Hinsdale’s Friendly Faces

Whether they’re spending $2 or $250,000, customers descending on the 200 block of East Ogden Ave. in Hinsdale, Ill., are likely to require some fundamental features in the products they purchase. It doesn’t matter if it’s a turkey on rye from Hinsdale Shell Food Mart at 210 East Ogden Ave. or a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

P&G Plans Car Washes in Ohio, Kentucky

After seeing strong sales at two test locations, Procter & Gamble is planning to open up to seven more Mr. Clean Performance Car Washes in southern Ohio and Kentucky. Procter & Gamble plans to test several full-service locations in the Cincinnati area before deciding to launch a national chain, though the company has yet to

Kum & Go Stores on the Auction Block

Kum & Go LLC, of West Des Moines, Iowa, has retained The Energy Exchange of Chicago to coordinate a sealed bid auction for 21 Kum & Go locations that don’t align with the company’s future plans, the company said. The sealed bid auction will include 12 locations in Iowa, three in South Dakota, two in

McDonald’s Eyes C-store Customers

McDonald’s Corp. is urging its store owners in the Western U.S. to slash large soda prices to $1 this summer in a move the company hopes will attract consumers away from convenience stores, a company memo obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business showed. "Let’s take the c-store drink out of their hands and build our transactions,"

By the Numbers

» 2 Lawsuits filed by Philip Morris USA in federal court in Los Angeles aimed at stopping the importation, distribution and sale of counterfeit cigarettes and the unauthorized use of its trademarks » 10 New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets Tesco plans to open in Las Vegas within the next few months. Despite reports the

Fuel Costs Drive Verc from Exxon to Gulf

Verc Enterprises, a Duxbury, Mass. company with 20 c-stores in the New England area, is planning to convert its Exxon stations to the Gulf brand by the end of this year. The move is being made to get a better wholesale deal on fuel, Verc CEO Leo Vercollone said. "I think Exxon is a more

McLane Show Draws Record Numbers

The Temple, Texas distributor hosts the show annually to bring its retailer and supplier partners together to help educate marketers on current industry trends and make them aware of the new products they could expect to see in the coming months. This year’s show went a step further. In addition to national and regional vendors

Steppin’ into Spring and Springing into Summerby Jim Callahan, Convenience Solutions

I recently read a great quote attributed to a one time door-to-door sales person and lately more recognizable as founder of the billion-dollar company that bears her name, Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay Ash said, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as

Retailers Salute Their Leading Suppliers

Despite the much-ballyhooed growth of chains like Walgreens, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts and Wal-Mart, it is convenience stores that remain an important daily stop for the nation’s busy consumers. As a result, convenience stores represent a powerful sales opportunity for product and service supplier companies, CSD set out to find the industry’s top performers as identified

Saluting Supplier Partners

Retailers may be on the front lines every day, but the presence of their supplier partners is palpable. It can be seen and felt in the marketing and merchandising found at the store level and in the intricate planograms category managers use to set their stores. To get a better feel for the supplier companies

Pay By Touch Shuts Down All Biometric Services

Solidus Networks, Inc., which operates as Pay By Touch, said that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base. The move was effective March 20, the company announced in a statement on Friday. On December 14, 2007, Solidus Networks filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection under Chapter

Another Satisfied Customer

On a recent tour of convenience stores in the Northeast, I came across an outstanding Mobil store in northern Maine. What caught my attention at this particular store was the clerk who immediately greeted me and told me about the store’s foodservice special that day, a homemade Boston chowder. That I was greeted was not

Dealing with Drive-Offs

With the onset of spring, retailers can count on a segment of their "consumers" filling up and driving off without paying. Increased gas prices haven’t helped the situation, but it is improving. Typically, convenience stores can experience a few gasoline thefts a week. But when prices increase, some stores see several gas thefts a day.

Open Pantry’s People Person

For Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin Inc., it’s not enough to simply offer new and innovative products to its dynamic consumer base. The variety has to be punctuated with exceptional customer service. To achieve its goal, the Pleasant Prairie, Wis. chain has always focused on hiring outstanding personnel. Last month, the company took the

Road Ranger Takes on CITGO

Road Ranger, the Rockford, Ill.-based operator of approximately 75 convenience stores and travel centers in five Midwestern states, filed claims against Venezuelan-owned CITGO Petroleum Corp. for breach of contract and violations of the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act caused by CITGO’s "unnecessary failure to supply gasoline to Road Ranger gas stations, for damaging the CITGO brand

Strong Sales for Candy

Overall retail sales are slowing at mass, dollar and grocery stores, but confectionery sales remain strong for convenience operators. The U.S. retail confectionery category generated approximately $29 billion in sales in 2007 and the profit margin for the category was approximately 35%, according to the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) U.S. Confectionery Market report released last

Finding the Right Foodservice Program

With gas margins in the gutter and operating costs nearly doubling over the past five years, the 35% margin foodservice offers has been a savior of sorts for Mike Harrell, president of Jernigan Oil Co. Inc., a fourth-generation marketer in Ahoskie, N.C. that operates 25 Duck Thru convenience stores. It doesn’t help that North Carolina,

QuickTrip Garners National Honors

Paid sabbaticals for long-timers and bonuses for part-timers helped make QuikTrip Corp. one of the nation’s top employers again this year. The convenience store chain ranked 28th in its sixth straight appearance on Fortune magazine’s "100 Best Companies To Work for" list. "We are honored to receive this award," said Chet Cadieux, president and CEO

The Building Blocks of Foodservice

Experts have long espoused the theory that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s a supposition that foodservice purveyors across the retail spectrum are clinging to as they revamp their foodservice programs focused on upscale coffee programs and product portability. NACS’ 2007 State of the industry numbers show the food category is

Overcoming Adversity

I’m not much a movie buff, but to prepare for the Super Bowl I set aside a couple of hours to enjoy a big screen classic: Rudy. I’m sure you all know the story of Rudy Ruettiger whose persistence and hard work elevated him to legendary status at Notre Dame. It’s the perfect sports movie

Leadership Tactics to Make 2008 a Pivotal Business

s you look back over 2007, you’re feeling a vague sense of discontent. Business is sluggish. Several key employees have left. And with new competitors springing up every day, you need to be at the top of your industry. Things are not terrible, but they could be a lot better. You need to turn things

Couche-Tard Realigns Retail Operations

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Chain of the Year, announced a dramatic realignment of it retail business that creates two new business units in the U.S. These units will be identified as the Southwest Division to be based in Dallas and will be comprised of the states of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New

Building a Solid Foundation

The most extraordinary structure is only as strong as it’s weakest link. The same principle applies in business. The higher up the leadership chain that weakness exists the more likely the organization is to crumble. That’s why the companies that are succeeding in the market these days are controlled by innovators that aren’t afraid to

“K” Marks the Spot

THE CONVENIENCE STORE INDUSTRY makes for a very competitive climate. With the vast number of convenience chains in business-not to mention the impinging presence of hypermarts- making a store’s presence known in a busy market can be very diffi cult. Ed Marszal and Liz Pritchard, co-owners of California Retail Management (CRM), discovered this when they

Building Breakfast Sales

Chains like McDonald’s, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have been busy overhauling their foodservice programs to capitalize on the increased demand for breakfast items, described by foodservice experts as the fastest-growing daypart segment. Convenience chains like 7-Eleven, however, are well ahead of the curve already owning a popular line of breakfast items that continues to expand.

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