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

How the EPA Is Cracking Down On UST Violations

Nine stations face fines after repeated non-compliance on underground storage tanks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with nine gas stations in Alaska, Oregon and Washington after the stations in question were found to be out of compliance with federal laws designed to protect underground sources of drinking water from fuel stored

Bacon Leads Casey’s Foodservice Efforts

A focus on quality helps Casey’s foodservice program stand out. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor With more than 30 years of c-store foodservice experience under his belt, Darryl Bacon, vice president of foodservice for Casey’s General Stores, has been leading the company to foodservice success since he stepped into the role of foodservice director back

How to Curb Employee Theft

Encouraging best practices among employees requires effective training, monitoring and accountability. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Superior cash management and loss prevention strategies begin with best practices in labor management, including employee training, monitoring and accountability. A recent report from Retail Knowledge, a retail fraud and loss prevention firm, indicated that over the past three

Forehand Joins Golden Pantry

The Athens, Ga.-based chain’s local flavor and consumer-centric values resonate with Jacob Forehand who has left Flash Foods to join the Golden Pantry team. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Jacob Forehand, former director of human resources at Flash Foods, is set to join Golden Pantry Convenience Stores as the new director of human resources and

2016 Social Media Awards

CSD’s fourth annual review of the social media strategies used by convenience store chains across the industry and how retailers can capitalize on best practices in 2016. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor For the fourth year running, Convenience Store Decisions examined the Facebook (FB) and Twitter pages of more than 60 convenience store chains, recognizing

Pressure on CST Brands Heats Up

A second shareholder asks CST Brands to consider a sale. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor and John Lofstock, Editor-In-Chief JCP Investment Management Group on Dec. 22, a significant shareholder of CST Brands Inc., became the second shareholder to put pressure on CST Brand’s CEO Kim Lubel and CST’s Board of Directors in a public letter

NOCO Express Finishes Store Renovations

NOCO adds better visibility and a new deli case, among other changes. NOCO Express completed renovations at its convenience store located at 3085 Delaware Avenue, at the corner of Kenwood, in Kenmore, N.Y. The three-week interior and exterior remodel provides an updated look and expanded fresh product selection. “While our customers are always looking for

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