FDA Issues Final Rules On Tobacco

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its final rules regarding the sale of tobacco. Retailers will need to be in compliance with these rules, which restrict the sale, distribution and use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, by June 22. The new rules include provisions that: •Prohibit sales of cigarette packages with fewer than

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Marketing the Beverage Bar

While frozen dispensed beverages are not a huge portion of the typical store’s overall sales, the product is proving to be quite profitable, thanks to a gross margin north of 50%. Although the slush-style drink was a c-store original, other retailers recognized its potential, and today, frozen beverages with a variety of names and logos

NATO Trade Show Gains Support

The National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported that key manufacturers have formally committed to its 2011 trade show and conference in Las Vegas. Supporters currently include Altadis USA, Swisher International, Swedish Match, Republic Tobacco, National Tobacco Co., King Maker Marketing, Smoker Friendly International and Zippo Lighter Co. During NATO’s annual awards dinner last month,

A Taxing Time for Tobacco

Last year was truly a difficult time for tobacco. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) increased tobacco taxes from a “modest” 158% increase on cigarettes up to a hideous 2,000 plus percentage increase on roll your own tobacco and small cigars. (RYO went from $1.10 per pound to $24.68 and small cigars went from

Brothers at the Helm

Jimmy McCarthy III, vice president of sales and operations for Tom Thumb Food Stores, still remembers the Saturday morning his dad, Jim McCarthy Jr., owner and president of Tom Thumb, woke him up to begin his career in the convenience store industry. “He said, ‘wake up, you’re not going to sleep all day.’ I said,

Sweetening Candy Sales

 Americans’ love affair with chocolate will never end. That said, sales of non-chocolate candy and gum are rising steadily, fueled by the economy and the search for innovative, flavorful new products. “Yes, people are right in calling this a strong category,” said Bill Singer, a principal in Singer’s Chevron Inc. in Walla Walla, Wash. “When

Boosting Bakery Sales

With sales of packaged bakery snacks down, the allure of fresh- or par-baked items can generate revenue in the coming year if c-store operators handle things correctly. Jim Schutz, vice president of people assets for Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin, said his chain has two different bakery offerings, muffins and doughnuts, which are supplied

Using ATMs to Drive Profits

For many years ATMs were nothing more than large boxes hiding in the corner of convenience stores across the country. Over the years, though, that strategy has evolved as in-store real estate became more valuable and marketers looked for every edge to attract new customers. As such, retailers these days are faced with three distinct

The Sky’s the Limit

Making your mark in the convenience store industry requires hard work, dedication, great people and outstanding service. Throw in three generations of family-owned leadership and a firm commitment to quality and value, and you’ll understand why High’s of Baltimore Inc. is among one of the most revered operators in its markets. “Our brand has been

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

Social Networking Takes Retail by Storm

Speedy Personalized DealsChristianna Frizzell, customer relationship manager for Speedway SuperAmerica, said the best online responses will come from email blasts and text message campaigns if you know your demographic and keep contact timely and relevant. It can also be helpful to look at how customers are contacting you. For example, are they emailing or calling

Securing the Store

C-store operators are increasingly turning to advanced electronics to help stem the time of theft both internally and externally, including “smart” surveillance cameras and Internet-based security systems that can prompt and warn cashiers and track and record every store transaction. Stuart Levine, CEO of The Zellman Group in Port Washington, N.Y., a nationwide retail and

7-Eleven Computer Hacker Sentenced

Computer hacker Albert Gonzalez, accused of one of the largest thefts of credit and debit card numbers ever reported, was sentenced to 20 years and a day in prison last Friday. Friday’s case involved stolen credit card numbers from the Scarsborough, Maine-based Hannaford Bros. supermarket chain, Dallas-based convenience store chain 7-Eleven, and Heartland Payment Systems,

Walgreens Moves Forward With Duane Reade Acquisition

Walgreen Co. has received the regulatory clearance from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission needed to complete the acquisition of Duane Reade Holdings Inc. “We’re clear to move forward and complete the Duane Reade acquisition, which will immediately give Walgreens a leading position in the nation’s largest drugstore market,” said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson.

NACS Show To Welcome Former President George W. Bush

NACS has announced that former President George W. Bush will be the closing general session speaker for this year’s NACS Show, which will take place Oct. 5-8 at the World Congress Center in Atlanta. Bush will be the fourth U.S. president to speak at a NACS event: former President Bill Clinton served as last year’s

Gilbarco Expands Fuel Dispenser Warranty

Gilbarco Veeder-Root has upgraded the warranty on its standard fuel dispensers to cover use of ethanol content up to E15. The dispensers are currently Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved for ethanol up to E10 under the UL 87 standard. The upgraded warranty will ensure its customers are covered if the current E10 standard is broadened to

President Obama Signs PACT Act

NACS and convenience retailers are enjoying a huge win today, thanks to enactment of the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act), which addresses the long-standing convenience store industry concern of tax evasion via remote sellers of tobacco products. Today’s White House signing by President Barack Obama caps a 10-plus year effort by retailers to

7-Eleven Adds Stores In Salt Lake City

7-Eleven Inc. has announced a real estate partnership with NAI Corporate Real Estate Services (NAI CRES) in the Salt Lake City market to build its presence in the area and significantly add to the nearly 100 stores the company operates, franchises and licenses in the area. The convenience retail leader selected NAI as its exclusive

Vertis Communications Wins Five Certificates of Excellence

Vertis Communications has received five Certificates of Excellence from Graphic Design USA’s 2010 American Packaging Design Awards for its creative packaging designs for Hershey. In 2009, Hershey turned to Vertis to create innovative designs that would achieve consistent brand messaging for multiple products in various stages of retail availability and consumer acceptance. From ideation for

FDA Panel Looks At Menthol Cigarettes

A new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel is examining menthol cigarettes and how the government should regulate them, although most believe an outright ban is unlikely, the Associated Press reported. The committee is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the scientific research on the public health effects of menthol cigarettes, including among children

Pemmican To Give Away Free Beef Jerky

Taylor, Mich.-based Marfood USA Inc. plans to launch its new Pemmican Web site on April 1 by giving away a free bag of Pemmican Beef Jerky every minute of the day. Consumers must visit www.pemmican.com on April 1 between 12:01am and 11:59pm to register for a chance to win. “We purposely chose April fool’s to

Gasoline Price Uptrend Slows

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, Telvent DTN Drivers across most major metropolitan markets in the United States should see the increase in retail prices at their local outlets freeze in the week leading up to Easter Sunday, with some markets potentially seeing a decrease at the pump. The forecast is based on a

Snickers Celebrates 80 Years

Snickers is celebrating its 80th birthday this month. The candy bar, named Snickers after the Mars family’s favorite horse, has come a long way since it was first introduced in 1930 for the price of five cents a bar. It has also changed with the times, evolving into numerous sizes and formats to fit customer demand.

Otis Spunkmeyer Inc Opens New Customer Contact Center

Otis Spunkmeyer Inc. is moving three of its customer contact centers (CCC) to a new Ogden, Utah facility. A celebration Feb. 25, 2010 at Business Depot Ogden (BDO) complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony marked the dedication of the new CCC about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. The company decided to move to accommodate

CITGO Participates In Earth Hour 2010

On Saturday, CITGO Petroleum Corporation joined more than 70 local businesses, government agencies, universities, colleges, hotels, and museums, as well as hundreds of residents and small businesses, in observing Earth Hour 2010. Organized by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour took place on March 27 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Participants from 400 cities

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