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Emphasizing a Strong Breakfast Business

Given that the morning daypart is such a high-growth segment, it should be no surprise that the industry’s leading retailers are focusing a lot of effort on solidifying their offerings. By John Lofstock, Editor. Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience

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Take the 2012 CSD/Kleiman HR Human Resources Benchmarking Survey

In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for the new year, Convenience Store Decisions and Kleiman HR are collaborating to provide insight into the industry’s human resources practices. For the fourth consecutive year, Convenience Store Decisions, in partnership with human resources expert Mel Kleiman is launching a confidential online survey

Finding Your Way with Foodservice

Growing up in New YORK CITY few things were as natural to me as eating out. Even now with three children, a minimum of two meals a day are eaten outside the house seven days a week. The kitchen table is more of a convenient place to store things, like takeout menus and the kids’

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Robinson Takes the Helm at NACS

Incoming chairman promotes advocacy as he prepares to battle swipe fees, fuel standards and tobacco regulations in the year ahead. By John Lofstock, Editor. Renowned author and business strategist Tom Peter once said, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” When it comes to the challenges facing the convenience store and petroleum industry over

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The Impact of Alternative Fuels

The political momentum to bring renewable energy products to the pumps is strong and growing. But with all the added costs to rebuild the nation’s petroleum infrastructure, is it worth it? By John Lofstock, Editor. Preparing for the future is a complex issue retailers should always be pondering. But in the fuel business this question

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Salinsky Honored by SIGMA

Massachusetts retailer is the 19th operator in 53 years to receive the association’s Distinguished Marketer Award. By John Lofstock, Editor. Few people have seen the convenience store and petroleum industry evolve as has Richard Salinsky, president of Best Petroleum in Lynn, Mass. With more than 50 years of experience and dedication to the industry, Salinsky

Are Customers Always Right?

As anyone even remotely associated with the service industry will tell you the customer is king. But a new book is challenging that theory and takes a critical look at the true value of disgruntled customers. For example, in a retail setting, the squeaky wheel almost always winds up getting the grease. Customers tend to

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Keeping the Menu Fresh

Foodservice customers are becoming value-conscious, a reflection of current economic conditions. Consumers are now expecting better value in terms of price, service, consistency and food quality. By John Lofstock, Editor. Bringing consumers into convenience stores to buy food requires a great offering at a good price. But with all the competition for share of stomach,

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Shell Bolsters Loyalty

The Fuel Rewards Network, an extension of its Grocer Rewards program, is enhancing the brand proposition for Shell marketers and wholesalers. By John Lofstock, Editor. The competition for customers has never been so furious. Consumers have more and more choices every day, and the right customer loyalty program has the power to make or break

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Thorntons Salutes Employees, Troops

The 2011 General Manager’s Conference in Louisville features awards for top team members and vendors and a Humanitarian Event at Fort Knox. By John Lofstock, Editor Close to 400 general managers, regional managers, company executives and corporate sponsors gathered in Louisville, Ky., this week as Thorntons Inc. kicked off its 2011 General Managers’ Conference. The

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Wholesale Gasoline Costs Mixed in Early November

Wholesale gasoline costs were mixed in major metropolitan markets across the U.S. during the first week of November, while the broader trend is moving higher despite poor demand for gasoline. Should current dynamics hold, we could see the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) U.S. retail gasoline average moving higher into the Thanksgiving holiday from a four-week

Honoring the Thorntons Culture

Pride, tradition, exceptional service, an outstanding culture and dedicated employees. These are just some of the unique qualities found in the industry’s top convenience store chains. For the past 22 years, Convenience Store Decisions has had the honor of recognizing this excellence in retailing and this year we are proud to honor Thorntons Inc. as

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NACS CAFÉ is Calling

With foodservice taking on an expanded role in convenience stores, retailers can utilize NACS CAFÉ to learn about best practices, new ideas and emerging solutions. By John Lofstock, Editor. Foodservice now accounts for nearly one in every six dollars spent inside convenience stores. Getting foodservice right is no longer just a challenge, it is absolutely

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Englefield Oil Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

Three generations of exceptional leadership and a keen focus on employees help the family business reach this distinctive milestone. By: John Lofstock, Editor. To understand the history of the convenience store and petroleum industry is to understand the individual success stories that helped build our great nation. Each company has a unique story, but their

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Motivating Employees in a Challenging Economy

Some chains just don’t have the financial resources to give out much-deserved raises and bonuses, but there are other ways to show your staff you appreciate their hard work. By John Lofstock, Editor. To say the least, the past few years haven’t been the best for business. While we have weathered a brutal recession, it’s

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Stacking the Cards In Your Favor

General purpose prepaid debit cards are rapidly gaining favor with consumers as an alternative to closed-loop gift cards. By John Lofstock, Editor. Sales of open-loop prepaid cards, issued by banks and credit card companies and able to be used at multiple establishments, are only going to go up as more consumers come to appreciate their

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The Business of Growing

Overcoming the top nine challenges for effectively growing your retail business requires true leadership and patience. By John Lofstock, Editor. The hardest step entrepreneurs take is getting their startup off the ground once and for all. The second hardest step is growing it into the best business it can be. What today’s entrepreneurs and aspiring

Tracking the Trends in Convenience Retailing

Despite the global recession, convenience stores have thrived thanks to their ability to provide fast service, quality products and great value in strategic locations. As service and location remain the industry’s primary competitive advantage over supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers, many of whom are moving into the fuel and fresh food business, convenience stores

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Updating the State of the Industry

NACS Chairman Jeff Miller discusses card fees, fuel and the future of convenience stores. By John Lofstock, Editor. Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co. in Virginia, wears many hats. He is an oilman, an industry advocate and a leader.   For the past year, he has also been the chairman of NACS, which could

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Giving Back to the Community

The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees boosts charitable funding. By John Lofstock, Editor. As part of its ongoing commitment to charitable causes, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) helped raise nearly $750,000 this year for two of its charitable partners, Hire Heroes USA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Hire

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Exercise Caution on Fuel Tanks

With retailers still unsure of what the future holds for fuels in the U.S., investing in new USTs is a risky proposition. By John Lofstock, Editor. It’s been nearly four years since then-President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act into law, requiring at least 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be

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Effectively Managing the Fuel Market

As gasoline prices trend upward, retailers are struggling to stay competitive on price while protecting their margin. By John Lofstock, Editor. The cost of fuel has been roaring up and down like a rollercoaster, and so has the risk to retailers when purchasing fuel in large quantities. Fortunes can be made by accurately predicting which

Is Big Oil Losing its Drawing Power?

For many, many years the power of the Big Oil brands was indisputable. They owned the refineries, the stations and the credit card networks to boot. While my father was an Exxon dealer and jobber for more than 30 years I distinctly remember seeing Shell and Texaco credit cards lying around the house. In those

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Wholesale Gasoline Costs Surge ahead of Irene

Gasoline suppliers and schedulers were busy in front of the last weekend in August making preparations for a massive Hurricane Irene, with worry that the storm would trigger extended outages at regional refineries, pipelines and barge deliveries in the New York Harbor—the delivery location for the New York Mercantile Exchange RBOB gasoline futures contract. Pipeline

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FDA Retail Inspections to Begin in Three States

The FDA has awarded a contract to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to begin conducting FDA sponsored retail compliance inspections, according to the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO). Also, renewal contracts for the state compliance inspections were awarded to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and the Colorado Department of Public

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