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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Couche-Tard Strikes Deal With Spirit Energy

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, reached an agreement to acquire 83 stores in Missouri and central the Illinois area from Spirit Energy. Of the 83 convenience stores, 69 operate under the Convenient Food Mart banner and are all company operated. The stores would be operated by the

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

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

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

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

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,"

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

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

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

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