target customer with knowledge of trends

Understanding health and wellness developments can increase sales. The health and wellness landscape has been undergoing some major changes over the past several years, spurred by various factors, including scientific discoveries, nutrient breakthroughs, changing lifestyles and demographics, rising obesity, desire for wellness personalization and demand for corporate social responsibility. All of these transformations can make

focus on food safety

Just two years after the devastating tomato outbreak at Sheetz, other retailers have benefited from the hard lesson. Any convenience retailer heavily invested in foodservice has to admit their heart dropped when wordspread about the tomato epidemic at Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. A salmonella-tainted shipment of tomatoesled to 400 people getting sick in July 2004,

The 5 firsts of hourly employee retention

With the labor pool shrinking sources of new hourly recruits are drying up. First impressions are lasting. Newly hired, hourly employees are not. Before they’ve been on the job just six months, more than 50% are gone. Some were probably not a good fit for the job in the first place, but some productive, dependable,

whats selling a view from the customers

CSD conducts customer surveys on isotonics and energy drinks in markets across the U.S. The growth of bottled waterhas been well documented, butdata shows energy drinks and isotonics are growing at comparable oreven faster rates. What’s even moreimpressive is that all three of these categories have wide-ranging appeal thatcross gender lines and attract customersof all

cashing in

Putting flow first fuels success. In a fiercely competitive world where declining fuelmargins are forcing companies to find new ways toincrease the bottom line, can small and mid-sizedconvenience store chains stay ahead of the game? According to Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, theycan—provided they manage cash and credit wisely, make a pointof

sheetz continues reinventing convenience

First to market in Pennsylvania with the convenience restaurant and E-85 fuel, the chain predicts strong growth in the coming years. When it comes to delivering quality and value,few chains are as highly regarded as SheetzInc. The Altoona, Pa.-based chain has longbeen admired for its superiority in innovationand its diligent commitment to consumer satisfaction. It’s

pick a card any card

Jupiter Research claims that 75% of consumers are card-carrying members of one loyalty program or another. It seems like you can’t buy anything now without bumping into anoffer to join some type of consumer loyalty club. Retailers havelong adopted loyalty programs as a method of getting more salesout of their customers. Whether they “live” offline

The Time is Right for Self-service Kiosks

Advances in technology enable efficiency while providing an attractive return on investment. Self-service ordering kiosks have been in use for more than four years. The reasons for their staying power are many, but the bottom-line is that kiosks please both c-stores and their customers. Can you imagine being able to take multiple orders, simultaneously? That’s

family affair

Just two months after Convenience Store Decisions was first to announce details of Tesco's foray into the U.S. market, we were able to get an exclusive tour of FamilyMart's operations in Southern California with Shiro (Sho) Inoue, president and CEO of Famima Corp., the Japanese retailer's U.S. subsidiary. Inoue's candid interview, part of our "2006

the benefits to customers

Advances in technology enable efficiency while providing an attractive return on investment. Self-service ordering kiosks have been in use for more than four years. The reasons for their staying power are many, but the bottom-line is that kiosks please both c-stores and their customers. Can you imagine being able to take multiple orders, simultaneously? That’s

faceoff

Fuel Hedging: Aggressive or Moderate? Face-off is a regular feature in Convenience Store Decisions that gives retailers, suppliers and consultants an opportunity to debate the issues affecting the convenience store and petroleum industry. Have an idea for Face-off? Contact John Lofstock at 201-845-2468 or via email at jlofstock@penton.com. Aggressive:Philip J. Baratz, C.T.A.President, Angus Energy Inc.

dipping into new profits

Premium products driving the moist smokeless tobacco business, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco said. An influx of deep-discount products is leading retailers to change the way they merchandise moist smokeless tobacco (MST) products, and experts are concerned that these changes are adversely affecting moist smokeless profitability. As the deep-discount segment has grown in volume, it is compressing

all in the familyinside japans familymart

Japan’s FamilyMart, whose Famima convenience store brand is attracting an upscale clientele in Southern California, readies expansion to several new markets and New York City may be on the agenda. With the experience of operating 12,452 convenience stores worldwide, Tokyo-based FamilyMart Co. felt the time was right to take on the complex U.S. market. So

count on curtis

Wilbur Curtis blends technology with simplicity in its G3 Concept Series Primo Cappuccino machine. With fuel prices soaring and instore margins shrinking, hot beverages have emerged as one of the most profitable sections in the convenience store. With a price point usually not much more than a regular cup of coffee, cappuccino sales are helping

is hedging right for you

Minimizing risk is key to maximizing fuel profitability. The post-Hurricane Katrina era is presenting a flood of challenges for uneasy marketers at the most inopportune time. Competition from multiple retail channels has never been greater, credit card fees are eating away store profits and fuel supply is being called into question forcing pump prices to

southwest georgia oil targets new markets

New Sun Stop prototype appeals to women, elderly shoppers. Getting more stores and giving better customer service are two tried-and-true ways to boost c-store profits, so when Southwest Georgia Oil Co. (SWGO) decided to grow its business, both tactics made the short list. But a third—and much less conventional—approach seems to be working even better:

how to buy a reachin refrigerator

It can easily be argued that refrigerators are the most critical piece of equipment in your kitchen. No matter what type of foodservice operation you run, you need refrigeration. Keeping food at the proper temperature without using too much energy is essential to food quality, food safety and your bottom line. Before you buy, there

valero finds cool comfort in follett valero finds cool comfort in follett

Valero found a solution for its stores ice situations while uncovering an invaluable tool for relieving hurricane stricken refineries It would have been hard to predict how fortuitous the meeting of Valero Energy Corp. and Follett Inc. would be after the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) conference in New Orleans a few

ice cold profits

Finding the right ice machine can turn the dispensed beverage business into one red-hot category. Ice and ice delivery is a vital part of a convenience and/or gas store’s inventory. Whether it’s used to complement selfserve beverage systems, for sale as bagged ice or within the store for icing down beverages and food displays, ice

welcome to the neighborhood

Canastota, N.Y.-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes knows how to make an entrance. Just before it opened its Taft Road location—the 85th store in the chain and the fifth ground-up location with the new store design introduced more than a year ago—store personnel visited about 125 local businesses with “welcome baskets.” “We got a list

Wawa turns to Merrychef

With its focus on meeting the demand for quick, quality foodservice solutions, the Pennsylvania retailer enlisted the help of Merrychef’s accelerated cooking ovens. Being one of the top foodservice providers in the convenience store industry requires more than a commitment from foodservice managers and store personnel. It demands vision, innovation and, perhaps most importantly, the

jaded in new jersey

As New Jersey faces its fourth excise tax increase in four years, retailers are watching their dwindling tobacco sales head across state lines. Every state has its own issues to deal with, but it seems that New Jersey has been dealt a particularly difficult hand. “New Jersey is a difficult state for convenience stores to

lighting your way to profitablilty

Marketers tend to give a lot of counter space to novelty lighters, but BIC warns that long-term profitability comes from repeat sales of traditional products. That novelty lighter that emits a powerful flame might make for an interesting conversation starter, but it’s not the best way to grow long-term profitability in the lighter category, warns

from bubba to betty

For a channel centered around serving blue-collar, 18- to 35-year-old men, how can it evolve to attract the finer sex while not alienating its existing customers? It’s no secret that women are a mystery. Ask any man who has ever tried to figure out how to attract a woman or make her happy. Many thought

maximizing margins

Carwash dollars compensate for shrinking gas profits. Remember when convenience stores and gas stations used to give a free carwash with the purchase of a full tank of gas? Now, shrinking fuel margins are causing an increasing number of store operators to look to carwash sales to boost the bottom line. According to the International

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