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The Essence of Leadership

Developing a service-oriented retail strategy can create highly successful teams for c-store owners. We all know the types of people who make great leaders, right? They’re the talented ‘wunderkinds’ who are poised to change the industry. Or, are they the industry veterans who have done it all and seen it all? Are they the capable,

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Gulf Oil Expands Into Alabama

Bumpers Oil Co. converts to Gulf brand. Gulf Oil LP, one of the fastest growing branded marketers of energy products in the U.S., announced a new partnership with Bumpers Oil Co., a distributor of petroleum products in Alabama. The new relationship returns the iconic motor fuel brand to communities in “The Yellowhammer State” for the

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Recruit the Best (& Skip the Rest)

If you make the effort to find and recruit the best hourly employees, you will add value to your organization now and in the future because you’re recruiting the kind of people who can give you a competitive edge. When it comes to recruiting hourly employees, the sixth annual Convenience Store Decisions/Kleiman HR Human Resources

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COGO’s Partners With OpenStore to Drive Customer Loyalty

Launches Web-based and mobile technology. CoGo’s Co., a convenience store chain based in Pittsburgh, embarked on a brand-new marketing strategy with OpenStore by GasBuddy to extend special discounts and offers to their valued customers. OpenStore is a complete digital marketing solution to help convenience store owners and managers concentrate on reaching and rewarding their customers

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MAPCO Installing New Marketing Technology

Partners with Gilbarco Veeder-Root to add marketing technology across 220 sites by the end of 2014. MAPCO recently partnered with Gilbarco Veeder-Root to install the Impulse upselling platform across 220 sites by the end of 2014. MAPCO, which operates 375 stores in the southeast, is using the Impulse platform to drive dynamic digital content at

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RaceTrac To Kick Off 4th Annual Free Coffee Week

CSD’s 2014 Chain of the Year Award Winner to celebrate free coffee week Oct. 12 – 18. In an effort to encourage busy commuters not to “drool and drive,” RaceTrac welcomes guests to visit one of its more than 370 locations to grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a donut or muffin “made

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MotoMart, Holmes Oil, Par Mar, Star Fuels Sign With Acumera

Acumera releases dual WAN failover app. Acumera announced the latest addition to its Apps for Your Network suite of services: the Dual WAN Failover App. The new app provides high availability wide area network (WAN) connectivity for convenience stores by automatically switching to a secondary connection whenever occasional interruptions in the primary connection occur. Uniquely,

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Mitigating Risk to Protect Your Business

More and more companies are investing in cybersecurity insurance, which is designed to mitigate losses from a variety of cyber incidents, including data breaches, business interruption and network damage. The dangers of Internet hacking and cyber thefts continue to make the headlines. This fall, Home Depot discovered a data breach that had apparently been going

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Beautifying Sales

Knowing what women want—and expect—can help c-stores understand how to grow the HBC category. Howard Riell, Associate Editor As convenience stores look to attract more female customers, industry figures indicate that the health and beauty care (HBC) category offers retailers an opportunity they might not have considered before. While no one is claiming that c-stores

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Rally Those Referrers on Social Media

If your business is providing value to its customers, you already have loyal fans. Annie Tsai explains how to turn them into active referrers who spread the word about what you have to offer—and help you grow your business. A CSD Staff Report Picture this: After a long day’s work, you sink onto the couch

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How Can Employees Show Customers They Care?

It doesn’t take a big-business budget to make customers feel special. All you need is a little creativity and a personal touch. Caring about customers is one of the best ways to differentiate your business and gain long-term consumer loyalty. But how can employers incorporate such a “soft” skill into their operation? “Your best strategy

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Are Employees Sabotaging Your Company?

Consultants Julie Miller and Brian Bedford share 10 employee types  whose attitudes and actions are sabotaging your company’s accountability,  costing you money, and sending customers running for the hills. We all know what it’s like to be promised, “I’ll get back to you on that question,” only to never hear another word. Likewise, we’ve all

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Banking on Cigarettes

Declining sales, consolidation and consumer alternatives pose challenges for retailers who rely on cigarette sales to maintain margins. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Cigarettes Are still a vital c-store category despite recent declining sales. Restrictive regulations and new competition in the form of both dollar stores and alternative products like e-cigarettes and vapor tanks are

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Packaging Precision

When mulling food packaging options, label appeal and on-the-go performance are important considerations. By David Bennett, Senior Editor At a time when consumers increasingly perceive private label, food retail brands as competitive with big-name brands in terms of cost and quality, innovative packaging solutions can add value to a convenience store’s take out food program.

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Hola to Ethnic Breakfasts

Handheld, ethnic breakfast offerings, such as tacos, tortillas, empanadas and kolaches, are hot stuff everywhere from quick-service restaurants to convenience stores around the country. Retailers explain how they are spicing up their breakfast sales with these ethnic edibles. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Mexican in the morning is now mainstream, said Aaron Noveshen, founder and

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Menu Makeover

New flavors and small portion snacks can add excitement to an otherwise traditional foodservice menu. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Convenience store retailers pursuing proprietary foodservice have the challenge of keeping menus exciting and innovative, while still offering tried-and-true favorites that keep regulars coming back for more. Snacks and appetizers are one menu section where

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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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NACS: Must Go Show of 2014

Last minute tips for getting the most out of the NACS Show. By Jim Callahan It happens just once a year and it’s almost here. Unlike any other c-store trade show, the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show must be experienced live. Whether you’re as large a chain as 7-Eleven or operate a single

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7-Eleven Powers Up its Fresh Foods Menu

7-Eleven marks the first retailer to offer Tony Horton Kitchen Foods. Celebrity health and fitness expert Tony Horton has teamed with 7‑Eleven Inc. to launch a new line of healthy and nutritious foods and cold-pressed juices under the Tony Horton Kitchen label. Tony Horton, the master behind the best-selling fitness program, Beachbody P90X, is a

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Wells Fargo Offers Insights On Non-Combustible Nicotine Industry

Following the recent ECig Vegas Conference Wells Fargo offers key takeaways, predictions. Wells Fargo Securities recently spoke on the “Views From Wall Street” panel at the ECig Vegas Industry Conference. “After attending/speaking at this conference, we continue to sense uncertainty around the broad vapor category, likely driven by eventual increased regulation and where the industry

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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. 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 headed toward the sales counter.

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Debit-Card Reform Helps Consumers Save Almost $18 Billion

Reform also supported 100,000 new jobs in three years. As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, Congress reformed the debit-card swipe fees that banks charge merchants. The regulations have now been in effect three years. In that short time, the debit reform—known as the Durbin Amendment for the senator who introduced it—has created

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Tri-Lakes Petroleum Opens New Location

Shows customer appreciation with event and giveaways. On Aug. 20, local CITGO Marketer Tri-Lakes Petroleum LLC and CITGO Petroleum celebrated the grand opening of its newest location in Kalamazoo with a customer appreciation event. As part of the celebration, more than 150 locals gathered at the new station, located at 6300 E Michigan Ave., to

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Hershey Wins P3 Impact Award

CocoaLink Program recognized for improving the lives of cocoa farmers in Ghana. The Hershey Co. was honored at the Concordia Summit with the prestigious P3 Impact award for its CocoaLink mobile phone program in Ghana. Cocoa experts create weekly text and voice messages based on the cocoa-growing calendar and farmers use their own mobile phones

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Making Prepaid Pay

Marketing, merchandising and knowing customers’ needs are keys to expanding prepaid profitability. Research indicates that the amount of money spent at retail on prepaid services continues to grow in the U.S. But that may not necessarily mean the category will pay off handsomely for every c-store operator. The total dollars loaded through retail card malls grew

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