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


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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,

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,

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living the American Dream

Nachhattar Chandi began his c-store career as a cashier. Today he owns and operates 17 convenience stores and counting. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Nachhattar Chandi’s entrepreneurial journey from his start in a small village in India to a U.S. c-store cashier, to a successful c-store franchisee and owner of Chandi Group USA is a

Thorntons Launches New Refreshing Rewards Program

New loyalty program is based on visits, not points or purchases. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Thorntons just announced the launch of its new Refreshing Rewards program, which is focused on enhancing experiences for its customer base across all its markets. “A loyalty program is something we have been looking into for a number of

Wayne and Intel Discuss EPS In the Cloud Solution

The cloud-based solution allows retailers to process EMV, while still processing magnetic stripe card data, keeps data secure through tokenization, allows for increased aggregation of data and software updates above site. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Wayne Fueling Systems and Intel Services recently teamed to launch a cloud-based electronic payment system (EPS). The solution provides