zebra gallops ahead.   By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor The moment customers set foot inside a Green Zebra store, it’s clear this isn’t the type of convenience store where “Bubba” buys his smokes

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Community Gas Pump

Today’s Idea of the Day: Utilize a community fuel dispenser for community fundraisers. As you become a bigger part of your local community, you will be approached by organizations to donate to their cause. This is a great idea, but it can get costly. One way you can ease the burden of donations is to

Candy Innovation Goes Sour

Non-chocolate trends include gummy and sour varieties, as well as a new focus on mouthfeel and texture. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor The National Confectioners Association (NCA) found that the overall confections category grew 3.2% in 2015. Non-chocolate confection sales increased 3.7% with fruity candy, gummies, sour candies and breath fresheners leading the

Mondelez Bids for Hershey

Company proposes changing its name to Hershey and relocating its global headquarters as part of the deal. Mondelez International Inc. has placed a bid in an effort to purchase The Hershey Co. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Mondelez, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate bars, has sent Hershey a

RaceTrac Hosts the 2016 YEO Roundtable

Nearly 50 next-generation executives representing 40 c-store chains traveled to Atlanta for an in-depth look at RaceTrac’s operations and to participate in ample networking opportunities. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor The National Advisory Group (NAG) kicked off its third annual Young Executives Organization (YEO) roundtable on April 27 in Atlanta. RaceTrac Petroleum, Convenience Store Decisions’

UMass Amherst Transforms C-Stores

University of Massachusetts Amherst c-stores get a market-fresh makeover in time for this year’s incoming freshman class. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor The University of Massachusetts Amherst, located in Amherst, Mass., boasts the single largest dining operation in the U.S. based on revenue. In addition to the renowned dining program, the university offers 24 locations

Chevron and Albertsons Extend Loyalty Program to Florida

Now Florida customers in select markets can gain fuels rewards points, redeemable at Chevron and Texaco, when they shop at Safeway. Chevron Products Co., a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and Albertsons Cos. LLC are expanding their joint fuel rewards program to customers in parts of Florida. Customers who earn Reward Points by shopping at

Loyalty Branches Out

Apps offer the convenience of digital rewards, plus analytics to enable retailers to better target customers. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor As consumers grow increasingly mobile, loyalty programs are evolving to keep up with technological trends. C-stores of all sizes are positioning themselves to target customers on their smartphones, in order to better reward customers

Conexxus Kicks Off in Tucson

From cloud computing to future technology and EMV, attendees learn about the latest technology and security issues impacting the c-store industry. The 2016 Conexxus Annual Conference kicked off this week at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz. The conference runs from May 1-5. Monday’s opening session began with an address from Gray Taylor, executive

Can Gum Sales Stick?

Flavors might be capturing consumer attention, but retailers find tried-and-true mint products are driving interest in the gum and mints category. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor After several years of declining sales, gum saw renewed consumer interest and an uptick in sales in 2015. But analysts continue to predict that gum could face a rough

Chocolate Enjoys King-Size Sales

From large format sizes to resealable packaging and informative labels, chocolate trends are evolving. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Health and wellness may be top of mind for most customers today, but that hasn’t slowed chocolate sales, which were up 5.6% in 2015 in the convenience and multi-outlet channel, compared to the previous year. In

YEO Roundtable Wraps Up in Atlanta

Young executives tour RaceTrac locations to get an up close look at the chain’s latest initiatives. The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) third annual Young Executives Organization (YEO) Roundtable hosted by RaceTrac Petroleum wrapped up in Atlanta on Thursday. Nearly 50 of the convenience store industry’s young and next-generation executives representing 38 convenience store chains received

Condon Invested in Family Express’ Future

From programmatic hiring to competitive training processes, Kris Condon is helping shape the convenience store chain’s flourishing workforce. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Frontline employees are the backbone of any c-store chain, which makes crafting a strategy for successful hiring, training, conveying of company culture and retaining quality talent crucial for any convenience store chain.

Implementing Ricker’s Employee-Centric Philosophy

With more than 18 years as Ricker’s director of human resources, Karen Mitchener spearheads training, employee recognition and retention. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Ricker’s philosophy is if it takes care of its employees, they will take care of its customers. Karen Mitchener, director of human resources for Anderson, Ind.-based Ricker’s, has played a central

Millennials Using Smartphones For Shopping, Video Calls

Millennials leading increased smartphone activity. Millennial technology preferences are shifting away from computers and toward smartphones for activities like shopping and video calls. Millennials are driving the increased usage of video calling as a preferred application among smartphone users. In fact, according to The NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence Application and Convergence Report, more than half

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