Sonja Hubbard to Kick Off AWMA Show

The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) has announced that Sonja Hubbard, CEO of E‐Z Mart, is scheduled to serve as the Opening Session Speaker during AWMA’s 2011 Show, Feb. 8-10 in Las Vegas. During Sonja’s presentation, Insights & Perspectives on the Future of Convenience Retailing, she plans to provide her views on the challenges, changes

CVS To Compete For Redbox Customers

Watch out c-stores, CVS is vying for movie rental customers. The drug store chain is rolling out fully-automated Redbox DVD rental kiosks at locations nationwide, including in Puerto Rico and Longs Drug locations in Hawaii. The national rollout, which comes on the heels of a successful pilot program at select CVS/pharmacy locations, is set to

The Future of Retail Technology

Imagine a day when your customers pay for coffee by scanning a cell phone, and play their favorite music at the gas pump with a quick swipe of a loyalty card. Well, ready or not, such technology is already out there and it’s coming for c-stores—the only question is how soon. As the Millennial generation

Building Relationships at the National Advisory Group

Throughout my 15 years of covering the convenience store industry, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some amazing people, develop lifelong friendships and watch in awe as otherwise ordinary people learned to work together to produce extraordinary results. Throughout that time I’ve also seen countless people come and go. For some, the industry was a

Ethnic Fare Adds Foodservice Flair

Sushi in the c-store cooler? Burritos in the food warmer? Mediterranean sandwiches on the menu? Exotic foods are here to stay and becoming more mainstream, spicing up the foodservice section and appealing to a wide audience. With the growth of the Internet consumers today are exposed to new foods they may not be used to

Lighting the Way

Best Practices for Reducing Operating Costs There is a lengthy list of general maintenance items retailers should have to maximize cooler efficiency. Jerry Lawson, national manager for Energy Star Small Business and Congregations Network, a division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, recommended the following no-cost tips that are designed to help reduce

Thorntons Adding E85 Pumps

Thorntons Inc. has teamed with Growth Energy to establish 20 new E85 stations in five states. “We are very excited about the expansion of E85 fuel in our stores,” said Matt Thornton, CEO of Thorntons, which operates more than 160 c-stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee. “We support the use of ethanol, wherever

CSD Presents the Foodservice Webcast Series

As competition heats up and consumers adjust their away-from-home consumption habits it’s critical to continuously refine your programs and strategies in order to drive profitable and sustainable growth. For the third consecutive year, Convenience Store Decisions, is proud to offer its FREE two-part Foodservice Webcast Series. Part II: June 17, 2010 2:00 PM EDT Foodservice

Top Five NACStech Trends

At the last day of the NACStech show in New Orleans, NACS announced the five companies featuring the most exciting new technology at the expo. Attendees voted for their choices during the show using the new NACStech mobile phone app, deciding from between more than 100 exhibiting companies. The winning results were revealed at the EXPO

Inside the Mind of the Shopper

At the NACS Summit in Chicago this week, Matt McCourt, director of Convenience / Spirits for SymphonyIRI Group, gave insight into consumer purchasing patterns across multiple channels and how to reach shoppers in a changing environment. “Consumers are thinking about daily living costs. We’re seeing a new conservative shopper driven by affordable indulgences,” McCourt told

The Shack Pushes the Bounds of Convenience

As all convenience store chains look for innovative ways to drive sales as tobacco and gas margins decline, they might take note from an unlikely teacher—a small town store in Grandy, Minn., whose unique offerings are going to new lengths to meet consumer demands. Though only 1,100 square feet, “The Shack on 65” packs the

Strength in Numbers

Resilient, tough and tested. These are just a few of the words analysts and retailers alike used to describe the convenience store and petroleum industry over the past 12 months. With the economy suffering its most difficult period in some 80 years, convenience stores held up rather admirably considering how consumer confidence plunged and the

Convenience Industry Holds Strong

When history looks back on 2009 it will not be generous. The U.S. economy was, and to a certain degree, remains locked in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Unemployment is high and the value of the dollar and consumer spending are at near-record lows. While this is bad, it could have been

Consumer Trends To Watch In 2010

The International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) has released “What’s In Store 2010”, a trends report that reveals which consumer shopping trends will have the most impact in the next five years. According to the report, the demand for low prices, health and wellbeing, convenience, sustainability, and food safety and quality are the trends to

Healthy Options Push Salty Snacks

TOP PERFORMERS Frito Lay Cheez-It (Kellogg’s) Chex Mix (General Mills) HONORABLE MENTIONS Combos (Mars) Cape Cod (Lance) Pringles (P&G) The down economy has inspired a consumer trend toward eating in and choosing less expensive home-entertainment options, which has been a boost to the salty snacks category. Customers are likely to choose snacks they perceive as

Cruising the Express Lane

Customers in Sandpoint, Idaho crave convenience, but even they were surprised by the speed of service offered at the new Express Lane drive-through convenience store. Express Lane’s founder Adrian Cox was looking to expand his company and found the drive-through concept too tempting to pass up. He described the offering as an appealing and cost-effective

Retailing on Two Wheels

With gas pumps out front, automotive supplies inside and the occasional adjacent lube shop, c-stores are geared toward the driving public. But as more commuters take to bikes for exercise, to save on gas or to support a greener environment, one c-store owner is making bicycles his business. A bike commuter and bike mechanic, Edwin

On Location with CSD

It isn’t often one finds a c-store with a hanging chandelier and a fireplace in the office, but Dave Carney’s Hillside Chevron Station in Torrance, Calif., is anything but conventional. This April, the store began a major renovation, transforming what was a traditional c-store into a site with charming old-world Santa Barbara style; a Spanish

Tracking the Trends

An otherwise tough year for convenience stores was balanced out by strong retail fuel margins from the unprecedented drop in wholesale fuels prices during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to National Association of Convenience Stores’ (NACS) 2009 State of the Industry report. However, credit card fees continue to take a toll on industry profitability.

By the Numbers

» 13 Months in prison Ashraf “Mike” Ali, owner of 26 Fast and Easy convenience stores in California’s Bay Area, will serve for an elaborate scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration. » 25 Ranking for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores on Forbes’ 2008 list of the largest private companies in the U.S., a

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