Breaking Down the PACT Act

Convenience store owners scored a major victory in March when the House and Senate passed the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act in a near unanimous vote, which forbids the U.S. Postal Service from delivering cigarettes directly to consumers. At presstime, President Obama was expected to sign the bill into law. The PACT Act aims

Kum & Go Fights Interchange Fees

Kum & Go, L.C. has collected more than 40,000 signatures from customers wanting to  control and reduce credit and debit card swipe (or interchange) fees put on customer transactions.  The signatures were collected in one month from all Kum & Go stores as part of NACS’ Fight Swipe Fees petition drive. “Kum & Go joined

NATO Trade Show Gains Support

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported that key manufacturers have formally committed to its 2011 trade show and conference in Las Vegas. Supporters currently include Altadis USA, Swisher International, Swedish Match, Republic Tobacco, National Tobacco Co., King Maker Marketing, Smoker Friendly International and Zippo Lighter Co. During NATO’s annual awards dinner last month,

Brothers at the Helm

Jimmy McCarthy III, vice president of sales and operations for Tom Thumb Food Stores, still remembers the Saturday morning his dad, Jim McCarthy Jr., owner and president of Tom Thumb, woke him up to begin his career in the convenience store industry. “He said, ‘wake up, you’re not going to sleep all day.’ I said,

Social Networking Takes Retail by Storm

Speedy Personalized DealsChristianna Frizzell, customer relationship manager for Speedway SuperAmerica, said the best online responses will come from email blasts and text message campaigns if you know your demographic and keep contact timely and relevant. It can also be helpful to look at how customers are contacting you. For example, are they emailing or calling

Using ATMs to Drive Profits

For many years ATMs were nothing more than large boxes hiding in the corner of convenience stores across the country. Over the years, though, that strategy has evolved as in-store real estate became more valuable and marketers looked for every edge to attract new customers. As such, retailers these days are faced with three distinct

The Shack Pushes the Bounds of Convenience

As all convenience store chains look for innovative ways to drive sales as tobacco and gas margins decline, they might take note from an unlikely teacher—a small town store in Grandy, Minn., whose unique offerings are going to new lengths to meet consumer demands. Though only 1,100 square feet, “The Shack on 65” packs the

Efficient Exit Strategies Sweeten Candy Profits

Developing an effective exit strategy for candy and reviewing product performance regularly can boost profits in the candy segment. “On a basic level you want to discontinue the slow moving items that rank in the bottom of the category to bring in something new that is going to contribute sales and margins to the category,”

J&H Family Stores Rebuilds and Flourishes

Just eight months ago, J&H Oil watched its Stanton, Mich., location burn to the ground after a drunk driver crashed into the store and ignited the fire that would destroy the building and the attached Subway restaurant. But with hard work, dedication and a little bit of innovation, the chain was able to rebuild the

What Do Your Restrooms Say About You?

When it comes to sanitation and store cleanliness, looks speak for themselves. Whether it’s the front counter, the forecourt or the restrooms, convenience store operators must monitor the message they are sending to customers. “If you’re in this business and want to stay in this business your customer is going to tell you what their

Calming the Beverage Storm

As marketing category manager for Mansfield, Ohio-based EZ Energy USA Inc., Deb Davis oversees the beverage category and makes the critical call as to which products head to the cooler, and which don’t make the cut. Having just finished meeting with soda vendors to finalize the 2010 soda contracts, Davis is now busy overseeing beer

Keeping It Fresh

Now that customers are used to finding fresh food at their local c- stores the pressure is on the roller grill to maintain its share of foodservice sales. Thanks to the innovation of retailers and suppliers alike, the roller grill continues to turn out strong sales. Chains are bundling meals with fountain drinks and chips

Breaking into Branding

Branded Check List Retailers planning to add a branded foodservice program should consider the start up cost as well what long-term factors will influence profitability such as additional labor and rising food costs. “You have to decide what’s best for you,” said Sandy Arrasmith of J&H Family Stores. “Take a look at the brand you

The Coffee Cup Hotel

C-stores are known for providing a myriad of services, but could your stores house customers for the night if the weather turned bad? Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, which operates eight 24-hour locations in the Dakotas and Wyoming, is no stranger to hosting overnight guests at its Summit, S.D. location, where winter storms have been known

Community Cries Foul Over Canned Canine

Customers are standing behind their favorite convenience store employee, Cody, a chocolate Labrador recently banned from his post at a BP convenience store in Clearwater, Fla., by the state’s Department of Agriculture. Cody had long accompanied store-owner Karim Mansour to the store a couple times a week, except during a short period of time when

Aztex Buzzing Over Beer Sales

When beer sales were made legal last August in formerly dry Clay County, N.C., Aztex Fuel & Food Centers’ Hayesville location was ready to pounce, becoming the first c-store in the market to supply cold suds. Aztex, an experienced c-store marketer, knew from its other stores that alcohol sales can drive foot traffic and increase

Super Quik Named Kentucky Store of the Year

The Kentucky Grocers Association and Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KGA/KACS) honored Flatwoods, Ky.-based Super Quik Inc. and its president G. Lynn Rice with the 2009 Kentucky Convenience Store of the Year last month. Rice accepted the award on behalf of all the Super Quik employees at KGA/KACS’s annual meeting. “It’s nice to be recognized

Employee Appreciation Goes A Long Way

Carl Singleton has had a whirlwind career, rising through the ranks at Worsley Operating Corp. His colleagues describe him as a “force to be reckoned with” who has made a positive impact on his company since joining the team in 2006. Singleton embarked on his career in the c-store industry 14 years ago, beginning as

NACS Showcases Cool New Products

Cool Products Unveiled The top new items viewed by retailers at the NACS Show include: • Dippin’ Stix Healthy Snacks, Reichel Foods Inc. • Pringles Extreme Peggable Bags, Procter & Gamble Distributing Co. • Eclipse ELS, ElectraLED Inc. • Stride Gum, Cadbury North America • Dole Fruit Bowls in a Clear Merchandise Glide, Dole Food

Pennington Prospers with Pizza

Inside the Numbers What do one million personal-size pan pizzas add up to? According to the folks at Hot Stuff Foods, about 550,000 pounds in all. It includes 250,000 pounds of dough, 150,000 pounds of custom blended cheese and 62,500 pounds of sauce, plus the meat toppings and vegetables. One million personal-size pan pizza boxes,

New Products Keep Food Sales Fresh

Sophisticated customers are demanding foodservice programs that keep the menu fresh by rotating options and adding new products and flavors. Dan Rotherham, director of operations at Feather Petroleum Inc., which operates 18 Stop ‘n Save c-stores in Colorado, has seen firsthand how adding new products and streamlining store menus has helped business. “We strive to

Building a Strong Team

It’s been quite a year for Valerie Conley. On the heels of being named Nice N Easy Manager of The Year, she received a promotion to district manager, her former store in Carthage, N.Y. was honored as Retail Store of the Year by the Carthage Chamber of Commerce and she is about to graduate with

Meeting the Demand for Meat Snacks

Meat snack manufacturers are going after the teen demographic, solidifying them as the product’s target audience, and introducing new flavors and varieties to meet the changing needs of consumers. Many retailers agree flavored meat sticks are driving the category. “Flavors products are strong right now whether it’s the hot, teriyaki or the smoked,” said Bill

Q Stop Earns Green Achievement Award

Q Stop convenience stores was honored with the Green Idea Group’s Green Achievement Award for reducing electric power use and costs by 64% after installing a new canopy lighting system at its store in O’Fallon, Mo. Q Stop, which operates six stores in the St. Louis metro area and is owned by Jones Oil Co.,

Clifford Fuel Takes it Nice N Easy

As one of the largest franchisees of the Nice N Easy convenience store brand, Clifford Fuel Co. Inc., a petroleum marketer and c-store retailer throughout central and northern New York, pairs the brand recognition and reach of a large c-store chain with the more intimate management of a small franchise. Founded in 1961, the Utica,

css.php