Fresh Start To A New Year

After noticing a sharp spike in sales of canned foods – particularly fruits and vegetables – at its stores in the past few months, West Coast c-store chain Fresh & Easy said it has launched a line of 98-cent produce packs to help consumers budget for fresh quality products. “It’s clear customers are trying to

Celestial Convenience

Leaders at Jordan Lutheran Church in North Carolina are promoting a gas discount at a BP station in Cary, N.C., to show people that God cares about their practical needs, too, TV station NBC 17 reported. The church will promote 50-cent-per-gallon gas at Dolphins BP on Jan. 17 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., NBC 17

Innovator Of The Year

The Griffin Report of Food Marketing has named Rutter’s Farm Stores as its 2008 Convenience Store Innovator of the Year. The Griffin Report (www.griffinpublishing.net) covers the food industry for supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores from Maine to Florida, and has a monthly readership of more than 50,000. Award criteria included foodservice offerings, store design, environmentally

Why Not Wi-FI?

BP North America has turned to Dayton, Ohio-based network management company HarborLink Network and Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Wi-Fi services company Ruckus Wireless to offer a next-generation Wi-Fi service for free at 50 BP sites nationwide. If it’s well received, the service could be rolled out at additional BP locations, said BP Spokesman Scott Dean. Dubbed “Smart

Tesco, Wal-Mart Dig In Their Heels

It’s been more than a year since Tesco and Wal-Mart first scrawled their battle lines for a convenience-channel fight on the West Coast, and already analysts are predicting that retail Goliath Wal-Mart could have a fight on its hands. A report by Business Week said that Tesco’s Fresh & Easy stores, launched in November 2007

Winnings For All

A Detroit gas station owner is discounting gas prices after one of his customers won a $1 million lottery prize last week, the Detroit Free Press reported. Kayed Bazzi, owner of a BP in Detroit, received a $2,000 commission from the Michigan State Lottery after he sold the winning ticket. One day next week, he’s

Sheetz Awards Free Gas To Ohio Resident

Sheetz Inc. awarded a Canton, Ohio man free gas for a year on Tuesday as part of a gas-giveaway promotion in its Ohio stores. The man won $2,000 worth of free gas after signing up for a My Sheetz Card. The company is awarding the prize to 17 other customers in Ohio in the coming

Redbox Heads To 7-Eleven

An instant video-rental concept is moving into a leading c-store chain after storming the  grocery channel. Redbox is spreading into 7-Eleven stores nationwide as it continues its focus on the c-store market. Starting this month and continuing through next year, Redbox will be installing its DVD rental machines into 2,600 7-Eleven locations nationwide, boosting its

Focused on the Future

If it has mechanical parts or it’s sown from a seed, Nevada resident Donald Bently can probably enhance its performance or improve its propensity for growth. To shorten a very long story, in fact, this accomplished inventor and engineer has chiseled himself some commanding niches in the most curious and seemingly disparate of industries: pressurized

Turbulent Times for Tobacco

Fasten your seat belts because 2009 will likely be one of the most turbulent years for the tobacco industry in recent memory. The outcome of the federal elections has further cemented Democratic control in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House and ushered in a new liberal administration with President-elect Obama waiting to be

The Maine Thing

If you’re driving north or south along a crooked road just inside Maine’s Atlantic coast, you’re eating up New England’s northernmost scenery on Interstate 95. Trucking southbound through the state’s southern belly, you might stop off for gas in the town of Waterville and find J&S Oil’s Xpress Stop Service Station sitting just off the

BP Testing “Smart Wi-Fi” at U.S. Stores

BP North America has teamed with two wireless networking firms to pilot a souped-up version of Wi-Fi at 50 stores nationwide, all in hopes of adding more value to the customer experience. “We’re very interested in what the customer reaction will be,” said BP spokesman Scott Dean. “We have high hopes for this.” BP turned

Flying J Files For Chapter 11

Ogden, Utah-based Flying J Inc. has filed voluntary petitions for itself and some of its subsidiaries to reorganize under Chapter 11.  The company operates nearly 250 travel plazas and gas stations nationwide, and it had 2007 sales exceeding $16 billion. Flying J President and CEO J. Phillip Adams said the filing was triggered by a

By the Numbers

» 13 Months in prison Ashraf “Mike” Ali, owner of 26 Fast and Easy convenience stores in California’s Bay Area, will serve for an elaborate scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration. » 25 Ranking for Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores on Forbes’ 2008 list of the largest private companies in the U.S., a

EZ Energy Acquires 42 Stations

EZ Energy USA Inc., the U.S. entity of Israeli-based EZ Energy Ltd., has signed a contract to acquire 42 gas stations in the U.S. and all related inventory—as well as four lots—for a reported $32.6 million. When the deal is closed, EZ Energy will own 93 stores that sell approximately 160 million gallons of gas

Pilot Testing Electronic Smokeless Products

In an effort to boost sales in the smokeless category, Pilot convenience stores in the Knoxville, Tenn., market are testing the Vegas E-cigar, a product manufactured by Minneapolis-based Ruyan America Inc. that looks and feels like a premium cigar, but uses a microchip and nicotine-infused liquid to produce a vapor that provides its user with

Casey’s Intros New Store

In keeping with a plan outlined in 2008, Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores is rolling out expanded store designs. Casey’s executives said that roughly six stores with the new design are open or nearing completion, and the company hopes to finish a total of 20 by the end of April. The new ‘O’ floor plan

Geo. H. Green Embraces the Holiday Season

Despite the challenging economy, lost jobs and holiday malaise, the spirit of Christmas reigned supreme at Green Oil Co. Buoyed by an incredible effort from the caring employees and customers of two Super Stores, a bit of vendor and dealer support and a wonderful performance by its office staff, the Green Oil team announced it

Not So Fast

A Pleasanton man who runs a chain of convenience stores in California was sentenced to 13 months in prison and fined $1.2 million for an elaborate scheme in which he abused Small Business Administration loans to help business partners launch their own stores, California newspapers reported. Federal officials say Ashraf "Mike" Ali, 55, owner of

Dunkin Brands Readies For New Head

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands, parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, said it has appointed Nigel Travis as CEO. Travis, 58, most recently served as president and CEO of the Papa John’s pizza chain, which has more than 3,300 restaurants and annual sales of $2.1 billion in the U.S. and 29 international markets. Travis will

Not Your Average Kansas C-store, Toto

The North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA) awarded two Kansas agencies the Outstanding Product Award for helping green c-store Zarco 66 become a leader in green energy, the Lawrence Journal reported. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the EPA Region 7 received the award for helping Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels become

Rutter’s Expansion Continues

Rutter’s opened a new store in the Penn Township/Hanover area in Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve, the company said. “The Hanover community has been a vital part of Rutter’s success,” said Scott Hartman, president and CEO of the York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Farm Stores. “We’ve been looking forward to bringing our newest store experience to that area.

ExxonMobil Gives $2M To Students

For the ninth year the ExxonMobil Educational Alliance Program has provided grants to local schools across the nation, this year donating $2 million in grants to 4,000 students in 43 states. The students, grades kindergarten through 12th, will each receive a $500 grant to enhance their work in math and science programs. “ExxonMobil and our

Flying J Files For Chapter 11

Flying J Inc. said it has filed voluntary petitions to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The filing will allow Flying J and its subsidiaries “to address near-term liquidity needs brought about by the precipitous decline in oil prices coupled with the disruption in

Cumberland Coffee (and Kindness)

Canton, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms is giving a free cup of coffee to customers on New Year’s Eve, as well as marking the grand opening of its newest convenience store with a $1,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club chapter in Massachusetts. The new Cumberland store is in Framingham, Mass., the same town where a

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