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

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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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Holiday Boosts Downstream Gasoline Deliveries

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric The U.S. average price for regular grade gasoline sold at retail outlets across the country edged up 0.5cts to $3.459 gallon on Labor Day according to the Energy Information Administration’s weekly survey, with the increase the first in 10 weeks. The slightly higher retail average came alongside

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The Rubber Chicken Circuit

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. “Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd……Smiling” (Waters, Gilmour) Death. Not for the faint of heart, then again maybe that’s exactly what it is. Peer Rejection. Depression can set in very quickly when this occurs. Public Speaking? Actually in comparison, the first two don’t sound

Multi-Unit Store Segmentation

By John Matthews, founder of Gray Cat Enterprises. Multi-unit retail operators are often presented with challenges with their product assortment due to varying demographic and store configurations throughout their network of locations. Often, product assortment is standardized across all store types which leaves opportunities for niche marketing on the sidelines. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,

Tony Huppert

Balance

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I’ve written many articles on our youth needing to acquire work ethics. I believe work ethics have to be taught at a young age. We start kids in preschool to get the basics taught before they enter kindergarten. Research by educators have statistics showing it is important to

Building A Juggernaut Of A Team

By John Matthews, founder and president, Gray Cat Enterprises. Over my career – both in the corporate world and on my own – I have had the privilege of working with some fantastic and talented people. In most cases, I have learned more from them, than they probably learned from me. Surrounding yourself with talented

Somerset, Kentucky

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I’ve been following the ‘Socialized Retail Gas Concept’ in Somerset Ky. Using an existing city-owned filling station and a nearby refinery to supply it, officials of Somerset recently decided to serve residents by going into the gas business themselves. Somerset City Council this past June voted 10-0 in

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Solving The Retail Investment Puzzle

By John Matthews, founder, Gray Cat Enterprises. You own a bunch of stores all varying in size and age. Over the years, product assortments and sets have come and gone and you have ridden certain designs into the ground. Each of your stores needs capital infusion – a refresher – but you do not know

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Top 10 Ways to Avoid Costly Hourly Employee Turnover

By Mel Kleiman,  founder, Humetrics. In order to minimize costly frontline, hourly employee turnover, you’ve got to: Hire tough (so you can manage easy). Let every new employee know why their job is important. Avoid the mindset that it is “only an entry-level job” (in both the new employee’s mind and in your own mind).

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“Take Two” for U.S. Gasoline Demand

By Brian Milne, Energy Editor for Schneider Electric. A month in front of the Labor Day holiday in the U.S., the unofficial end of the peak summer driving season, gasoline demand spiked from what has been lackluster consumption this summer, with preliminary data showing a surge in demand to the highest weekly rate so far

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The Story of Herb and Charley

There are many attributes that good store owners and operators possess, but knowing the value of a dollar and the value of a satisfied customer is critical. By Jim Callahan. For years, I was always puzzled by the fact that the best automatic transmission mechanic I ever knew ultimately went bankrupt, and the least talented

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U.S. Gasoline Demand Disappoints this Summer

By Brian Milne, energy editor for Schneider Electric. What looked like a recovery for U.S. gasoline demand during the second quarter fizzled this summer, with demand continuing to slip below the year-ago pace and the five-year average since mid-June with the exception of one week. In the United States, driving demand is highest during the

How NAG Can Help You

Tough economic times and stiff competition across the supply chain are making it critical for convenience store operators to have a solid understanding of their customers, particularly their high-frequency, high-value shoppers. Armed with these insights, operators can take the necessary steps to retain and attract new loyal customers. To help retailers improve their operations and

Tony Huppert

The Art of Training

Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. Every generation speaks of the next generation of workers like they are aliens. My parents use to say, “When I was young, I use to walk to and from school uphill both ways.” My generation likes to say, “The younger generation just doesn’t understand.” Statements like these do not

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Reflections on 25 & 50 Years…

As the convenience store industry has become more sophisticated, other retail channels are turning to us for leadership and guidance. By Howard Stoeckel, Vice Chairman, Wawa Inc. This year marked Convenience Store Decision’s 25th anniversary and Wawa’s 50th anniversary in the retail business. In recognition of our milestone anniversary, I had the opportunity to publish

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Evolution of the Convenience Store

While self-service gasoline helped spur a wave a change, cultivating new customers has helped raise the c-store industry to new heights. By Bob Seng For many years, particularly in the winter, I would make the trip from Cooperstown, N.Y.—our company headquarters at Busy Bee convenience stores—to our family condo on the beach in Fort Lauderdale,

President Dan Gilligan

For 25 Years, Change Has Been the Constant

From the role of Big Oil to underground storage tank regulations and the growth of boutique fuels, the convenience store and petroleum industry has demonstrated a remarkable ability to evolve. By Dan Gilligan, President, The Petroleum Marketers Association of America While the first issues of Convenience Store Decisions were rolling off the presses in 1990,

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