The New Face of Convenience

The late Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s once said, “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” Well, the folks at Rutter’s must be drenched.  Fresh off the launch of its convenience store prototype in York, Pa., the executive team at Rutter’s, Scott Hartman, Jeff Leedy and Jerry Weiner,

Ethanol and Biodiesel: What You Need to Know

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made primarily by distilling grains such as corn, wheat, barley and other food crops. It is an alcohol that is mixed with gasoline when used in vehicles. Cars can run on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, but typically ethanol is only used as a fuel additive in

Green and Envied

Scott Zaremba grew up in the fuel business. As president and CEO of Zarco 66, the petroleum company his father founded in 1968, Zaremba is battle-tested in the trenches and has the scars to prove it. But what motivates this savvy industry veteran every day is the opportunity to push the boundaries of creativity and

The Wild Ride Continues

As if industry operators didn’t have enough to worry about, ExxonMobil dealers were greeted with the news that the Irving, Texas oil giant decided to exit direct-store operations by divesting 825 company-owned and -operated stations as well as 1,400 stations leased to dealers. This decision thrust those dealers into an anxious state of limbo, an

NACS: Visa’s Move to Reduce Debit Holds a “Smokescreen”

With retailers and consumers struggling from the card companies’ policy of placing excessive holds on credit- and debit-card transactions at the fuel pumps, Visa announced a plan to reduce hold times to just a couple of hours. Right now, issuing banks impose a hold on funds in their customers’ bank accounts for an amount exceeding

Reshaping the Convenience Landscape

For some marketers and distributors, Exxon Mobil Corp.’s decision to get out of direct-store operations could present the chance of a lifetime; an opportunity to acquire the rights to stores for an entire market, maybe more. For others, the announcement caused immediate fear and panic concerning the long-term viability of their operations and, in some

In the Days of Old…

Under attack from taxes, credit card fees and even some of our branded partners, retailers must continue to fight on. by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions In the days of old before crude was “liquid gold” and drive-offs were unheard of, we had low taxes and no faxes and just two blends to deal with.

7-Eleven Forging DSD Changes

7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto (pictured) fired a shot heard ‘round the industry calling for reforms to the direct store delivery (DSD) distribution system that helped grow the operator to one of the largest retailers in the U.S. The system has been used effectively for some 30 years, but the problem is, not much

Fighting Through the Pain

Everybody wants a piece of the action. That was among the key messages my father taught me when he was running his business. Though he only had three pumps and four service bays, there was no shortage of business partners or associates who wanted a cut when times were good, but were nowhere to be

Convenience Industry Study Outlined at All Candy Expo

Three industry associations are partnering on a groundbreaking research effort to identify more effective and profitable opportunities in confections. Details of the study, which was spearheaded by The Hershey Co. and Eby-Brown, were announced at the All Candy Expo in Chicago. The study is intended to help generate increased sales and profits of confectionery products

By the Numbers

» 15 Cents Discount per gallon Kroger is offering customers as part if its enhanced fuel discount program by accumulating credits through purchases made at the company’s U.S. stores. » 33 Zip Trip stores that are rebranding from 76 to Cenex. The initial conversion covers the fuel offering. Once completed, the c-stores will also be

Valero Strikes Deal with Albertsons

In a sign that Albertsons may be getting out of the fuel business or at least sharply centralizing its fuel operations, San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. reached a deal with the Boise, Idaho grocer to acquire 72 convenience stores and fueling centers in four major markets. The fueling sites are located in Texas, Colorado, Arizona

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

A Call to Arms

Richard Oneslager enjoys a good joke, so he couldn’t help sharing one of his new favorites. "Did you hear the one about the retailer who sat down with Visa to discuss his interchange fees? Of course you didn’t. Visa doesn’t sit down with retailers!" Oneslager, president of Balmar Petroleum and chairman of the National Association

NACS SOI Reveals Mixed Results

Convenience store industry sales reached a new high of $577.4 billion in 2007, but profits dropped by $1.4 billion, largely because of higher credit card fees, the 2008 NACS State of the Industry report found. Overall, industry revenues climbed only 1.4%, leveling off an extraordinary decade of growth that saw industry revenue grow more than

Fresh Look for Quick Chek

Quick Chek Food Stores, the Whitehouse, N.J. chain of more than 100 stores throughout New Jersey and New York, launched a new brand positioning complete with logo, private-label product packaging and enhanced Web site. With its new logo in the shape of a bright, lime green-colored letter "Q" with tail shaped like a dark green

Wawa Offers Gas Discounts To Customers

Wawa Inc. is trying a fuel discount program at nine stores, offering customers a discount if they pay for gas with cash rather than credit or debit cards. The discounts are a way to skirt the interchange fees charged by credit card companies, though Wawa said the savings from the new program are ultimately being

Chevron Announces Revamped Credit Cards

Chevron and Texaco personal credit cards are being reintroduced with enhanced benefits, such as no annual fee and flexible payment options. Chevron Global Marketing will offer customers newly designed Chevron and Texaco personal credit cards that offer enhanced benefits, the company said. In the coming weeks, active Chevron and Texaco cardholders will be reissued the

Convenience Industry Study Outlined at All Candy Expo

Three industry associations are partnering on a groundbreaking research effort to identify more effective and profitable opportunities in confections. Details of the study, which was spearheaded by The Hershey Co. and Eby-Brown, were announced at a press conference at the All Candy Expo Wednesday in Chicago. The study is intended to help generate increased sales

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

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

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

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

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