yogurt

FastLane Finds Sweet Success

Warrenton Oil Co. launches its Swirls n Sweets frozen yogurt concept in its convenience stores and in a standalone format. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Warrenton Oil Co. knows first hand that staying versatile in an ever-changing industry is the key to long-term success. This past fall, the owners of the FastLane convenience store chain

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Keeping Foodservice Equipment Efficient

Due diligence and proper maintenance can protect your investment and help keep your kitchen tools running longer. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Choosing the right foodservice equipment can be an often overwhelming task given the range of options available to retailers today. Efficient cooking equipment from induction cooktops, clamshell griddles, convection ovens and combi ovens

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Are Your Restrooms Ready?

From mystery shoppers to checklists, creating benchmarks for employees and evaluating their success can curb customer complaints. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. A Harris Interactive survey compiled in 2011 revealed that 94% of U.S. adults would avoid a business in the future if they encountered dirty restrooms.  And with foodservice infiltrating convenience stores at a

(From left), Eric Huppert, president of Team Oil Inc., Carrie Vanasse, the newly appointed head of operations and Tony Huppert, CEO, celebrate Vanasse’s college graduation.

Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow

Team Oil secures its future as an employee-focused organization by promoting from within. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Tony and Eric Huppert, owners of Team Oil Inc. of Spring Valley, Wis., have promoted Carrie Vanasse to head of operations, following Tony’s announcement this year of his upcoming retirement. The succession plan was implemented to secure

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Convenience Store Count Reaches 149,220

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which now account for 62.9% of all convenience stores. The U.S. convenience store count increased to a record 149,220 stores as of Dec. 31, 2012, a 0.7% increase (1,094 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2013 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count. The

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Retailers Exchange Ideas at the Annual NAG Conference

Educational sessions designed for convenience store executives and plenty of networking highlighted the National Advisory Group’s 2012 meeting in New Orleans.    By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers and suppliers converged at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans in September for four days of strategic educational sessions on burning issues facing the industry and

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Cenex Seizes Success

Company-owned Cenex Zip Trip stores feature a revamped look and a new line of fresh foods, while the Cenex-branded network is driving sales with a renewed retail design and a loyalty partnership with Cabela’s. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. CHS Inc. is surging into 2013 with exciting new convenience store designs for its two primary

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Sustainable Steps for Conserving Energy

Kum & Go goes large with LEED certification, while smaller operators are opting for lighting upgrades. What can your store do to grow sustainability? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Regardless of a convenience store chain’s size, opportunities exist for improving the bottom line through energy efficiency, both by reducing operations costs and by attracting environmentally-focused

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Bettering Restroom Practices

When it comes to store perception cleanliness counts, especially if your site offers foodservice. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. If your c-store aims to be taken seriously as a foodservice destination, image is everything. Retailers who spend as much time focusing on the cleanliness of their store and maintaining a pristine restroom as they do

POP

Coke Brings Innovation to the Next Level

New Shopper Experience Innovation Center allows retailers to test concepts in mock stores with real customers. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The Coca-Cola Co. has launched a Shopper Experience Innovation Center (SEIC) in Atlanta. The 15,000-square-foot facility opened last May and contains two retail environments that can be converted from a supermarket to a drug

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Small Business Management

By: John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Running a small business has its share of ups and downs. When I launched Gray Cat Enterprises nearly nine years ago, running my own small business has been both rewarding and challenging. Gray Cat has enabled me to establish greater balance in my life

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Data Security and Evolving Payment Systems

Geolocation, QR codes and NFC are just some of the technologies changing they way people pay at retail. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In an ever-evolving world of payment technology, there’s no time for retailers to rest on their laurels when it comes to managing data security. Most c-store chains that intend to strive for

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Mobile Wallet Race Intensifies

Isis, with the support of Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Wayne, launches in Texas and Salt Lake City as it looks to gain traction in the growing mobile payments industry. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Isis, a mobile commerce joint venture by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, introduced its long-anticipated Isis Mobile Wallet last month,

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Raising the Bar on Neighborhood Stores

After an extensive remodel and the introduction of Tedeschi Fresh Foods, Elizabeth Constantine’s franchise unit has seen its sales soar. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. As a long-time franchisee of Tedeschi Food Shops, Convenience Store Decisions’ 2012 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, Elizabeth Constantine has been impressed with how well Tedeschi looks after its

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Chevron And Safeway Craft An Ideal Partnership

In any loyalty program, simplicity is crucial to customer adoption. Chevron and the Vons division of Safeway Inc. have partnered to offer a joint Reward Points loyalty program. Customers who earn gas rewards by shopping with their VonsClub Card at Vons stores or a ValuePlus Card at Pavilions stores now can spend their rewards of

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RFID Chips Inspiring Fraud

A special report by WTHR News 13 discovered that RFID (radio frequency identification) chips inside specific credit cards are offering thieves a new, easy way to steal credit card data. Cards with RFID tags can be identified by a symbol featuring four curved lines, or by the words payPass, payWave or Blink. Customers with these

coolnewproducts

Cool New Products Room Previews Record Number Of Items

Retailers weigh in on what stood out to them among the rows of new products in the Cool New Products Preview Room. At the NACS Show that ran Oct. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, attendees had the chance to view the Cool New Products Preview Room and check out what’s new and cool

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Gain Loyalty by Growing Trust

Identifying and meeting customers’ needs and wants, while also respecting their privacy, is the formula for cultivating a successful rewards program. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience stores know loyalty is crucial to keeping customers coming back for more, but it’s what you do with the information collected—and how you maintain your customers’ trust—that can

Prototype design by Big Red Rooster.

Duchess Shoppes Gets A Makeover

CSD’s 2012 Foodservice Makeover winner gets help from a panel on experts on how to grow its foodservice operation. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience Store Decisions revealed the Englefield Oil Co. Duchess Shoppes preliminary Foodservice Makeover results during a session at the NACS Show in Las Vegas. The 2012 Convenience Store Decisions’ Foodservice Makeover

PARKERS

Parker’s Convenience Stores Garnering National Attention

Georgia chain debuts on Inc. magazine’s celebrated list of fastest growing companies. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The Parker Cos. Inc., with 27 convenience stores throughout southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina, has scored the No. 3006 spot on the annual Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. It’s the first time the c-store chain has

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The Economics of Energy Efficiency

Convenience stores and many other retail segments have been able to slash operating costs with LED lighting and other equipment upgrades. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience store chains big and small are finding ways to save money while improving the store experience for customers with energy efficient technologies. When Wawa Inc. was searching for

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Learning from Wyndham’s Data Breach

How you respond before, during and after your credit card data has been compromised will have a major impact on your chain’s ability to survive a security fiasco. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In today’s high tech world, no one is immune to a breach. This June, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued hotel dynasty

caseys

Casey’s Takes Charge

With an aggressive expansion and remodeling plan underway, Casey’s General Stores is in firm control of its future and sits atop the list of Chains to Watch in 2013. By: Erin Rigik, associate editor. Casey’s General Stores has come a long way in two years. The convenience store chain is branching into new territory, pushing

U-PAK-IT’s Business Model Proves Successful

U-PAK-IT Corp., the third largest Louisiana-based c-store chain, features a unique business model that helps mom-and-pop stores unite to compete in an industry that often eats single stores for breakfast. The first U-PAK-IT store was opened in Winnsboro, La., in 1986. The company quickly grew when a number of neighborhood stores, faced with rising prices

Family Express Debuts New Corporate Headquarters

Valparaiso, Ind.-based Family Express is celebrating the opening of its new corporate headquarters. The 30,0000-square-foot facility not only features offices and a fitness center, but combines its Valparaiso, Ind., and Lafayette Ind., training centers into one  cyber training center, including a fully-merchandised Family Express store, built to scale with equipment and gas pumps. The new

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