Consumer Confidence Hits Five-Year Low

Consumer confidence took a nosedive this month, hitting its lowest level since March 2003, according to the Consumer Confidence Survey by The Conference Board. The index is now at 64.5, down from 76.4 in February, the Consumer Confidence Index showed. The survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households and is conducted

Maryland to Repeal Gas-Pricing Law?

A Maryland Republican lawmaker is hoping to repeal a law he says is keeping competition from driving down gas prices in his state, The Washington Times reported. Delegate Warren E. Miller has been trying for three years to repeal a law “that forces lower-cost gas stations, such as Wawa and Sheetz, to conform to the

Iowa C-Stores Face Added Scrutiny

Des Moines City Council is considering new guidelines that would call for public hearings and increased scrutiny on construction plans and alternations for new convenience stores and gas stations in the city, c-store industry leaders in that city said. “It’s all fine and it’s a standard practice, but the problem is the language is left

Report: Some 43% of Florida’s USTs Non-Compliant

More than 40% of South Florida’s underground fuel storage tanks don’t comply with a state law requiring gas stations and other owners to upgrade their facilities, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Approved by Florida legislators more than 18 years ago, the law requires underground fuel storage tanks to have a double-walled system by 2009 to

Retailers, Legislators Mull Liquor Laws in Pa., Ten.

A proposal to allow wine sales in Tennessee’s retail stores has stalled in the Legislature, while a supermarket and Sheetz store in Pennsylvania are trying to work out the bugs in that state’s interpretation of liquor-license regulations, according to Associated Press reports. The bill in Tennessee would allow an applicant to receive a "wine at

Pay By Touch Shuts Down All Biometric Services

Solidus Networks, Inc., which operates as Pay By Touch, said that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base. The move was effective March 20, the company announced in a statement on Friday. On December 14, 2007, Solidus Networks filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection under Chapter

Starbucks Rolls Out Initiatives, Revamped Brew Program

In a move sure to heat up the coffee war among retailers, Starbucks Coffee Co. has announced plans to introduce a series of groundbreaking initiatives that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says will transform the customer experience. News of the plan was featured in Thursday’s USA Today, though Schultz first presented it to more than 6,000

Two Charged in Cash-Skimming Scheme

Two Massachusetts men running an Exxon gas station in Portsmouth, N.H. face criminal charges for skimming thousands of dollars in cash in an elaborate scheme, TV stations there reported. Manuel Labaki, of Walpole, and Sobh Mossad, of Norwood, allegedly stole $76,000 from the company that supplies fuel to that gas station, stations WMUR and WBZTV

Researchers Moving Toward Safer OTP?

Researchers in North Carolina said they’ve found a way to genetically modify tobacco plants to knock out one of the genes that turns nicotine into one of the carcinogens in cured tobacco, the Web site wired.com reported. The Philip Morris-funded North Carolina State researchers say the work, featured in Plant Biotechnology Journal, could lead to

Colorado, Indiana Seek Changes in Alcohol Laws

Colorado legislators passed Senate Bill 82 this week, a crucial step in repealing that state’s ban on Sunday alcohol sales. The bill passed the Senate by 24-9, and now moves to Governor Bill Ritter Jr.’s desk for final signature. If he approves the measure, it will go into effect on July 1, 2008. Colorado Sen.

Stations to Refund Customers

Three Hendricks County gas stations agreed to refund their customers up to 70 cents per gallon of gas purchased last Friday after an inquiry by the state’s attorney general revealed possible excessive pricing, The Indianapolis Star reported. A Speedway gas station and two Marathon stations had set prices at $4.09 per gallon of regular unleaded

Company Fined for Fuel Storage Violations

The US EPA’s appeals board has ordered Euclid of Virginia Inc. to pay a $3.16 million penalty for violating regulations at 23 of its Lowest Price gas stations, according to an EPA press release. The EPA filed a complaint against the company in fall of 2002 after it discovered that Euclid may have violated regulations

Now Playing in Boston: Gas Station TV

Following up on a venture that first unraveled in the Dallas area more than two years ago, Gas Station TV is adding 90 flat-screen televisions to fuel dispensers at 50 Boston-area convenience stores, the Boston Globe reported. Gas Station TV first installed televisions at convenience store fuel dispensers in Dallas in January 2006, and has

Couche-Tard Acquires Illinois Stores

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Convenience Store Chain of the Year, reached a deal through its Mac’s Convenience Stores subsidiary to acquire 15 units in central Illinois from Speedway SuperAmerica. The deal is expected close by the end of April, the companies said. Couche-Tard, which has been rumored to be nearing a much

Chevron to Launch Modified Diesel Pilot Program

In hopes of appealing to the growing light-duty diesel market, Chevron Corporation has begun rolling out a pilot program offering "fine-tuned" diesel fuel at 48 Sacramento-area gas stations in the next few weeks. The sale of light-duty diesel passenger cars is expected to grow by 12 percent within the next seven years, as more fuel-efficient

On Top of the Rockies

Hunt Brothers Pizza has added its first pizza shop to the state of Colorado with the grand opening of a shop inside Stop ‘n’ Save convenience store in Gypsum. The East Coast-based pizza chain now has 6,000 locations in 27 states. The Gypsum Stop ‘n’ Save will play host to a two-hour live radio show

Wawa Kicks Off Dinner Promotion

Wawa Inc. this week begins its new dinner deals campaign where customers can choose any dinner item for $3.99, or a combination of three items for $9.99. The on-the-go service marks the company’s official foray into dinnertime offerings at its 570 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The campaign is expected to

An American in Tesco

Fresh & Easy, the U.S. subsidiary of UK supermarket powerhouse Tesco, announced this week it will begin accepting American Express cards at its 59 stores in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Analysts said last week that Tesco’s Fresh & Easy chain–a $2 billion undertaking that began five years ago–was missing sales targets by up to

Ephedrine Fine in Kansas

A Wichita, Kan., man who sold various products to convenience stores and gas stations was fined $20,000 for failing to keep an adequate record of about 30 cases of products containing ephedrine, the Wichita Business Journal reported. Gary Shively’s business, S&S Distributors, was hit with the civil penalty for violating the Controlled Substances Act. Ephedrine

Marathon Commits to Alternative Fuels

Marathon Oil Corp. said today that 16 terminals located in five Midwestern states will convert to ethanol-blended fuel by May 1. Unblended gas products will no longer be offered at any of the terminals. Seven of the terminals are in the Michigan cities of Jackson, Lansing, Flint, Bay City, Niles (South), Detroit (Refinery Rack) and

Trucking Industry Suffers

The U.S. trucking industry is poised to spend $22 billion more on fuel this year than it did last year, with its fuel bill expected to reach $135 billion by the end of 2008, the American Trucking Association said. The trucking industry’s announcement came this week, as diesel fuel topped $4 a gallon, according to

Seeing Blue

Blue Beacon International, of Salina, Kan., is hunting for a buyer for its offshoot convenience store and car wash chain, Green Lantern Convenience Stores, the Salina Journal reported. Blue Beacon owns and operates 100 truck and car wash locations throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as a hotel division, Lighthouse Properties. Company President Trace

BP to Join Irving Oil in Refinery Project

BP Plc is joining Irving Oil Corp. to consider building the Eider Rock refinery in New Brunswick, Canada, to supply the U.S. Northeast with transportation fuels. BP will contribute $40 million for a study of the project, which is expected to cost at least $7 billion, BP and Irving said in a statement today. The

An Expensive Security Lesson

A computer hacker stole thousands of credit card numbers after breaching security at two U.S. grocery store chains owned by Belgium-based Delhaize Group SA, Reuters reported. Nearly 2,000 cases of fraud have been linked to the breach, but no personal information such as names or addresses was accessed when the hacker broke into the Hannaford

Shell’s U.S. CEO to Retire

The head of U.S. operations for Royal Dutch Shell, John Hofmeister, will retire in June. Hofmeister led Shell Oil’s human resources department for the Dutch oil company before getting promoted three years ago. The Houston-based oil company said Marvin Odum, currently executive vice president of the Americas for Shell Exploration and Production, will replace him.

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