Managing the Front Line

By John Loftock, Editor The convenience store industry has come a long way over the past decade in terms of recruiting, training and retaining great employees. But the results of the ninth annual Convenience Store Industry Human Resources Survey indicate there’s still quite a bit of work to be done. Among the survey’s key findings

Identifying the C-Store Industry’s HR Challenges

The 2017 CSD/Humetrics HR Survey finds overall optimism for the year ahead, but concerns for staffing and turnover. By Mel Kleiman, President, Humetrics and John Lofstock, Editor Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics have collaborated on our ninth annual Convenience Store Industry Human Resources Survey. The results reported here are based on the respondents’ recent experiences

NAG Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Scholarships

Applications for the 2017 John MacDougall/NAG Memorial Scholarship will be accepted through May 31. We all know the importance of a well-educated workforce and the c-store landscape is certainly no exception. The National Advisory Group (NAG) scholarship fund was developed to help qualified individuals offset some of these costs. Among NAG’s core mission is to

Pump’n Pete’s Customer Scores KickBack’s Fantasy Football Grand Prize

The winner of KickBack Point’s Fantasy Football contest was feted with two tickets to the NFL’s Big Game in Houston, roundtrip airfare for two and a hotel stay near NRG Stadium. Alan Dinger, a loyal Pump’n Pete’s customer who hails from Baxter Springs, Kan., was the 2017 grand prize winner in KickBack Points’ annual Fantasy

CSD Exclusive: John Schaninger Departs QuickChek

After 38 years at the New Jersey-based chain, the retail veteran looks forward to the next chapter in his career. Following nearly four decades of service at QuickChek, John Schaninger has departed the New Jersey-based convenience store chain, Convenience Store Decisions has learned. Schaninger joined QuickChek in 1978 as an assistant manager, growing through the

S. Abraham & Sons Celebrates 90 Years in Grand Fashion

More than 1,250 retailers and suppliers were on hand last week to honor S. Abraham & Sons (SAS) as the wholesaler celebrated its 90th anniversary at its annual trade show in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Once in a lifetime you get to celebrate 90 years.” said Alan Abraham, president of S. Abraham & Sons, which distributes to

Shaping Clifford Fuel’s Future

With on-the-job training, industry veterans are helping Mike Clifford learn the ins and outs of the competitive convenience store industry. By John Lofstock, Editor Growing up in the convenience store industry is tough. It’s even tougher when the chain is growing and the pressure is on to produce positive results. Welcome to life in the

Saluting Next-Generation Leaders

By John Lofstock, editor-in-chief For many years, retail leaders have faced difficult challenges, but none more important than finding the next generation of leadership to guide the organization. Esteemed author and business consultant Jim Collins reminds us that great leadership is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is a matter of conscious choice and discipline.

QuickChek Celebrated as 2016 Chain of the Year

The New Jersey c-store chain is helping to redefine convenience by embracing cutting-edge retail technology and staying true to its foodservice roots. By John Lofstock, Editor Total Customer Dedication. It’s a phrase retailers like to use, but extremely difficult to execute. Not for QuickChek. For Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based QuickChek, Total Customer Dedication is the company

Saluting QuickChek’s Culture

QuickChek’s commitment to innovation has set it apart.  QuickChek has been  a model of consistency for nearly five decades and continues to be a shining example of the very best the convenience store industry has to offer. For its ongoing commitment to retail excellence, we at Convenience Store Decisions are proud to honor QuickChek as

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