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

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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,

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

Mesa Considers Law To Make C-stores Safer

Mesa, Ariz., is taking steps to make c-stores safer.  Of the roughly 100 convenience stores in Mesa, police reported 10 of them generated as many calls as the others combined, ABC 15 News reported.  “It has to do with a lot of things. Where do you put your product, how you secure your product, how

Michigan Retailers Meet for Annual Spring Convention

Michigan’s Petroleum Association and the Association of Convenience Stores held its annual spring convention and trade show last week as Michigan lawmakers considered new taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, which the group opposes, WZZM13 News reported. The convention’s educational sessions covered topics ranging from the state of health care to preventing recession theft and

Dos Equis And Tecate Offer ‘Cinco Ways To Celebrate’ Spring

Dos Equis, the fastest growing import beer brand in the U.S., and cerveza Tecate are revealing details of the brands’ most interesting and unconventional ‘Cinco ways to Celebrate’ Cinco de Mayo/Spring retail and on-premise program. The program is designed to inspire adult consumers to take their celebrations to a new level while helping keep grocery,

Clark Brands Teams With CBE

Clark Brands and CBE have partnered on a new program that will offer special pricing on VeriFone equipment to Clark branded and credit card locations. This pricing is especially attractive for retailers who are working to upgrade their Point of Sale (POS) devices and PIN pads as part of their compliance strategy. “In Clark’s continuing

Sheetz And Customers Raise 56,000 for Haiti

Sheetz and its customers are donating more than $56,000 to help victims of the Jan.12 earthquake in Haiti. During the month of February, customers gave $28,359.37 to the relief effort. Sheetz is matching that total, bringing the final figure to $56,718.74. All proceeds are going to the Red Cross. The donations were collected in special

Odwalla Launches “Campaign Against Ordinary”

Odwalla kicks off its “Campaign Against Ordinary” this month with a redesigned Odwalla Facebook page and a Coachella Music Festival ticket giveaway. Coachella, which takes place April 16-18 in Indio, Calif., is the first of three major music festivals Odwalla will be sponsoring. At the festivals, the company will feature a first-of-its-kind outdoor lounge and

Tyson Food Service Honored As IFDA Food Supplier Of The Year

For the fourth straight year, Tyson Food Service was named the International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) Supplier of the Year.  The company has won the award five times in the past six years. Tyson corporate executives were on-site at the opening dinner at the 2010 IFDA Partners Executive Forum to accept the award. “At Tyson

Dos Equis And Tecate Offer ‘Cinco Ways To Celebrate’ Spring

Dos Equis, the fastest growing import beer brand in the U.S., and cerveza Tecate are revealing details of the brands’ most interesting and unconventional ‘Cinco ways to Celebrate’ Cinco de Mayo/Spring retail and on-premise program. The program is designed to inspire adult consumers to take their celebrations to a new level while helping keep grocery,

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