CSD Exclusive: Tony Harris Departs Thorntons

Industry veteran and former NAG Chairman looks forward to next chapter in his career. By John Lofstock, Editor Retail veteran Tony Harris, the former president of Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons Inc., announced today that he is no longer with the company. Harris spent 21 of his 23 years in the convenience store industry with Thorntons. He

Honoring an Icon and a Friend

By John Lostock, Editor-in-Chief I have been covering the convenience store industry for close to 20 years as a journalist. It has been a rewarding career filled with wonderful opportunities to meet great people. As I have mentioned many times before, I first found a home in this industry back when my father served as

Leadership and a Changing Industry

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief Small- and family-owned businesses remain the backbone of the convenience store industry. Many chains have been successfully passed on from one generation to the next, but more and more, family executives these days seem to be expressing concern about passing the family business on to the next generation. This trend is

Jersey Boys

After launching a new travel center in New Jersey, New York’s Bolla Oil is now eyeing a dozen new-to-industry sites in the Garden State. By John Lofstock, Editor Bolla Oil has never been afraid to take a gamble on a unique opportunity, so when the chance to enter the New Jersey market presented itself, the

John MacDougall/NAG Memorial Scholarship Winners Announced

The National Advisory Group awards four scholarships for the upcoming school year to children of NAG members. As the founder of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, John MacDougall was a longtime supporter of the National Advisory Group (NAG). In his personal life, he was also a strong supporter of higher education. To remember John’s work

Giving Back to the Communities You Serve

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief Being a good corporate citizen isn’t something convenience store operators can take lightly. In fact, giving back to the community should be considered part of the cost of doing business, not to mention part of a company’s long-term mission In today’s competitive convenience store industry, your corporate values and what you

What C-Stores Can Learn From Submarines

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Decisions Famed management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “The productivity of work is not the responsibility of the worker, but of the manager.” This is especially true with younger employees who often lack workforce experience. This is where great leadership can have its biggest impact. Setting expectations for your

NAG Continues its Support of Higher Education

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Decisions As the founder of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, John MacDougall was a longtime supporter of the National Advisory Group (NAG). In his personal life, he was also a strong supporter of higher education. To remember John’s work and his longtime support of NAG, we are proud for

Applications Now Being Accepted for the John MacDougall/NAG Memorial Scholarship

The association will award five $1,000 scholarships to Children of National Advisory Group (NAG) members. The deadline has been extended to Friday, June 17. Registration also open for the 2016 NAG Conference in Savannah, Ga. By John Lofstock, Executive Director, National Advisory Group As the founder of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, John MacDougall was

What’s Your 10-Year Retail Strategy?

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief The world is evolving at a faster rate today than ever before. More data has been collected in the past five years than since the beginning of time. This includes data on your customers and their ever-changing needs. As the world changes, convenience stores will need to adapt. So what will the

Bob O’ Connor Appointed Chairman of WPMCA

The NAG board member and president of the Jetz convenience store chain was elevated to chairman at the association’s annual conference this week in Green Bay, Wis. The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (WPMCA) has elevated Bob O’Connor to chairman of the organization’s board of directors. O’Connor has been a member of the board

The Pressures Facing Family Businesses

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief, Convenience Store Decisions According to the Small Business Administration, family businesses comprise 90% of all business enterprises in North America, and 62% of the U.S. employment. Yet, only a third of these businesses make it to the second generation, 12% to the third generation, and only 3% are a fourth-generation entity.

CSD Exclusive: Sunoco CEO Blasts Sale Rumors

In a letter to Sunoco employees obtained by Convenience Store Decisions, Bob Owens called media reports “erroneous” and said Energy Transfer Equity “has no interest in selling.” By John Lofstock, Editor While rumors continue to swirl that Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) is looking to sell off Sunoco, Sunoco’s CEO Bob Owens moved swiftly to squash

How to Track Customer Trends

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief When discussing some future opportunities recently with human resources consultant Mel Kleiman, a good friend and confidant, he cautioned that opportunities to expand your business are constant. It’s knowing when to pounce that really matters. “Never let a good idea get in the way of a great idea,” he said. It’s

How Kwik Trip Stays Focused on Fresh

Paul Servais leads the retailer’s efforts to drive foodservice sales. By John Lofstock, Editor While foodservice represents an extraordinary opportunity for convenience store retailers to grow sales, boost profits and swipe customers away from competitors, it is just another in-store category and needs to be treated as such. This means that while the category remains

Uphoff Details Terms of the Dion’s Deal

Steve Uphoff tells CSD  he will keep the Dion’s brand and looks to grow operations in South Florida through acquisitions and building new sites. “We’re looking for more,” he said. By John Lofstock, Editor While the deal to acquire Dion’s Quik Mart’s by Steve Uphoff closed on Monday, it was a match 11 years in

CSD EXCLUSIVE: Dion’s Quik Marts Acquired by Uphoff Ventures

Acquisition allows the former owner of the Uppy’s convenience store chain in Virginia to reenter the c-store business, this time in South Florida. By John Lofstock, Editor Dion’s Quik Marts, the family-owned South Florida convenience store founded by Larry and Florence Dion in 1948, is has been sold to Chester, Va.-based Uphoff Ventures, Convenience Store

Young Executives Organization (YEO) Names Three New Board Members

Lindsay Lyden, of Truenorth Energy; Jeremie Myhren, of Road Ranger; and Bart Stransky, of RaceTrac Petroleum will help lead the National Advisory Group’s YEO for 2016/17. The board also announces that registration is open for the YEO Roundtable in April hosted by RaceTrac. The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) Young Executives Organization (YEO) is pleased to

Scott Hartman and Denise Keane Honored By AJC

A CSD Exclusive. Leaders recognized for their ongoing commitment to numerous charitable causes and social diversity. By John Lofstock, Editor Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s Farm Stores and Denise Keane, executive vice president and general counsel for Altria, were honored with the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) National Human Relations Award at the Harmonie

Preparing Young Leaders for Future Challenges

Taking a closer look at the young executives and up-and-comers making their mark at chains across the country. By John Lofstock, Editor Throughout my 20 years of covering the convenience store industry, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people, develop lifelong friendships and watch in awe as teams of experienced professionals have learned

How Family Express Became 2015 C-Store Chain of the Year

The Valparaiso, Ind. chain is a finely-tuned machine, excelling in self-distribution, foodservice, recruiting and training employees. Its commitment to excellence earns it Chain of the Year honors. By John Lofstock, Editor Innovation, outstanding operations, superior leadership and an ongoing commitment to con- venience retailing are the common characteristics of the best convenience store chains in

Recognizing Next-Generation Leaders With 40 Under 40

Nominate your next-generation leader today. The convenience store industry proves time and again that innovation and hard work are the foundation that supports steady, meaningful growth. This growth isn’t only important from a sales standpoint, but is vital to a company’s long-term stability when analyzing the human element. Convenience store companies must be able to

Incoming NACS Chairman Discusses the State of the Industry

Jack Kofdarali, president of J&T Management in California and the incoming NACS chairman, discusses the obstacles retailers will face over the next year and the benefits of political advocacy. By John Lofstock, Editor The convenience store industry continues to evolve, becoming a bigger part of the American consumers’ daily lives. In 2014, the industry again

Recognizing NAG Leadership

Toot’n Totum’s David Johnson receives the National Advisory Group’s inaugural Lifetime Award for Convenience Retailing. By John Lofstock, Editor The National Advisory Group (NAG), a convenience store trade association focused on small, mid-sized and family-owned businesses, has a long history dedicated to helping convenience store owners improve their businesses through education and networking. Through the

KickBack Points to Showcase Industry-Leading Loyalty Solution at the 2015 NACS Show

The technology company will be on hand to showcase its innovative loyalty solutions at booth 5427 for convenience store and petroleum operators of all sizes at convenience store industry’s premier conference in Las Vegas Oct. 11-14. KickBack Points knows retailers have many questions when it comes to implementing a loyalty solution. That’s why the Idaho-based