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How To Achieve The Right Candy Mix

Innovation is a key for enticing Millennials and Gen Z customers, but staple products continue to drive the candy category. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Even as ‘healthy’ becomes a growing call, candy customers continue to want indulgent options. Convenience store retailers are succeeding in driving candy sales with a balance of tried-and-true products and

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How To Drive Purchases From Forecourt Customers

A retailer-designed system allows c-store customers to order food and products while at the pump. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Scott Zaremba, owner of Zarco USA in Lawrence, Kan., is driving food and beverages purchases from forecourt customers who might never have set foot inside the store, if it wasn’t for his touchscreen order-at-the-pump program

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What Does the SCOTUS ObamaCare Ruling Mean For C-stores?

A core piece of the Affordable Care Act—subsidies—have been upheld by the Supreme Court, which failed to upend the law with its ruling as many had hoped. In a ruling brought down June 25, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in a 6-3 decision upheld one of the central parts of President Barack

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Implementing ADA Compliance Changes

Having the tools to take charge of ADA compliance before a lawsuit mandates your chain to do so, gives retailers more control over how the process is handled. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience Store Decisions recently sat down with Brad Gaskins, managing principal of the McIntosh Group. Gaskins is well versed in the Americans

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CST Brands Encourages Customers To #SHAREAHERO

New contest aims to drive social engagement and in-store traffic as well as feel-good stories about the everyday heros in people’s lives. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor CST Brands and Corner Store, this week, launched its #SHAREAHERO Sweepstakes, a 360-degree campaign that encourages customers to share stories about the heros that have touched their lives.

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QuickChek And Mondelez Partner In Mobile Marketing Initiative

Shopper Futures initiative pairs retailers, Mondelez International’s brands and tech startups to solve retail challenges. Mondelez International has introduced a new mobile marketing initiative with a number of external retail partners including QuickChek and Albertsons/Safeway. The initiative is called Shopper Futures, and it ties tech entrepreneurs together with retailers to help transform the consumer retail

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Heineken Launches ‘Best Tasting Light’ Program

Summer beer campaign focused on taste to drive trial and sales. Heineken is introducing a 360 degree summer promotion spanning national TV, digital, Web, social and retail/on-premise activation to shift the light beer conversation back where it belongs—to taste. Heineken Light is the winner of the “Best Tasting Low Calorie Lager” for the second year

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Marketing To Gen Z

Gen Z is coming of age and they want fresher, faster, healthier and less expensive products. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Young adults coming of age right now—Generation Z—have never known a life without the Internet or cell phones. While baby boomers may currently hold the buying power, as the nation ages, retailers will need

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Sweets & Snacks Expo Kicks Off In Chicago

Keynote sessions address obesity, trends and candy’s role as a sweet treat. By Erin, Rigik, Senior Editor The Sweets and Snacks Expo kicked off Tuesday, May 19, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The Expo is celebrating 18 years in Chicago and is expected to have more than 16,000 attendees, marking the biggest show ever. John Downs

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Mac’s Fights Crime With New Mural At Brampton Store

Community graffiti project aims to give residents ownership of their local convenience store. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Mac’s Convenience Stores, a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard in Canada, has seen continued success using a mural project to combat crime at its stores, and introduced a fifth store to the program just last week in Brampton.

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Pancakes & Maple Syrup

Wake up and smell the pancakes, it’s Pancakes & Maple Syrup Jelly Belly jelly beans. The newest flavor from Jelly Belly Candy Co. captures the warm, buttery flavor of a pancake topped with rich maple syrup whipped together in a single Jelly Belly jelly bean. Pancakes & Maple Syrup Jelly Belly beans are now available

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NACS SOI Conference Kicks Off

David Nelson gives the economic outlook for 2015. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Steve Loehr, vice president operations support, Kwik Trip and NACS Chairman kicked off the 2015 National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) State of the Industry (SOI) event at the Lowes Chicago O’Hare Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday, April 15. This year, some

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Reducing Turnover With Better Practices

From proactive interviewing to recruiting efforts and communicating with the team, Linda McKenna-Welch took SOI attendees through ways to cut turnover. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor During the Wednesday afternoon breakout sessions at the NACS State of The Industry (SOI) Summit, Linda McKenna-Welch, principal, Employee Performance Strategies, spoke with attendees about how to set goals

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YEO Roundtable Wraps Up In Valparaiso

A store, warehouse and bakery tour conclude the two-day event. The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) second annual Young Executives Organization (YEO) Roundtable hosted by Family Express concluded Tuesday, April 14 in Valparaiso, Ind. During the two-day Roundtable, guests had the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the operations of Family Express, a world-class convenience store

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Winning at Word of Mouth

Keeping customers engaged on social media can drive WOM and increase traffic at the store. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Social media is crucial for staying top of mind for customers and driving word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising for your chain, which many customers today trust more than traditional marketing. Cindy Morrison, social media strategist with social

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Reinventing Open Pantry

Longtime employees assume control of the daily operations of Open Pantry stores, while CEO Buhler provides financial backing. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor After 17 years as president and CEO of Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin Inc., Robert Buhler at the beginning of the year turned the corporate reins over to his longtime, right-hand

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Preventing Power Outages

Generators can set your c-store apart when customers need food and fuel during disasters or bad weather. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Power outages and natural disasters can occur at any time, resulting in disrupted business, spoiled food and much worse. For many c-store owners, having a game plan to keep operations up and running

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CSD’s 3rd Annual Social Media Awards

Convenience Store Decisions recognizes chains that are using social media to their advantage, as well as the top trends going into 2015. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience Store Decisions examined the results of nearly 60 c-store chains active on social media, specifically examining Facebook and Twitter to compile its 3rd annual Social Media awards.

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Driving Better Beer Sales

Craft beer sales are soaring but top quartile retailers are using a balanced approach to grow all segments. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience store retailers are preparing for another year of fragmentation and changing dynamics in the beer category in 2015. Beer across all retail channels is projected to end 2014 up 1% in

Photo taken by Kimberly Vanderhoof, a photography student that works as a cashier at Mad Max’s Port Washington location. Mad Max offers employees, most of them college students, opportunities to develop skills that pertain to their majors/future careers.

Mad Max Growing Retail Assets With Acquisition of O’Connor Oil

The Wisconsin convenience store company is feeling pretty good after adding four new c-stores, but the deal to acquire O’Connor’s jobber operations creates a host of opportunities. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Mad Max Convenience Stores is set for an aggressive expansion. This fall it purchased the assets of O’Connor Oil Co., growing its footprint

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Burning Issues 2015: Retailers Must Adapt or Fade Out

From emerging technology and advanced fuel sources to promising new revenue streams, industry operators need to evolve with the times or get left behind. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Transformation will help define the convenience store industry in 2015, affecting everything from the way customers fuel up to how they pay for food and fuel,

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Shining a Brighter Light on Shoplifting Trends

Studies indicate more than $13 million in merchandise is stolen from U.S. retailers annually. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Shoplifting and employee theft continue to plague retailers. Two recent studies—one conducted by Price Gun and another by Global Retail Theft Barometer—show just how theft is impacting the retail business. No. 1 Property Crime Price Gun,

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Winning With Wine Sales

Murphy USA grows its wine section and store sales through a collaboration with E.&J. Gallo Winery. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Through a collaboration with E. & J. Gallo Winery, Murphy USA is working towards growing its wine category. The c-store chain is set to expand the number of locations offering wine from 112 to

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Designs on the Future

More convenience retailers are turning to outside consultants to create design solutions which address customers’ modern preferences. By David Bennett, Senior Editor When expanding convenience store chain Kwik Stop decided last year to revise the footprints of its future stores, it only had to look as far as Madison, Wis. That’s where company planners—led by

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Succeeding With Energy Management

Your electric bill could determine which type of system you need. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience stores are increasingly looking to energy management systems to help them better control their energy efficiency. For instance, Kum & Go is known for its commitment to energy efficiency. In 2010, the chain started building 5,000 square-foot stores

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