2017 Social Media Awards

CSD presents its fifth annual review of social media trends, best practices for the new year and c-store retailers succeeding on social platforms. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor For the fifth straight year, Convenience Store Decisions reviewed the Facebook (FB) and Twitter pages of more than 60 c-store chains and is recognizing those

Rutter’s Expands Grab-And-Go Selections With Hot Pouch

Kiosk side items now available in the grab-and-go section thanks to state-of-the-art packaging. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Rutter’s debuted a new hot grab-n-go pouch to put highly-craveable side items from its popular kiosk service at the fingertips of grab-and-go customers. The new offering will be available at 53

3rd – 4th Quarter Comparisons Are In

By Bill Scott THIS IS CRAZY. The big surprise this quarter are ‘arrowheads’. Arrowheads are just that. Manufactured pieces of stone that look exactly like arrowheads. Shoppers are buying them by the handfuls at two/$1, and the stores can’t keep them in stock. The stores in this sample sold 1,711 in the first few months

Growth Energy, E15 Retailers Raise Funds to Battle Breast Cancer

Growth Energy teams with retailers during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Growth Energy partnered with major fuel retailers Sheetz, Minnoco, Protec Fuel and Murphy USA for its annual Pink Out program to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer during the month of October. For each gallon of clean burning E15 sold, two cents were donated

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Coffee Bar

Today’s Idea of the Day: Customers crave customization and new flavor experiences at the coffee bar. Engage customers by showing them how to combine brewed coffee with an offerings from the cappuccino machine and syrups to create a recipe of the month. This can be done through signage at the coffee bar. If you have

Chevron, Texaco Customers Can Win Super Bowl LI Trip

Customers who swipe their Visa card at the pump are entered to win. Chevron through its partnership with Visa is offering customers a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl. Chevron U.S.A. Inc. customers will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LI from Visa when using

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Inventory Tobacco

Today’s Idea of the Day: Inventory tobacco products at shift change. Tobacco products are small and expensive items that are easy targets of theft by dishonest employees. Prevent theft temptation by requiring employees to do a complete cigarette pack and other tobacco products count at every shift change. While it may frustrate staff initially, once

CSD Seeks Nominations For Annual Social Media Awards

This January, CSD will again evaluate best practices and best c-store posts and campaigns across social media. Convenience Store Decisions is embarking on its 5th annual social media awards, and this year is seeking convenience store chain nominations in a number of categories: Best engagement with a single post or promotion by a c-store chain

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Dinner Bundles

Today’s Idea of the Day: Offer dinner “bundles” or combo deals. Send a clear message to customers that you’re a dinner destination by offering dinner “bundles” or meal deals. Too often, c-stores aren’t top of mind during the dinner daypart. Consider changing that by advertising a dinner bundle, such as two sub sandwiches, a two-liter

Back Office & Forecourt Evolution

From state-of-the-art back-office software programs to innovative forecourt marketing and ordering systems, the convenience channel’s bottom line is benefiting from the latest technology. By Lisa White, Contributing Editor It would be difficult to dispute the many groundbreaking developments in forecourt marketing and back-office technology. From beacon programs to ordering apps and scanning software that provides

Beverage Lines Blur

Innovation abounds in packaged beverages as crossover between segments can cause confusion in the cold vault. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor Consumers continue to demand healthier beverages as they move away from sugary drinks, but innovation continues across the beverage spectrum including among more indulgent flavors and appeals. As innovation grows, the lines

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Basics

Today’s Idea of the Day: Focus on the basics of foodservice. Before adding to your foodservice program, ensure you have mastered the basics. The basics include superior customer service, well-presented and appealing food, and a spotlessly clean convenience store. These basics will factor into consumer perception of quality and price. No matter how upscale your

What Does A Trump Presidency Means for C-Stores?

NACS to work with the administration to ensure c-store retailers’ voices are heard.  Trump has won the 2016 presidential election. What does a Trump presidency mean for c-stores? Republican majorities in both the House and Senate mean the Trump administration will likely to have free rein to push though its agenda. The Affordable Care Act

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Highlight Healthy Snacks

Today’s Idea of the Day: Use signage to identify healthy snacks. Consumers are increasingly looking for healthier snack options, and many customers don’t think of c-stores as having healthy options. A little signage can help change these perceptions and help health conscious customers navigate the snack aisle. Do you offer healthy snack bars? Healthy chips?

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Upsell Contests for Employees

Today’s idea of the day: Move tobacco accessories by incentivizing employees to upsell an accessory with every purchase. Consider running a contest with your associates to see who can upsell the most lighters, rolling papers or e-liquids/cartridges to ensure they’re letting customers know these accessories are available every time they buy a tobacco product. Set

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Gamify

Today’s idea of the day: Gamify employee rewards. Help motivate employees using gamification. Offer badges, rewards and levels for various jobs well done such as completing a training, helping a customer, properly greeting people who enter the store and so on. Consider tracking results online where everyone can see the results. Making success at work

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Energy Efficiency

Today’s Idea of the Day: Contact your utility before making energy efficient upgrades. If you’re considering upgrading to LEDs or adding other energy efficient features, check in with your local utility first. Utilities often run different incentives and sometimes they require you to partner with an approved company or require a visit to your property

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Food Truck

Today’s idea of the day: Consider partnering with a local food truck. In today’s increasingly competitive market it is crucial for c-store retailers to move into foodservice. But not all stores have the capacity for a foodservice operation. If you want to bring in foodservice but lack the space at some locations, consider partnering with

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Dessert for Breakfast

Today’s Idea of the Day: Add a dessert option for breakfast. One of the trends ahead for 2017 is dessert for breakfast. Think about ways you can offer a menu item that capitalizes on this trend. Ice cream on top of a waffle offering, pastries and doughnuts, or chocolate croissants are all potential options. If

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Measure Effectiveness

Today’s Idea of the Day: Measure the effectiveness of your limited time offerings. Many c-store retailers offer limited time offerings (LTOs) among their foodservice items, but many don’t record and analyze the results of how those offerings fared with customers. LTOs offer ample opportunity to gain feedback from your customer base on what types of

NAG/CSD Idea of the Day: Plan for Spoilage

Today’s idea of the Day: Plan for spoilage. If you’re embarking on a foodservice program, know that waste/spoilage is a crucial part of the equation on the road to a profitable program. “Waste is good!” experts will tell you. Make sure you plan for waste in your foodservice budget and make certain employees know to

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Door Clings

Today’s Idea of the Day: Add door clings in the cold vault. What goes better with a cold beverage than a chocolate bar? If you’re not using door clings you’re missing out on cross merchandising opportunities that can grow basket spend. Put door cling displays right on your cooler doors and watch incremental candy sales

CSD/NAG Idea of the Day: Prepare for an Aging Population

Today’s Idea of the Day: Prepare for an aging population. Today some 46 million people are 65+, but that number is set to skyrocket to 74 million. Retailers should begin considering adaptations to accommodate the changing set of needs that will come with this age shift. Consider lighting changes—including eliminating blue tones from lighting which

With Major Shifts Ahead C-Stores Must Prepare

Cultural and demographic shifts are set to change consumer needs and subsequently how c-stores adapt to stay relevant. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor In an educational session titled, “Ready or Not! The World of Work is Changing (And What it Means for the Convenience Industry),” speaker John Martin, CEO and president of Southeastern

QuickChek Honored At Chain of the Year Award Dinner

QuickChek receives the oldest and most prestigious award for convenience retailing. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, QuickChek was honored as Convenience Store Decisions’ 2016 Convenience Store Chain of the Year at a dinner held at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS)