Pancakes

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

David Nelson

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

Employees

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

Ellagrin

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

OpenPantry

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

TeamOilTravelInSnow

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

iPhone 4/4S screen showing notifications for various social media apps: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ also for app store, mail

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.

beer

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

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas

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

BOPIS Render

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

beer

Anheuser-Busch Media Event Shares Best Practices

“Being best in craft beer also means being best in value brands—you can’t succeed by only growing one segment,” says Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of small format sales. Anheuser-Busch hosted a media event for the trade press, Wednesday Nov. 19-20 in St. Louis, to share best practices in driving beer sales, beer and food pairing concepts,

MAPCOPAYPAL

MAPCO Announces Thanksgiving Promotion

Lucky commuters in Hendersonville and Franklin, Tenn., will enjoy $1 off per gallon of gas Nov. 22-23.   By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor   Holiday travel isn’t easy, just ask the two million Tennesseans—as reported by AAA—who drove last year to spend time with friends and family. This year, MAPCO and PayPal are teaming up

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Differentiate With Design

Everything from upscale amenities to drive-throughs can make your stores stand out from the competition. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor In an era of increased channel blurring, where dollar stores, quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) and drug stores are vying for the same customers, smart store design can help differentiate your c-store over the competition. Pak-A-Sak Convenience

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Tracking Today’s Retail Beverage Trends

As carbonated soft drink sales fall, figures show that energy and non-carbonated beverages, such as teas, are growing in popularity. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Consumer preferences are moving away from carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and toward beverages they perceive as healthier, such as energy drinks and non-carbonated beverages like teas, bottled water and functional

DriveThru

Sami’s Quick Stop Gets Innovative

Newly remodeled site serves as a one-stop shopping convenience destination. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Sami’s Quick Stop on the corner of East Midlothian Blvd. and Youngstown-Poland Road in Youngstown, Ohio recently wowed customers when it reopened its doors in September, following a major $1.8 million renovation. The new and improved 24-hour location was expanded

RaceTrac Red Bull Takeover Photo by Wesley Kirk

CSD Honors RaceTrac At Awards Dinner

RaceTrac receives 2014 Convenience Store Chain of the Year. Last night, Wednesday, Oct. 8, Convenience Store Decisions honored RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. as the 2014 Convenience Store Chain of the Year at an awards dinner at Paradise Beach South at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The event drew ore than 200 attendees

Quick Chek Convenience Store

Creating a Positive Workplace Culture

Does your chain tolerate bullies? At the NACS Show on Wednesday, Bob Graczyk, vice president human resources, Quick Chek Corp., spoke about the impact of bullying on employee well being and productivity, and how c-store chains can prevent bullying behavior at their stores in an educational session titled, “No Bullies Allowed: Positive Workplace Culture,” Some

SONY DSC

Menu Makeover

New flavors and small portion snacks can add excitement to an otherwise traditional foodservice menu. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience store retailers pursuing proprietary foodservice have the challenge of keeping menus exciting and innovative, while still offering tried-and-true favorites that keep regulars coming back for more. Snacks and appetizers are one menu section where

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Is Loyalty Right For Me?

Experts debate the challenges and benefits of integrating mobile payment and loyalty at convenience stores. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Mobile payment is fast becoming a reality. More c-stores and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are introducing payment and/or loyalty apps, and the recent announcement of Apple Pay is being heralded as a game changer in the mobile

John Lofstock editor-in-chief of editorial operations and executive director of NAG leads the operation boot camp session.

NAG Conference Delivers New Ideas in San Antonio

C-store leaders gather at the annual meeting of the National Advisory Group to share ideas and network with fellow colleagues. By Erin Rigik and David Bennett, Senior Editors The 2014 National Advisory Group (NAG) welcomed retailers to the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, Sept. 7-10 to discuss hot-button topics and exchange industry insights. Also featured

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