smoke screen

With an increase in smoking restrictions and the threat of increased taxes, retailers and analysts express serious concerns for cigarette profitability. Convenience stores, backin the good old days beforethey offered the types foodserviceand products thatcould rival other retail segments, wereknown mostly for three things: Cokes,smokes and gas. But despite the industry’sonce-strong foothold, cigarette salesare slumping.

nacs show expo two fun things you must do

Approximately 79% ofall attendees plan to buy one or more ofthe products or services they discovered atthe NACS Show last year. Follow-up researchindicates that actual purchases six to ninemonths after the event are even higher thanwhat was planned. The show hours are: Wednesday, Nov. 7 from 12 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 from 12 p.m.-5:30

is it time to lower the bar

Retailers that are willing to settle for second best, get second best. By Mel Kleiman I was on the phone recently withthe owner of a chain of Midwesternconvenience stores who said, “It justdoesn’t make any sense for us to eventhink about using pre-employment testingor making our jobs tough to get. We’ve gotto take whatever walks

nacs by the numbers

With the granddaddy of all c-store trade shows taking place this month, CSD takes a look at some quick statistics for the event. ≈ $1.1 Billion: The estimated amount retailers will be spendingon products, many of which will be on display at the show. ≈ 79: The percentage of attendees who plan to buy one

mso no more

Shell announced that it is removing the multi-site operation model from the U.S. going forward. What does this mean to the company and Big Oil as a whole? Shell Oil Products turned headslast month when the oil giantannounced it would be disassemblingits multi-site operator (MSO)partnerships across the country to continueits strategy of putting the stake

convenience gets no love still

Despite record sales and a growing number of stores that serve as destinations for millions and millions of American consumers everyday, other retail segments continue to take cheap shots at convenience store owners and operators. Need proof? Did you happen to catch the NapaAuto Parts commercial during the Major LeagueBaseball playoffs? “Experience,” the announcer says,“that’s

cenex gets in style

Generation Image Renewal program calls for the renovation of the chain’s 1,600 convenience stores and the addition of 550 more. Cenex, the convenience-retailing brand of CHS Inc., islaunching a multimillion-dollar rebranding and expansioneffort that will elevate the chain’s visibility in smalland major markets and enhance its overall competitiveviability. As part of its “Generation Image Renewal,”

shell innovates at the pump

Adopt Pay By Touch biometric payment technology at its pumps and inside convenience stores. This week, Shell becomes the first gasoline retailer in the world to adopt Pay By Touch biometric payment technology at its pumps and inside convenience stores. A recognized industry innovator, Shell also is testing attendant hand-held wireless card scanners abroad. Both

effective local store marketing

Developing your own coupon book can drive consumer loyalty and cultivate a new customer base. Growing up in Michigan, Iwas a part of a very prestigioushigh school baseball team—thePlymouth Canton Chiefs. Year inand year out, our team was highly rankedand continually vied for the state championship.Playing on this team was a signof prestige at the

john mcdonald named chevrons chief technology officer

Replaces retiring Donald Paul, Paul Siegele named vice president of strategic planning. Chevron Corp. has promoted John McDonald, the current vice president of strategic planning, to chief technology officer, succeeding Donald Paul, who will retire from the company in 2008 after more than 32 years of service. Paul Siegele, currently vice president of deepwater exploration/projects,

new solutions for old stores

Searching for higher and better uses for units that are terminally ill. At the time of this writing, thelong, hot summer of 2007 is finallywinding down and the prospectof a cooler football-inspiredautumn is rapidly taking shape. Duringthis time, my company has been workingon several marketer divestitures that havecommonality in the need to determine anon-traditional future

blockbuster deal as altria agrees to acquire john middleton

The $2.9-billion cash deal gives Philip Morris USA control of leading cigar company to complement its initiatives in the smokeless category. In a deal that could dramatically alter the way tobacco products are sold at retail, the parent company of Philip Morris USA, Altria Group Inc., reached a deal today to acquire of John Middleton

indulging new demographics

Research by Mars Snackfood U.S. shows retailers can attract a broader base of consumers with an emphasis on new and premium products. The female customer today makes approximately 85% of allconsumer purchases, so it’s no wonder that convenience storeowners are among the many retailers eager to cater to thisemerging customer base. Traditionally focused on male

double kwik to sell 57 local stores

Fas Mart to acquire the Virginia and Tennessee units. Wise, Va.-based Double Kwik markets has entered into plans to sell its 57 store locations to Mechanicsville, Va.-based GPM Investments. GPM plans to convert the entire Double Kwik chain to its Fas Mart brand across Southwest Virginia and Tennessee, according to The Bristol Herald Courier. “This

reaching new heights

Fresh off the acquisition of Cummings Oil, Andrea Jackson leads Jacksons Food Stores’ retail strategy. By Shahla Hebets, Publisher Keeping a low profile hasits advantages, but eventuallya chain’s success starts toattract the attention, and eventhe enmity, of the competitors around it.Jacksons Food Stores is one of the conveniencestore and petroleum industry’sbiggest success stories, yet it

familial operations

Unlike many retailers profiled in Rising Stars, Kurt Straube always knew he would have a career in the convenience industry. Kurt StraubeDari Mart Stores His grandparents purchased afarm in Junction City, Ore., back in 1940, which grewinto Lochmead Dairy, a milk processing plant, and Dari MartStores in 1965. Three generations of his family have been

calling all dirty cars

The precise mix of equipment and marketing can quickly make the car wash one of the most valuable profit centers in the store. By Kim Sharrah, Associate Editor With high gasoline pricessqueezing fuel margins, theaddition of a car wash canturn a major profit for operatorslooking to make up some of therevenue lost at the pumps.

a seed of profitability

Zotes is transforming the seed category with innovative marketing and unique packaging. It has been an unexpected and exciting last two years for ZotesSunflower Co., as the seeds steadily climbed to its current numberone spot in the category touting convenient packaging andunique flavors. While other seeds in the category are packaged in bags anddisplayed on

flavor du jour

Retailers willing to get more daring with their menus stand to attract more adventurous palates and turn a tidy profit. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor An American Express MarketBrief produced byTechnomic Inc. entitled “Ethnic Foods are in Fashion,”showed that more than half of consumers (51%) reportedpurchasing prepared, ready-to-eat foods from conveniencestores. Convenience stores also showed

a small rush

Living Essentials’ 5-Hour Energy is helping retailers capitalize on consumers’ needs for a timely energy boost. After surveying the flood of energydrinks introduced over the pastfew years, Living Essentials noticeda weakness in the category. Themajority of drinks continued to grow in packagesize and contained too much sugarand herbal stimulants. To fill the void of people

focus on foodservice safety

Poor safety methods could sicken customers and bring down an entire organization. Going above and beyond what’s required is the key to a healthy program. By Michael Ferrari, Staff Writer Adding a foodservice programis an excellent way toincrease profitability and developa more loyal, destination-mindedcustomer base. Committing to foodservice,however, opens the door to new dangerssuch as

diversified tobacco offering

Specialty and imported tobacco brands offer retailers an opportunity to cultivate a promising profit center. Retailers looking to develop an effective strategy forboosting sales would be wise to examine specialty andimported tobacco brands. Specialty tobacco shops havealready come to realize that brands like Djarum are attractinga new base of consumers that expect quality and value.

tesoro considers kerkorians offer

Company evaluates selling off an additional 16%. Tesoro Corp. has revealed that it is carefully reviewing an offer from billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian to sell an increased stake in the company, according to the Associated Press. The Tesoro board will be in consideration over sale for the next 10 days. The unsolicited offer asks the

ampm makes list of top 200 franchise companies

BP-owned unit ranks 39th as the only c-store on the list. BP’s ampm convenience store has been ranked 39th in the 2007 Franchise Times “Top 200.” The companies that made the list have a minimum of 20% of total units operated by franchisees. Worldwide sales are also a factor in the rankings. ampm is the

sheetz looks for a few hundred good men and women

Company launches job fair to help staff new kitchen. Sheetz Inc. will host a job fair offering hundreds of exciting employment opportunities at the new Sheetz Bros. Kitchen. The fair will be held at the Sheetz Distribution Center in Claysburg, Pa. on Nov. 2 and 3 from 10:00am to 6:00pm each day. The fair will

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