Sky’s The Limit at Quick Chek’s Balloon Festival

Record crowds expected at Health and Wellness Sunday to revel in music, food and fun. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Quick Chek Food Stores will kick off the 29th annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, on July 29 at Solberg Airport


VPS Convenience Store Group Plans Aggressive Expansion

Sun Capital’s c-store division is bulking up its foodservice operations and rolling out new tobacco stores across the Southeast. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With two acquisitions under its belt already this year, VPS Convenience Store Group, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc., is poised for additional growth, with its eyes focused on opportunities

CDCG Helps Small Stores Go Fresh

C-stores in the Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady, N.Y., area are getting a helping hand in providing fresh produce to customers thanks to Capital District Community Gardens (CDCG), a private non-profit community service organization and the group behind the Veggie Mobile,  a produce truck that sells  fruits and vegetables in food deserts. So far the c-store

Commissary Sales Gaining Momentum

While commissary products are growing in popularity at c-stores, not all retailers are at the same level. Luckily, options abound in ways to integrate commissary products for all quartiles. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Commissaries and a centralized distribution system are becoming more popular across all foodservice segments in both convenience stores and supermarkets as

Kroger Makes Strides In Sustainability

“In 2010, Kroger stores saved enough energy to power the city of Fort Worth for a full year,” says Kroger president. The Kroger Co. has released its fifth annual Sustainability Report, showing it continues to meet annual sustainability benchmarks, including reducing in-store energy consumption by 30% since 2000. “Kroger associates have worked hard to integrate

Developing a Fuel Strategy Amid Soaring Costs

High gas prices mean more headaches for retailers. Experts weigh in on the best ways to survive the market volatility. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With gas prices skyrocketing, retailers are feeling the squeeze from every angle. But there are unique opportunities for savvy retailers to reduce fuel expenditures, which will afford them a better

Lighting the Way to Profitability

A wide array of tobacco accessories to complement cigarettes and cigars shows customers you’re serious about tobacco and incites impulse sales. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Many retailers recognize that it’s beneficial to step out from behind the counter to teach customers about smokeless alternatives and educate them on e-cigarettes, but taking the same approach

Empowering Loyalty Customers

Retailers are energizing their rewards programs and using social media to keep loyalty customers active. The modern loyalty program may be 28 years old, but in a saturated market, chains are turning up the creativity to gain customer attention by pushing game-based promotions, cause marketing, discounts on fuel and using social networking to drive interest.

Fuel Rewards Luring Customers

With gas prices rising, loyalty programs are rewarding customers with steep discounts. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With fuel prices approaching record highs in May, customers were thinking carefully about where they stop for gas and are paying more attention to rewards programs that offer cents-off fuel gallons purchased. Convenience store chains are responding with

Flourishing After the Floods

After suffering extensive water damage at its Nashville, Tenn., store, TravelCenters of America has reopened the unit with a new look and a host of modern features. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Just a year ago, the TravelCenters of America truck stop in Nashville, Tenn., fell victim to the historic flooding that ravaged Middle Tennessee

Forecasting Snack Bar Sales

The food bar category experienced double-digit sales growth in 2010, but 2011 could prove to be a challenging year. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The snack bars/granola bars category experienced sharp sales gains in 2010 as on-the-go consumers were looking for quick meal solutions that wouldn’t break the bank. Total snack bar sales jumped 11.26%

Quix Fix to Store Management

In addition to expanding its contract management business both nationally and abroad, Strasburger Enterprises is growing its Quix c-store brand with a renewed focus on foodservice. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Wherever oil companies and convenience store chains are divesting stores or taking on new assets, Strasburger Enterprises is often a lifeline on speed dial.

Gilligan Oil Pushes a Multi Brand Foodservice Strategy

Newest location features Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway in an effort to target customers throughout the day. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Gilligan Oil Co. is aggressively embarking on a new foodservice model that aims to combine its c-stores and two QSR franchise partners under one roof to better pull a variety of customers into the

Cybera Adds Support for Gilbarco Passport

Cybera enables delivery of Gilbarco Veeder-Root Passport secure high-speed help desk services and improves speed of service for Gilbarco customers. Cybera Inc., a provider of cloud-based security-as-a-service solutions, has announced the Cybera ONE platform now supports high-speed help desk services for Gilbarco’s Passport point of sale (POS) systems and other Gilbarco applications. This new Cybera

Kum & Go Receives Energy Efficiency Leader Award

Five newly opened stores are expected to consume 20% less energy thanks to efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) solutions. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. Kum & Go’s commitment to environmental stewardship has earned it the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” from Hussmann and Trane, both brands of Ingersoll Rand, for adopting sustainable energy

Lighting It Right

In the ongoing quest for reducing energy costs, many operators are introducing LEDs in coolers, under canopies and even inside the store, but how do you know if an upgrade is right for your chain? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In these tough economic times, lighting upgrades could provide a bright spot on the balance

7-Eleven Encourages Slurpee MixMakers

Summer concerts and contest celebrate the art of mixing personalized Slurpee flavor combinations. 7-Eleven, the creator of America’s iconic frozen beverage, is celebrating the practice of flavor-mixing and urging its frozen-drink fans to become bonafide Slurpee MixMakers. Using the wide array of colors and flavors available at 7-Eleven stores nationwide, fans can mix and match

Energy-Efficient Tips for Controlling Costs

Choosing the right equipment  and honing maintenance procedures will help to significantly reduce energy expenses. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience stores looking to save money on operating costs should start examining their cooler and lighting expenses, in addition to the lighting inside the coolers—for simple ways to save big bucks. Canastota, N.Y.-based Nice N

Food Fight at the Breakfast Bar

While convenience stores continue to battle QSRs for coffee sales, a new clash has ensued for the morning daypart as a whole. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Despite busier lifestyles, breakfast remains the most important meal of the day to most customers. The Food Channel’s recent breakfast survey found that 95% of respondents viewed their

Industry Steps Up to Support Japan, Charitable Causes

Convenience stores continue to play an important role in raising much-needed funds in times of trouble. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. When disaster strikes, convenience stores are often at their best stepping up to support the community. But what makes the industry so special is that it often continues to give back long after the

Pump & Pantry Poised for Growth

With an innovative store design, an updated fresh food offering and a new loyalty program in the works, the Nebraska chain is set for a strong 2011. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Pump & Pantry Convenience Stores is pushing forward with an aggressive plan to redesign its chain of 43 stores. The Grand Island, Neb.

Kum & Go Welcomes New Leadership Team Members

“I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with being the primary legal advisor to a growing and dynamic company like Kum & Go,” says newly appointed vice president and general counsel. Kum & Go’s president and CEO Kyle Krause has announced the addition of Franci Phelan as the senior vice president of

Dairy Facing Higher Costs

Closer management of the dairy category will be crucial in 2011. According to the U.S. Dairy Association (USDA), dairy will be among the food groups with the highest price increases in 2011—4.5 to 5.5%—due to rising energy and cattle-feed costs. While the industry has evolved, many chains, such as Byrne Dairy Co. in Syracuse, N.Y.,

Flash Market Opens Fourth Pizza Inn

“Pizza Inn allows us to offer more than the personal pan pizza people think of at a local convenience store,” says Flash Market spokesperson. Multi-unit franchise owner Flash Market Convenience Stores has opened its fourth Pizza Inn delivery/carryout location—marking the first Pizza Inn in Saraland, Ala. Pizza Inn Inc. is an international pizza chain recognized

Mirabito Partners With U.S. Bank on Fleet Cards

“By co-branding with U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems, we’ve expanded the reach of the Mirabito fleet card and made it more valuable to our customers,” says Mirabito spokesperson. New York-based Mirabito Convenience Stores has entered into a fleet card referral agreement with U.S. Bank, a provider of universal fleet fueling and maintenance cards. Under terms