Economic Sign of the Times

Convenience store retailers are no strangers to dealing with adversity. Whether it’s Wal-Mart, finding talented labor or dealing with high gas prices, the industry has persevered by choosing good locations and providing outstanding service to loyal customers. But a downturn in the economy poses a new threat many may not be ready for: loyal customers

Super-Convenience, Kentucky-Style

While Wal-Mart and Tesco are embroiled in a battle royale over the super-convenience concept on the West Coast, Kentucky-based Houchens Industries has quietly been having its druthers in the college town of Bowling Green, Ky. "This was part of senior management at Houchens coming up with the next generation of grocery-and-convenience store of the future,"

Shades of Gray

As Howard Glavin tells it, this whole PCI thing starts to sound more like a job for Ernest Borgnine than it does the information technology department. The Digital Dozen. Nuclear toxic waste. Shades of gray. A former FBI agent turned global manager of PCI at IBM Internet Security Systems (ISS), Glavin turned some smooth analogies

7-Eleven Leaps into Gaming

Take it from 7-Eleven: Today’s average gamer is not a teenage—he’s in his early 30s and most likely a male. That’s good news for the Dallas-based retailer, whose customer base skews heavily toward males between the ages of 18 and 34. The c-store chain said it’s taking the plunge into video game sales after dabbling

A Clear Vision

Smoking restrictions, excessive taxes and competition from tax-free sources on Native American reservations and the Internet have proven to be three obstacles too big to overcome for most convenience store retailers. For Smoker’s Express, a seven-store chain based in Fairless Hill, Pa., these obstacles are merely gateways to new sales opportunities. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh

Foodservice Flexibility

New items that c-stores carry personify the industry’s mission more fully than sandwiches and wraps: convenient, colorful, fast, tasty, inexpensive and full of impulse-sale potential. But the fact that consumers can also find them everywhere—from Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble to Starbucks and every local grocery and convenience store in between—means operators have to get

CSD at the Races

NASCAR appeals to millions of race fans across the U.S. Spend any time at a race and you’ll quickly know why. It’s not just the roar of the engines or the intoxicating smell of burning rubber and motor fuel—it’s the intense, high-speed race to be a champion that at any given moment could send one

By the Numbers

» 5 Anniversary years the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) is celebrating next month at the annual conference in Orlando. » 17 Sites Smoker Friendly has added to its retail network, including 16 Discount Tobacco Outlets in Alabama and Wallace Oil’s Quickees in La Junta, Colo. » 18 Ohio customers who will win

The Industry’s Power 25 (part 2)

Robert Myers President and CEOCasey’s General Stores Inc. About 40 years and 1,470 stores later, Casey’s General Stores still prefers those small Midwestern towns. If not for the small-town charm they offer, then at least for the collective $4.8 billion they generated this past year to make Casey’s a leader in the world of convenience.

Partnering for Perfection

Choosing a branded pizza partner means balancing a complex equation that weighs such factors as product quality, financial and logistical considerations, marketing programs, employee training, ongoing support, brand equity and local competition. Suddenly, a cheese pizza isn’t so simple any more. It’s a complex decision that must be made carefully, said Dan Rotherham, director of

The Industry’s Power 25 (part 3)

Donald ZietlowPresident and CEOKwik Trip Inc. Kwik Trip CEO Donald Zietlow and his team at the La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. have built a well-oiled network of facilities and operations that support more than 380 Kwik Trip and Kwik Star stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The Kwik Trip brand started in a small

Grocery Aisles Growing Sales

According to Nielsen’s Gas Monitor Report, when gas prices rose, consumers reacted by limiting the amount of fuel they bought during each visit to the pump. But this trend encouraged more trips to the fuel island. Additionally, higher fuel prices encouraged consumers to shop more at c-stores rather than travel to additional destinations. The economy

The Industry’s Power 25 (part 4)

J. Michael Walsh President and CEO Core-Mark Holding Co. Inc. It would be tough to overstate how important the company J. Michael Walsh leads is to the c-store industry. As one of the largest broad-line, full-service distributors of packaged consumer products to the convenience retail industry in North America, Core-Mark provides distribution and logistics services

Store Brands Bring Big Bucks

Looking for ways to boost your grocery sales? Sales figures show that in today’s scary economy, shoppers are pinching pennies wherever they can—and one way that’s becoming increasingly popular is buying generic or so-called "house" brands. Gone are the days when generic brands looked, well, generic. Today’s generic brands are more attractively packaged, and the

The Industry’s Power 25 (part 5)

Tom LongPresident and Chief Commercial OfficerMillerCoors Since becoming president and chief commercial officer of Miller Brewing Co. in 2006, Tom Long has guided his company through several successful changes, including the joint venture agreement that created MillerCoors last July. Long also made the crucial decision to locate the newly merged company in downtown Chicago instead

Compassion in Convenience

At a Glance: Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Founded in 1964 by Tom Love, Love’s generates approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and has aggressive plans to grow 15 stores annually. Headquarters: Oklahoma City Number of Stores: 200-plus in 33 states Employees: 6,000 Foodservice Brands: Love’s operates 120 QSR’s under multiple national brands including

Fuel Freefall Continues

Gasoline prices continue to plunge with regular grade having now broken below $2 per gallon in numerous metropolitan regions across the U.S., offering a tax break that is certainly welcome news amid the current bleak economic outlook. The primary reason for the freefall from all-time record highs set during the summer is tumbling crude oil

Three-Mile Marketing

As John Matthews sees it, a store languishing in mediocrity is a store that has become wallpaper in the halls of retail.   "Generally, when starting a business, it’s easy to get people excited when its new and fresh," said Matthews, founder of Chicago-based retail marketing firm Gray Cat Enterprises. "After a few years, though,

PCATS Appoints New Executive Director, CEO

The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has appointed Thomas Oare as its new executive director and CEO, effective Feb. 1, 2009. Oare replaces the present executive director and CEO, John Hervey, who announced his retirement effective Jan. 31. "We are extremely pleased to have found someone with the background and experience of Tom

Freefall Continues

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN Commonly called a tax on American households, gasoline prices continue to plunge with regular grade having now broken below $2 gallon in numerous metropolitan regions across the U.S., offering a tax break that is certainly welcomed news amid the current bleak economic outlook. The primary reason

7-Eleven: Cross-Promotion and Private-Label Devotion

7-Eleven Inc. has teamed with department-store retailer J.C. Penney Co. for a creative cross-promotion while also committing to the expansion of its private-label products, the Dallas Morning News reported. 7-Eleven and J.C. Penney Co. are using the cross-promotion as a test in Dallas-area stores this week, as well as stores in Chicago, Los Angeles and

Cash Room Automation: A “Revolution” Has Begun

Rutter’s Continues Record Growth

Rutter’s Farm Stores is continuing its year of record expansion with today’s opening of a c-store in Chambersburg, Pa. “We’re thrilled to be opening a new store in Chambersburg,” said Scott Hartman, president and CEO at Rutter’s Farm Stores. “It is a vibrant community that fits our brand and product offering well. We have been

Game On

Take it from 7-Eleven: Today’s average gamer is not a teenager – he’s in his early 30s and most likely a male. That’s good news for the Dallas-based retailer, whose customer base skews heavily toward males between the ages of 18 and 34. The c-store chain said it’s taking the plunge into video game sales

Winn-Dixie Adds nFinanSe Discover Network

Stored value and prepaid card program provider nFinanSe said its Discover Network Reloadable Prepaid Card is now available at all 521 Winn-Dixie grocery stores in the southeast. Consumers can purchase the Reloadable Card for $5.95 and load funds at their discretion. No credit check or bank account is required. Consumers can also use the Discover

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