C-Store Executive Shares Why Biodiesel is Good for Business

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. A lot of times in this space, I tell you why offering biodiesel makes good business sense for convenience stores. This time, I’m going to let someone else do the talking — namely, a representative from a large c-store company that has experienced the benefits of biodiesel blended

Food Safety Remains a Top Priority for Retail Businesses

By James Mitchell, product manager, ProAct Enterprise Software and Services, Emerson Climate Technologies Fresh, nutritious food options are available today in more locations than ever before. Food retailers are adapting their facilities to meet this consumer demand for fresh foods. Supermarkets are offering prepared food options and convenience stores are adding foodservice elements. Small format

Honoring an Icon and a Friend

By John Lostock, Editor-in-Chief I have been covering the convenience store industry for close to 20 years as a journalist. It has been a rewarding career filled with wonderful opportunities to meet great people. As I have mentioned many times before, I first found a home in this industry back when my father served as

Are We Watching the Birth of a Two-Tier Supply Chain?

Allen Saunders: Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. —Readers Digest, 1957 By Bill Scott, president, StoreReport LLC The interesting thing about evolution is that it is a slow progression of minuscule occurrences that can only be evaluated when viewed through hindsight. ‘Technology Impact Analysis’ is the armor against a

Making a Wise Investment

Employee appreciation is a good starting point in any successful training program. By Jim Callahan If you don’t have a comprehensive training program in place for your employees you’re failing them. And of course, you’re cheating your company since a well-trained workforce is the most valuable commodity in the convenience store industry. If you already

2016 Tobacco Legislative Roundup

Par for the course, a number of U.S. states are looking to score budgetary relief by levying taxes on tobacco. By CSD Staff Now that almost all of the state legislatures have concluded their 2016 legislative sessions, Thomas Briant, executive director of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) recently sat down with Convenience Store

“Better-For-You” Varies by Geography

Regional differences exist when it comes to what c-store customers consider healthy. By Tim Powell Two decades ago it would have seemed ridiculous to consider finding a healthy item in a convenience store. Convenience store shoppers have historically looked to these venues for cigarettes, frozen slushees, beer and Slim Jims. However, this is no longer

Follow Your Own Technical Compass

No matter where you choose to operate your c-store chain, technological opportunities exist throughout the U.S. By Ed Collupy Compasses have been sailors’ companions for years helping them navigate unfamiliar waters. This election year we’ve certainly heard of the moral compass candidates follow. In business, I’ve helped execute a business strategy guided by “true north.”

Adopting Ways to Obtain the Best Hires

Hiring managers often make the mistake of hiring the best applicants instead of the candidates who in the end make the best employees. By Mel Kleiman Six years ago, Convenience Store Decisions published an article I wrote that began: “Just two short years ago, anyone who wanted a frontline, hourly worker’s job only had to

Finding Property Tax Savings

There are four steps you can take to save money and improve your overall commercial property tax management. By Anne Joyner Sheehan Let’s face it. Taxes are never a convenient issue for business owners, no matter if the tax levied occurs at the federal, state or local level. The common denominator for businesses is one

How Geography Impacts Sales

A store’s location, customer demographics and product mix play a big role in potential profits, but sometimes it’s the small business details that mean the most. By Bill Scott A few years ago, while counting items in one of our client’s stores, I noticed what appeared to be an out-of-balance situation involving Ben & Jerry’s

Biodiesel Crosses New Boundaries

Realizing financial incentives, attracting fleet customers and riding the sustainability wave are some of the benefits retailers can obtain by adding biodiesel. By Jon Scharingson Throw a dart at a map of the U.S. and you’re likely to hit a spot where selling biodiesel makes good business sense for convenience stores. Financial incentives in the

A Marketer’s Call to Action

Despite the dynamics that affect the convenience store industry today, established business associations still remain constructive partners. By Mark Radosevich At the time of this writing the presidential election is only 90 days away and there’s a perceptible mood of foreboding throughout the industry. After eight frustrating years of an illogical anti-business administration, it’s unfathomable

Small Town Heroes

There’s something about places where our roots remain. The same can be said about the convenience store industry. By Fran Duskiewicz Many years ago, when I was a young English teacher sitting in the teachers’ lounge, expounding upon why central New York was such a great place to live, the school’s guidance counselor chastised me

Store Design for the Retail Environment

By John Matthews, founder and president, Gray Cat Enterprises Inc., and Kraig Kessel, co-founder, Kraido One of the most important challenges facing a retailer is creating a new store vision for your chain, while simultaneously running your day-to-day business. There are only so many resources to go around and carving out the strategic time to not

Tools to Gauge Your Corporate Culture

It’s never too late to determine what makes your company tick. By David Hite In my last article, we looked at the different types of company cultures and how they affect the whole organization. This month, I want to address a few items that pertain to assessing your company culture. As an organizational development and

Leadership and a Changing Industry

By John Lofstock, Editor-in-Chief Small- and family-owned businesses remain the backbone of the convenience store industry. Many chains have been successfully passed on from one generation to the next, but more and more, family executives these days seem to be expressing concern about passing the family business on to the next generation. This trend is

FAILED!

By Bill Scott, president, StoreReport LLC Most of us started out with the drive to do something outstanding with our lives; but, somewhere along the way, we felt compelled to compromise on the important things that resulted in a hum-drum existence of simply making a living, further exacerbated by the feeling that we had failed.

A Rule to Operate By

Part of managing c-store real estate is finding opportunities to obtain sites for new stores. Sometimes, however, the job requires weeding out underperforming sites. By Terry Monroe If you have heard me speak at a NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores) event or a state association convention, I sometimes refer to the ‘1/3, 1/3, 1/3

Reviewing Regulation Irregularities

Nobody said that operating a c-store is easy, but knowing the ground rules helps. By Fran Duskiewicz If you sit around and chat with a group of convenience store executives, sooner or later, the discussion will turn to horror stories of dealing with local, state and federal inspectors and the inconsistent nature in which they

How Many Good Sellers Have You Unknowingly Dropped?

By Bill Scott, president, StoreReport LLC Last year, in March, a manager at one of my customer’s stores asked me to find out when the last sale of a certain item occurred. I reported back that the last sale occurred in November of the previous year. A little more digging around and I discovered the

Consigned Inventory in Retail Stores

Is consigned inventory in the convenience channel possible? By Bill Scott, president, StoreReport LLC Gasoline and diesel fuel is the single, highest investment a convenience store can make. In the past, it was common practice for fuel distributors to keep convenience store tanks filled with fuel and only bill the stores AFTER the fuel was

Adopters and Adapters

By Ed Collupy, executive consultant, W. Capra Consulting Group My recent business travels took me by my city neighborhood grammar school. It reminded me of the many yearly assignments to write a story about my summer vacation. My travels these past two summers have been to both new and familiar places and more car travel than

July/ August 2016 Comparisons Are In

By Bill Scott, president, StoreReport LLC Taking samples from 33 stores located in the southeastern U.S., the same Top Ten items held their own with the exception of 20/32 ounce Ice Cup dropping four positions and making way for Newport cigarettes moving up one position to command position number 10. Note: Not all of these

C-Store Technology Gets Convenient with the Internet of Things

By Paul Hepperla, vice president of North American solution sales, Emerson Climate Technologies Just as the Internet has revolutionized the everyday lives of consumers, the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming operational performance for convenience stores. IoT is a network of physical items within the store – refrigerated cases, ovens and other facility systems – implanted

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