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Chocolate Sales Boost Confections

Despite the weak economy, consumers continue to indulge in candy. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. The confectionery retail market has grown across all trade channels, but convenience stores have outpaced the overall retail market. Iconic brands (Hershey, Nestlé, Mars) prowl the chocolate landscape and provide consumers an affordable indulgence in a bitter economy. According to

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Designing a Winning OTP Strategy

Convenience stores have evolved from being a destination for cigarettes to a destination for tobacco products as a whole. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. It was inevitable that the conversation on convenience store cigar sales would shift eventually from rapid growth to supplier relations, category management and marketing. As cigarette regulations and prices and taxes

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Delivering a Winning Pizza Program

In an effort to grow its foodservice business, Casey’s is expanding its menu to include pizza delivery. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Casey’s General Stores has sold pizza for more than a quarter century making it one of the earliest convenience store chains to do so. Now, in an effort to expand its customer base,

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A Remedy for Boosting Impulse Sales

Whether it’s aspirin or shaving cream, HBC is a growing category that deserves a renewed focus. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. HBC is making a comeback from coast to coast. The category—from shampoos and skin creams to cough drops and cold remedies—has always had its rightful place in a convenience store—providing a grab-and-go remedy for

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Driving OTP Sales

While cigar sales do not approach those of cigarettes, they offer convenience stores better margins. Plus, new flavors and competitive pricing are keeping customers interested in the category. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Other tobacco products (OTP) in general and cigars in particular continue to earn more shelf space in convenience stores, and the higher

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Building Better Beer Sales

While many trends impact the beer category, the one that will most directly influence how marketers do business is the continued demand for more choices by the consumer.  By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. It’s been two years since Walgreens jumped back into the beer and wine business, and at least three convenience store operators in

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Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

When adding foodservice, retailers have many different options—each with distinct advantages. Deciding which one works best for your chain is half the battle. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. All convenience store operators should be looking at adding a foodservice solution to some degree, whether it’s simply a fresh-brewed coffee program and a roller grill or

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OTP Makes Strong Push for More Shelf Space

With flavored cigarettes no longer available in the U.S., flavored cigars are in line for sharp sales gains. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. There is no secret that cigars, specifically little cigars and flavored little cigars, have grabbed the interest of smokers who can no longer buy flavored cigarettes because of federal regulations. But there

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Packing a Foodservice Solution

Whether prepared fresh on site or delivered daily from a third-party commissary,sandwiches provide convenience stores the flexibility to promote a diverse menu. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Russell’s Convenience Stores got lucky in the mid-1990s when an upstart bakery approached the chain about selling its sandwiches at the chain’s company-owned locations. Russell’s, based in Denver,

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Energy Sales Soaring

While there may have been some concerns about the growth of shots and full-size cans, analysts report the category has never been stronger. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Brent Howard isn’t just a retailer of energy drinks and shots. He’s a user. Division manager for Sun Pacific Energy in Kennewick, Wash., Howard has seen the

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Taking Foodservice From Good To Great

With fresh food sales booming, operators are turning their attention to take-out packaging and finding that with so many options available, choosing the proper solution can be as tricky as selecting the foodservice program itself. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Convenience store foodservice programs have been big business and growing for a decade thanks to

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Enhancing Prepaid Profitability

The convenience and budgeting control features that stored valued products offer holds appeal for a wide range of Americans. By Joe Bush Contributing Editor. Prepaid’s profit potential is fueled by shifts in the marketplace, wider social acceptance and the nation’s growing population of “unbanked” lower-income consumers. And while store-level merchandising and marketing need to be

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Breaking the Cycle of Plastic

Retailers may have different strategies when it comes to ATMs, but with interchange fees at a record high, operators should be developing programs to get cash in customers’ hands to reduce card transactions. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. ATMs are ubiquitous in convenience stores, providing cash in a bright, secure, warm and mostly private environment,

Chicken is the most versatile food. You can put it in any form you want—chicken sandwiches, fried chicken, roasted chicken, hot or cold.

Chicken Fuels Foodservice Flexibility

Whether it’s grilled, baked or fried, poultry meal solutions are available in a variety of dishes that are helping operators create a diverse menu. Chicken has a “health HALO,” in the foodservice industry’s parlance, meaning consumers perceive it to be a healthy alternative to burgers and pizza. Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD

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