A Remedy for Boosting Impulse Sales

Whether it’s aspirin or shaving cream, HBC is a growing category that deserves a renewed focus. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. HBC is making a comeback from coast to coast. The category—from shampoos and skin creams to cough drops and cold remedies—has always had its rightful place in a convenience store—providing a grab-and-go remedy for


Inspiring Impulse Sales

When stocking up on novelty items, thinking outside the box can help retailers drive big profits. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers are driving impulse purchases with unique novelty products, including big ticket items, seasonal displays and small ring products that make everyday life more convenient. Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., for example, is making packing easier

The Do’s and Don’ts of Dairy

To drive profits in this core category, c-stores need to create a destination that showcases value, freshness and quality. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Dairy offerings have been dwindling at convenience stores in recent years as operators make space in the coolers for popular items like energy drinks and other healthful beverages. But when stores

Negotiating for the Best Cost of Goods

Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Convenience store owners need to work more closely with suppliers and wholesalers to get better supply contracts and offer consumers more competitive prices. A plaque in Ray Johnson’s

Ryko Prevails in Legal Dispute

“This case was important in assuring that our rights were identified and protected, especially as it relates to the enforceability of our distributor contracts,” says Ryko CEO. Ryko Manufacturing Co. Inc., a North American manufacturer of car wash equipment and a provider of service support and chemicals to the industry, has prevailed in its legal

Product Assortment Key to General Merchandise, HBC

With the economy rebounding, 2011 is the perfect time to start driving general merchandise and health and beauty items in c-stores. “If you have cutting edge items, and word gets out, people will flock to your stores,” said Brad Lemoine, marketing director for 40 Louisiana U-PAK-It stores, a brand that unites several operators who all

Grow Your Car Wash Business

Learn how to attract more customers and increase frequency visits to your car wash. Reserve a seat for the 2011 ICA Car Care World Expo Educational Seminar, “3 Ways to Grow Your Business in 2011,” before April 29, and be entered for a chance to win a $5000 coupon towards the purchase of an Xtreme

Dairy Facing Higher Costs

Closer management of the dairy category will be crucial in 2011. According to the U.S. Dairy Association (USDA), dairy will be among the food groups with the highest price increases in 2011—4.5 to 5.5%—due to rising energy and cattle-feed costs. While the industry has evolved, many chains, such as Byrne Dairy Co. in Syracuse, N.Y.,

Mr. Bubble Brand Celebrates 50 Years

Mr. Bubble bubble bath gets a new look for 2011. Introduced by Gold Seal Co. in 1961, Mr. Bubble is celebrating 50 years of making bath time fun in 2011. Originally developed as a powdered bubble bath, then launched in a liquid formula in 1972, Mr. Bubble was recently improved to create even more bubbles

Healthful Dairy Options Help Slow Market

The International Dairy·Deli·Bakery Association’s What’s In Store 2011 assesses dairy trends. An expanding array of good-for-you products is pulling health-conscious customers into the dairy department, according to What’s In Store 2011, the new report from the International Dairy·Deli·Bakery Association. The IDDBA’s 25th anniversary report finds that fortified, fiber-rich, fat-specific, and organic options line dairy coolers

Mace Security Sells Texas Car Wash

“We are pleased to announce this sale in our continued progress in exiting the car wash business,” says Mace CEO. Horsham, Pa.-based Mace Security International Inc. has sold a full-service car wash facility and convenience store located in Lubbock, Texas. With the sale of its Lubbock location, the corporation currently has two remaining car washes

Thorntons Kicks Off Basketball Bracket Challenge

March Madness is here, and basketball fans can enter Thorntons free online sweepstakes beginning Sunday, March 13 for a chance to win free gas for a year. Thorntons Inc. has announced its first-ever ‘Basketball Bracket Challenge’ sweepstakes where customers can score big time by winning free gasoline for one year. Sweeps players fill in the

Fresh-Cut Produce Thrives At C-stores

Convenience stores are a “tremendous growth channel” for fresh produce, notes  United Fresh Produce Association spokesperson. In today’s health-conscious world, convenience stores are stocking up on produce, changing their image in customers’ minds from merely the place to fill up on gas and grab a pack of cigarettes to a one-stop shop for everything from

Wal-Mart Announces Healthy Foods Campaign

More healthful and affordable food options are set to become available to shoppers over the next four years. Wal-Mart and Michelle Obama have partnered on a healthy foods program wherein the big box retailer will offer more healthy foods and push its suppliers to do the same, the Washington Post reported. Wal-Mart plans to make

CSD Partners with MSA and Paradigm Sample

In our ongoing effort to provide the most relevant and timely industry data, Convenience Store Decisions has reached a deal to serve as the excusive media sponsor of the new Convenience Consumer Insights Panel (cciPanel) launched last month by Management Science Associates Inc. (MSA) and Paradigm Sample. The cciPanel is the consumer research field’s first

Staying Focused on Frozen

With margins from tobacco and fuel lagging, frozen beverages have stepped up as a pleasant surprise for retailers—whose goal now is to keep the momentum going. “It’s really a growth category for us, even though it has not been something we’ve spent a lot of time on in the past,” said Jennifer Vespole, senior category

Raising the Bar on Automotive Accessories

Car care merchandise is delivering incremental sales with the help of private labels and impulse purchases. Customers have long ventured into local convenience stores to grab a bottle of windshield washer fluid or oil for their cars. Years ago, a small display would hold a few bottles of automotive fluids in case of an emergency.

The Simple Secret of Free Publicity

Whether you operate a large or small chain, there are deals to be made that can attract a lot of positive attention to your company. I know some of you don’t place much of a value on publicity, but when was the last time you priced the cost of a retail ad in the local

Ice Cream Sales Expected to Boom

Summer may be over, but ice cream sales aren’t going to chill out anytime soon. In fact, the entire ice cream and frozen novelty category will continue to boom, with convenience stores in position to capitalize the most, according to new research.  A study from Mintel International Group predicted that frozen novelties will enjoy the

Quick Facts: Ice Cream

Ice cream has come a long way from the mountains of ancient China, where it is believed to have originated using snow as a base. Today, Americans eat a whopping 15 quarts of ice cream per year.   Did you know that air is probably the single most important component used in the ice cream

Take Me Out of the Ball Game

With all the volatility surrounding the fuel business, a more effective strategy may be found in focusing on in-store volume. Any rookie baseball player knows you can’t win if you don’t score and that you can’t score if you don’t get on base.  In business, this veteran player feels strongly that you can’t win if

Health and Beauty Benefits

Health and Beauty Care (HBC) has been known to create more pain for c-store operators than it relieves for their customers. Managing it well—knowing the trends, keeping up with new products and line extensions, establishing workable price points and merchandising it carefully—is a precarious balancing act. The trend today is smaller, both for product packaging

Ethanol and Biodiesel: What You Need to Know

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made primarily by distilling grains such as corn, wheat, barley and other food crops. It is an alcohol that is mixed with gasoline when used in vehicles. Cars can run on a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, but typically ethanol is only used as a fuel additive in

The Man in the Mirror

With the U.S. consuming about 20% of the world’s fuel, it’s time to take matters into our own hands to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. By Jim Callahan You may have noticed that fuel prices seem to be on the rise recently. Quite dramatically you say you’re really ticked off about it–you say

In the Days of Old…

Under attack from taxes, credit card fees and even some of our branded partners, retailers must continue to fight on. by Jim Callahan, Convenience Store Solutions In the days of old before crude was “liquid gold” and drive-offs were unheard of, we had low taxes and no faxes and just two blends to deal with.