JohnNew

Trends in Convenience Retailing

By John Lofstock, Editor Despite the domestic recession, convenience stores have thrived thanks to their ability to provide fast service and quality products in strategic areas. As service and location remains the industry’s primary competitive advantage over grocery stores and big-box retailers that are moving into the fuel and fresh foods arenas, convenience stores have

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Recognizing Critical Worth

Never forget that one cost of employee turnover is the loss of familiarity between your staff and the customers. By Jim Callahan Last month, I wrote on the topic of employee turnover and the small, but important, actions that employers can take to ensure a more productive workforce. Sometimes when retailers lose a staff member,

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U.S. Gasoline Prices Take Dive as OPEC Stands Pat

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric Far from unexpected, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rolled over their production quota at their meeting in Vienna, Austria, during the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday, triggering a steep selloff in thinned down trading for crude oil and gasoline futures. The 12-member producer group at their

GasPumpsLR

U.S. Gasoline—Another Psychological Barrier Breached

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric Refining units returning from seasonal maintenance, notably along the heavy concentration of processing capacity along the U.S. Gulf Coast, during the first week of November sparked another leg down in the gasoline futures contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange that broke below psychological support at $2

GasPumpsLR

U.S. Gasoline Demand Pops As Retail Prices Break Below $3 Gallon

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric For the first time since late 2010, the U.S. retail gasoline price average for regular grade slipped below $3 gallon, with the Energy Information Administration reporting a $2.99 gallon average on Nov. 3 in its weekly survey. The average has more downside, with lower wholesale costs still working

Employees

Reducing Employee Turnover

Whether it’s at Exxon or Google, ensuring employee satisfaction is an often overlooked factor when running a business. By Jim Callahan I am, if nothing else, an unabashed copier of good ideas. Let me explain. Early in my retail career, I was tasked to try and “turn around” an Exxon distributorship noted for its dwindling

Tony Huppert

Sales Tax Reform

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. The time is now for sales tax collection reform to be taken seriously. Governors in states are suggesting that state gas tax be replaced with sales tax and that income tax be off set by raising the sales tax. I realize this is the ancient known shell game,

Operationalizing Your Strategic Plan

We have all experienced it. The dreaded process of spending hours upon hours creating a strategic business plan that maps out the goals of the organization. We develop the targets and create lofty initiatives only to see the year come and go as we scratch our heads and wonder why we didn’t achieve all our

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Diesel Demand In U.S. Seen Sliding Despite Climbing LDV Sales

By Brian Milne, energy editor, Schneider Electric The U.S. consumer’s past aversion to diesel operated light duty vehicles is subsiding as evidenced by rising vehicle sales and a broader offering of models by auto manufacturers. Despite this evolution, domestic diesel demand is expected to trend lower in 2017 and thereafter, as heavy duty vehicles increasingly

GasPumpsLR

U.S. Gasoline Futures Finds Bottom

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric The freefall in New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) traded gasoline futures looks to have been arrested, halted near long-term support at $2.1354 gallon after nose diving 62.3 cents or 23% from a late September high to mid-October low. Retail prices have more downside. NYMEX Reformulated Blendstock for Oxygenate

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Rethinking Oil Demand Expectations

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor at Schneider Electric The outlook for global oil demand suddenly got gloomy, with the futures markets for crude, gasoline and diesel selling off hard in ushering in the fourth quarter, as market participants raced to the exits, unloading long positions. A tenth of a penny increase in the U.S. retail

mel

Do You Set Your Employees Up for Success?

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics “If you keep doing what you’re doing you won’t even keep getting what you got.” Consider the third-string quarterback who asked his coach what he needed to do to make the starting lineup. The coach said, “Just keep doing what you’re doing.” Now, anyone with an ounce of sense knows that

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Tell ‘Em What They’re Doing Right

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics  During her mother’s eulogy, a daughter shared this: “My mom was also an outstanding elementary school teacher. Many of her kids gave her much of the credit when they went on to graduate from high school and college because, you see, whenever she had a child who struggled to keep up,

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Warmer Welcomes = Fatter Profits

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics Here’s proof the suggestions I make in my book, The 5 Firsts: A Simple System to Onboard, Engage & Retain Top Talent, can have a dramatic, positive effect on the bottom line. The article from Fortune magazine quoted below makes a strong case for the benefits of taking the advice I

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You Can’t Fix the Car While You’re Driving

By Mel Kleiman, Humetrics I’m always exhorting my audiences to stop working IN their businesses and start working ON them and the title of this blog is just another clever way of saying that. How can you focus on long-term goals and objectives and be a big picture thinker when you’re consumed with putting out

NACS

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

A Teaching Moment

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I arrived at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning at the Team Oil Travel Center.  The previous day, my business partner and I decided to clear out the 700 DVDs we had in stock. My partner, Eric, directed the staff to put them all on the shelf and

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Starting Your Own Consulting Business

John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises. Recently, I celebrated my ten-year anniversary as a management consultant. It has always been a life-long dream of mine to be on my own and in 2004 I realized that goal. I had spent some 20 years in corporate America prior to and breaking out on

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Developing A Retail Real Estate Strategy

By John Matthews, founder and president, Gray Cat Enterprises Organic growth by a retailer is an exciting time for the company. Reinvesting earnings into the expansion of their branded stores through new construction communicates that a) business has been good; b) by growing the network of stores through brand-new locations, it helps strengthen market share;

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Recognizing Your Best Customers

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises. Last month, I was participating in a client meeting and like most meetings that are lengthy, food is generally brought in and we eat/meet on the fly. This time we ordered a bunch of pizza and drinks to feed a group of 20 or so.

Developing Open Communication With Your Vendor Partners

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Imagine a business world where resources were plentiful and industry expertise could be available at every juncture. Where decisions could be made that dovetailed alignment in support of your strategic plan throughout your networks. Imagine a world that anticipates your directives and assists in

A Blog About Writing A Blog

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. About three years ago I began to publish a blog focused mainly on improving processes within small business. Many of these blogs are derived from having worked many years in larger organizations and attempting to translate those experiences to smaller businesses in the retail

employees

Challenge Your Way of Thinking

Mind control is an often overlooked quality, but it’s an extremely important attribute in business and in life. By Jim Callahan When I think of the act of mind control, I’m not referring to hypnotism or getting my best friend to squawk like a chicken. Rather, having the right attitude in the face of both

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Road to Lower U.S. Gasoline Prices To Take Brief Detour

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric. The U.S. gasoline futures contract dropped to a fresh low for 2014 mid-September that coincided with the shift away from summer specification gasoline to easier to manufacture fuel while the national average price for retail gasoline sunk to a seven-month low. The national average is down 5.1cts

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Dropping Like a Rock—Beware of Falling Gasoline Prices

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric Just under $2.50 gallon is where the U.S. gasoline futures market found support during the second week of September amid a massive selloff in domestic and global crude oil prices, with lower trending oil battered by bearish readings for forward oil demand by the three major forecasters.

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