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Crafting a Beer Strategy

Microbrew sales are growing at a strong clip, while wine and spirits are also poised for a strong 2011. by: Joe Bush, Contributing Editor The near-term future of wine and craft beer sales in convenience stores involves value, flavor and products geared toward specific ethnic groups. The Brewer Association reports that while overall beer sales

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Effectively Managing the Supply Chain

Pressure to reduce costs means that wholesalers and distributors need to work with convenience store retailers to trim the fat from the industry’s distribution infrastructure. by, John Lofstock, Editor Cutting supply chain costs remains a challenge for convenience store chains large and small—one that, sooner or later, they must confront. Dealing with primary wholesalers, multiple

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Scoring Sales with Superior Sanitation

While a tidy restroom is crucial, c-store cleanliness starts with a well-kept forecourt, a quality store design and a dedicated staff that understands your expectations. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Think your c-store and restrooms are clean enough? You might want to triple check your sanitation standards, especially if your chain is pushing foodservice. According

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Courting Car Wash Customers

Strong new car sales are likely to spur more car wash trips, giving operators an opportunity to garner a strong repeat business in 2011. by, Erin Rigik, associate editor Buoyed by the likelihood of tax cut extensions and increased consumer confidence, auto sales climbed in December—great news for car wash operators as new automobile owners

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Swipe Fee Fight Returns To Capital Hill

“We’re not looking for a free ride. What we’re looking for is fair and reasonable,” notes 7-Eleven Franchisee Dennis Lane. Thursday, Feb. 17, marks the eighth public hearing on debit and credit card swipe fees. The hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. is set to be held in the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer

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Chandler Oil Gets an Upscale Facelift

David Miller renovates his flagship Chevron store in 45 days. He is expecting a 20% sales lift from his investment. When David Miller, president of Chandler Oil Chevron, decided to remodel his 3,000–square-foot Chandler, Ariz., store last year, he knew it was crucial to his customers, as well as to his business, that he keep

Four PS Food Mart stores feature a drive-through window where customers can order  cigarettes, milk and other products without leaving their car.

Connecting with the Community

For convenience store operators, being a good corporate citizen isn’t something they can take lightly. In fact giving back to the community should be considered the cost of doing business, and it should be part of a company’s long-term mission. Giving back is something Folk Oil Co. takes seriously. This fall, the company’s PS Food

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Starbucks Debuts Mobile Payments

The Starbucks Card Mobile App now offers customers with BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone and iPod touch the fastest way to pay at nearly 6,800 U.S. company-operated Starbucks stores. Starbucks has announced the launch of mobile payments in all of its U.S. company-operated stores, allowing customers to pay for in-store purchases with select smartphones. Building on the

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Sheetz Selects HighJump

Warehouse Management System (WMS) to streamline c-store replenishment and reduce IT costs. Sheetz has selected the HighJump warehouse management system (WMS) to streamline its supply chain operations that replenishment to retail locations. Sheetz began the search for a new warehouse management system as part of an initiative to lower IT costs and reduce business risk

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Starbucks To Launch 31-Ounce Drinks

Seattle-based Starbucks is rolling out a new drink size called Trenta—the chain’s biggest drink size yet, Reuters reported. At  31 ounces, the Trenta is just seven ounces larger than its Venti cups, which currently are the largest size on the Starbucks menu. The Trenta size is debuting in 14 states, including Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas,

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Susser Estimates Q4 Results

Susser Holdings Corp. expects to report same-store merchandise sales growth for the fourth quarter of 2010 of approximately 7.3% year-over-year and an increase in retail average per-store-per-week fuel volumes of 4.3%. Fourth quarter merchandise margin is expected to be in a range of 33.7-34%, and retail fuel margin is expected to be 14.7 cents to

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Attacking Shrink from All Angles

Loss prevention in retail is becoming a more challenging task as the economy stumbles along. In order to keep costs down it is important to put measures into place that will deter thieves. In a tough economy, every dollar counts. But loss prevention is often overlooked by convenience stores, even when following through on upholding

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Marketing and Social Media

In 2011, look for cause marketing to be a bigger trend. An expert panel at the U.S. Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) annual meeting revealed that the trend toward cause marketing is the next step in engaging customers and increasing loyalty. But it’s not enough just to pick a cause and throw together a promotion. Customers

Retailers are finding new ways to reach customers in the forecourt. WilcoHess,  for example, is testing vending machines at the fuel pumps.

Emerging Retail Trends

Convenience store owners should expect to embrace new technology and a fresh set of rules for communicating with today’s consumers as 2011 approaches. A  year that witnessed a whirlwind of technological advancements proved that retail is all about change. The best retailers are embracing that change and  diversifying their technology investments in order to stay

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Discount Tobacco City Takes on the FDA

When a number of major tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Inc. and National Tobacco Co., decided to take on the federal government’s ban on tobacco advertising, they were looking for one retailer to step up and join the fight. They got their wish when Frank Hinton,

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