Man paying with credit card at grocery store

Reaching Data Security

Retailers should know how PCI and EMV will impact their stores in coming months. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor As 2014 winds down, retailers face new regulations regarding credit and debit cards, potential fraud and security requirements, plus a late 2015 deadline for mandatory new technology. Retailers on Jan. 1, 2015 will be subject to

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Tea for Two…and More

The demand for tea grows as more consumers seek out healthy beverages. C-store chains like QuikTrip are responding by offering up to 10 flavors of fresh-brewed teas. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Texas technology professional Sheryl Thompson spent about a decade drinking four 12-ounce cans of brand-name soda every day. When Thompson wanted to lose

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Top Shelf Retailing

Shelf tags are becoming an increasingly important component of reducing out-of-stocks and providing a better customer service experience. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Before heading to his neighborhood gym, Terrance Stewart of Fort Worth, Texas, stopped at a local convenience store to pick up an energy drink. He selected his favorite from the cooler and

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Tea for Two … and More

The demand for tea grows as more consumers seek out healthy beverages. Texas technology professional Sheryl Thompson spent about a decade drinking four 12-ounce cans of brand-name soda every day. When she wanted to lose weight, she adopted unsweetened iced tea as her beverage of choice, began eating better and exercising on a regular schedule.

Hackers behind TARGET data breach are looking for crackers to decrypt Credit card PINs

Don’t be a Target for Hackers

Following a breach at Target and a host of other incidents, retailers are seeking security solutions despite being PCI compliant. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor The business world was stunned —and consumers outraged—when retail giant Target, with almost 2,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada, admitted to a major security breach in late 2013. According

Image: Shelves lay empty at a Wonder Bread Hostess Bakery Outlet in Glendale

Monitor, Measure and Manage to Prevent Store Out-of-Stocks

The competitive retail business dictates that retailers must keep their shelves stocked to drive new sales and repeat business. By Pate Pape, Contributing Editor Problem: Controlling out-of-stock situations. Solution: Using smarter technology systems can keep items on the shelves. Back before the widespread use of POS technology, managers of Flash Foods convenience stores would regularly

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Winning Over Foodservice Customers

Fresh ingredients, a great presentation and knowledgeable employees will help convenience store retailers grow their foodservice sales.  By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Competition is getting tougher in the foodservice arena. Convenience stores and QSRs now go after the same targeted demographic: households with incomes below $50,000, according to Bloomberg Industries, a business research organization. That

Energy

The Energy Category Maintains Vitality

Two-ounce shot and can sales have been on an upward growth trajectory since 2010 and with the economy improving the category is expected to continue on this positive growth path.     By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Despite speculation that the energy category would bottom out, the drinks, shots and mixes that perk up fatigued consumers

Surveillance Camera And Young Man In Hooded Sweatshirt

Safe and Secure in the Convenience Store

Prominently placed security cameras can help deter potential thieves and identify those who do steal. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Thanks to the Internet, store operators concerned about shrink, shortage and safety now have the ability to videotape all in-store activities, plus monitor their outlets in real time from virtually anywhere in the world using

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Security is an Everyday Business Practice

From PCI compliance to loyalty programs, ensuring customers that their private information is secure is essential in gaining their trust. But the rules keep changing so retailers need to stay focused to remain in compliance with current security standards. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. In November, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC),

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Keeping Your Customers Connected with WiFi

With the proliferation of Smartphones, iPads and laptops, now more than ever your “always on” customers expect wireless Internet access where they go.By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. In 1993 when Brett Stewart was speaking to top technology gurus at a conference in San Francisco, he predicted that the world would eventually enjoy the benefits of

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Speeding Through the Breakfast Zone

Consumers are looking for fast service, fresh ingredients and value pricing when it comes to a breakfast program. How competitive is your morning offering? By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Everyone knows that breakfast is important. Over the years, research has shown that adults who eat breakfast are generally healthier, weigh less and have a reduced

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Mixed Smoke Signals for C-Stores

By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor.Tobacco customers and products are changing. Convenience store retailers must adapt to maintain category sales. It’s no secret that traditional cigarette use is declining. According to Gallup research, about 20% of Americans smoke at least one cigarette each week, which is down from the all-time high of 45% in 1955. Since

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Managing Network Security

To maintain the trust of your customers and to protect your business against liability issues, convenience stores must maintain the integrity of their credit and debit card networks. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Think you can’t find yourself in the middle of a lawsuit for a credit card breach? Think again. Multiple class-action lawsuits have

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The Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know Now

Beginning in 2014, health insurance will be available to individuals and small businesses through state-run “exchanges.”  These will require insurance companies to compete for business in the marketplace. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Now is the time for employers to prepare to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama administration’s healthcare law

PIZZA

The Pizza Proposition

Staying one step ahead in a competitive marketplace requires planning, knowing your customers and understanding what opportunities exist in the marketplace. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Everyone loves pizza. It’s convenient, tasty and usually a good value for the money. “It’s easy, agreeable to all and enjoyable,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst for NPD Group.

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The Growing Popularity of Growler Beer

Craft on draft is showing up in more and more convenience stores as consumers drive the demand for this niche brew program. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Despite restrictions on where and how it can be sold, growler beer is a rapidly growing segment of the beer category, and convenience store operators are getting in on

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Proper Merchandising Encourages Sales

Dealing with a host of primary wholesalers, multiple DSD vendors and local foodservice providers, convenience store chains are learning to grow more efficient without sacrificing goods and services. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Like millions of Americans, Matt Paduano was traveling this summer, but he didn’t return home with a sun tan and postcards from

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Retailers Urged to Lighten Up

While LED lighting has helped many businesses reduce their carbon footprint, each retailer must decide if the endeavor is a worthy long-term investment. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. During holiday season 2011, the 74-foot Norway spruce in New York City’s Rockefeller Center was covered in 30,000 multicolored light-emitting diodes (LED). Those glowing decorations were an

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Building New Tobacco Sales

Retailers and government officials butt heads over handmade cigarettes. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Celeste Lucas likes to smoke, but she doesn’t like paying $5 a pack for cigarettes, so she took matters into her own hands and purchased a roll-your-own cigarette machine. Using loose tobacco and paper tubes, she can now create an entire

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Foodservice Trends for Hispanic Consumers

Stripes is among the growing number of convenience store chains providing an authentic Hispanic cuisine to attract this growing demographic. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Early each morning the parking lots of Stripes Convenience Stores fill up with the trucks and cars of customers wanting to purchase a hearty meal of breakfast tacos, carne guisada

ATM

ATMs and ADA: Are You Compliant?

While the new compliance standards have been on the ATM industry’s radar for many years. Fully understanding the intricacies of the new rules could be an overwhelming task for many storeowners. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. The ATM industry is currently facing the most complicated, but critical challenge it has ever encountered—managing the technical, new

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Negotiating for the Best Cost of Goods

Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. A plaque in Ray Johnson’s

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Instant Rewards for Fuel Customers

With gas prices again on the rise, consumers are pumped about loyalty programs that offer discounts on gasoline. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Today’s competitive retailing environment makes it tough to attract and keep customers, so convenience stores are turning to loyalty programs that allow the faithful to earn points as they shop and redeem

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Managing the Distribution Network

There are endless perks and possibilities for convenience store chains of all sizes that embrace self delivery. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. In the highly competitive convenience store industry, retailers must constantly search out new ways to control expenses, boost profits and improve margins. For chains of a certain size, self-distribution has the potential to

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