Open Pantry Promotes Fiene, Schutz

Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin, Inc., operator of 26 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois, announced two moves to solidify its executive team. Jim Fiene, the former senior vice president of the Pleasant Prairie, Wis. chain, was promoted to chief operating officer, effective Feb. 6. "Jim Fiene has dramatically contributed to up-imaging our company during

Wis. Sued Over Gas Competition Law

The state of Wisconsin is being sued in federal court over a law designed to ensure fair competition among gas station owners. The filing comes after a federal judge ruled in another lawsuit last year that the law is unconstitutional. In documents obtained by the Associated Press, Flying J filed a new lawsuit Jan. 29

Tensions Boiling Over in Petro-Canada Lock Out

Employees at a Montreal oil refinery are calling on the public to boycott Petro-Canada in support of the 260 workers locked out since November. The lockout was a reaction by Petro-Canada to a year of strained contract negotiations with the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers Union (CEP) regarding contract requirements and safety concerns in the

Coke Makes Honest Investment

The Coca-Cola Co. and Honest Tea Inc. completed a deal giving Coca-Cola approximately 40% interest in the fast-growing maker of certified organic beverages, including the best-selling Honest Tea brand. Coca-Cola may elect to buy, and the remaining Honest Tea shareholders may elect to sell to Coca-Cola, the outstanding interest not currently owned by Coca-Cola in

Consumers Weary Over Fuel Price

Despite a flailing U.S. economy, gasoline prices are the leading factor in changing American consumer spending, according to a NACS survey. Results found 45% of U.S. consumers said soaring gasoline prices have affected their spending more than rising energy and food costs, the slumping economy or the national mortgage and lending crisis, the survey found.

Jeff Parker Takes Reigns at Kwik Shop

Jeff Parker today was named president of Kroger’s Kwik Shop convenience store division. He will oversee 131 Kwik Shop stores in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. Parker previously served as senior vice president of operations for the Hutchinson, Kan.-based c-store chain and was the corporate controller for Kroger’s c-stores, Turkey Hill Dairy, and supermarket petroleum operations

7-Eleven Promotes Fresh-Brewed Coffee

The company that invented coffee-to-go some 40 years ago and sells at least a million cups a day is launching a multi-million-dollar “freshness guaranteed” advertising blitz in February. With taglines like “Our coffee’s fresher than your average Joe” and “Guaranteed fresh or we’ll brew it new,” 7-Eleven, Inc. plans to educate coffee drinkers about the

Nabisco Introduces Wine, Cheese & Cracker Pairings

Kraft Foodservice’s Nabisco Website (www.kraftfoodservice.com/crackers) is featuring new wine, cheese and cracker pairing tips to help operators increase margins and sales. Convenience store operators can use these pairing guides to develop catering and special events menus, and to identify spectacular pairings and flavors to keep patrons coming back for more. Developed by Lorraine Hems, a

7-Eleven Extends Gilbarco Agreement

7-Eleven, Inc. has extended its dispenser purchasing agreement with Gilbarco Veeder-Root through December 2010. The company will continue to purchase Gilbarco Encore dispensers, which offer the widest range of models for alternative fuels, advanced security and payment options. "Gilbarco dispensers have been an important part of our successful interaction with customers at the fuel island,"

Famima to Diversify U.S. Portfolio

Famima USA, a subsidiary of Japan’s second-biggest convenience store operator, FamilyMart Co., is shifting its U.S. retail strategy to open more outlets in middle-class U.S. neighborhoods to make the unit profitable by February 2012, said President Junji Ueda. Since opening its first U.S. store in West Hollywood, California, in 2005, FamilyMart has tried to set

Strong Quarter for The Pantry

The Pantry Inc., operator of 1,644 stores in 11 states under brands such as The Pantry and Kangaroo Express, reported sharp gain in first quarter revenues. For the quarter, revenues jumped to approximately $2 billion, a 43.2% increase from the first quarter of fiscal 2007. Net income was $3.2 million compared to just $125,000 a

Kum & Go Introduces Private-Label Wines

Kum & Go L.C., operator of more than 430 convenience stores in 12 states, introduced Napa Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and Sea Ridge Merlot wines to its long list of private-label offerings. The wines are sold exclusively at Kum & Go stores in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska. Kum & Go set out last year to provide

Big Incentives For Susser Holdings

Susser Holdings Corp., the parent company of more than 500 Stripes convenience stores in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, has received $640,000 in tax incentives from the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corp. and the city’s Business and Job Development Corp. With the Texas-based company’s recent acquisition of Town & Country Food Stores, Susser plans

Tesco Selects Four New Locations

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the U.S. unit of Britain’s biggest grocery retailer, plans to open four stores in the Sacramento area, according to liquor license applications with the state. The Sacramento locations named in the filings include 3311 Northgate Blvd. and 3615 Bradshaw Road. Two Folsom sites, 25000 Blue Ravine Road and 9522 Greenback

Just Desserts

Despite unchanging consumer demand and fickle consumer tastes, the market for frozen desserts is expected to grow by more than $4 billion by 2012, according to The U.S. Market for Ice Cream and Related Frozen Desserts, a new report from market research publisher Packaged Facts. Dollar sales continue to grow annually, but not because Americans

Reducing Operating Costs

Many believe better lighting can improve retail sales. But as one business owner found out, automated lighting can not only increase profits, it can also help make running the business more convenient. Terry Beachler, owner and president of Beachler’s Servicenter & Car Wash in Peoria, Ill., discovered the validity of this concept when he investigated

Bypassing the Interchange

Alot has changed on the credit card fee front since last year’s NACS/Convenience Store Decisions Webcast, but retailers are still faced with the daunting challenge of finding creative ways to bypass the high interchange fees that plague the c-store industry. The industry’s efforts to battle these fees is getting attention, fostering the hope that real

7-Eleven Embraces Nutritional Snacks

At a time of year when people are focused on health and fitness, 7-Eleven Inc. is adding three more sensible snacks for the “on-the-go” crowd–Weight Watchers snack cakes and muffins, LARABAR all-natural raw food bars and, in March, its own proprietary MEGA protein bars. Approximately half of all Americans entered 2008 resolved to do something:

Building New Relationships

Anyone who’s been in the industry as long as Dennis Lane is more than supremely qualified to help other retailers cope successfully with the changing c-store landscape. Lane—who was elected last November to head the 2,000-member National Coalition of 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association after serving for the past several years as vice chair of merchandising

Couche-Tard Realigns Retail Operations

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., Convenience Store Decisions 2007 Chain of the Year, announced a dramatic realignment of it retail business that creates two new business units in the U.S. These units will be identified as the Southwest Division to be based in Dallas and will be comprised of the states of Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma and New

QuickTrip Garners National Honors

Paid sabbaticals for long-timers and bonuses for part-timers helped make QuikTrip Corp. one of the nation’s top employers again this year. The convenience store chain ranked 28th in its sixth straight appearance on Fortune magazine’s "100 Best Companies To Work for" list. "We are honored to receive this award," said Chet Cadieux, president and CEO

Atlas Oil Expanding Retail, Fuel Distribution Portfolio

Atlas Oil Co., a Taylor, Mich.-based fuel marketer, has acquired five convenience stores in Battle Creek, Mich., from R&J Inc. and has folded that company into its own retail segment. The transaction essentially buys out the ownership stake of R&J partners Richard Folk and John Reed, and all remaining employees at the five stations. "We

Cody’s Acquires Express Lane Stores

Cody’s Convenience Stores acquired six bankrupt Express Lane stores, making it the second-largest owner of convenience stores in southwest Missouri. With the purchase, Cody’s surpassed fellow Springfield-based chain Rapid Roberts’ 23 area stores. The chain’s portfolio now comprises 25 stores, second to West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go’s 33 stores in southwest Missouri. Cody’s,

By the Numbers

» 1 Year That’s how long one Quick Chek customer will win free coffee for as part of the chain’s partnership with the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. Other prizes include autographed memorabilia, game tickets and dinner with a former Devils player. » 4 Lawsuits filed in federal court by Philip Morris against importers aimed at

Fresh & Easy Moving into San Francisco

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the U.S. subsidiary of mega UK retailer Tesco, unveiled plans to bring its retail concept to California’s Bay Area. Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy’s chief executive, disclosed the locations of the company’s first 18 store sites in Northern California, which will begin opening in 2009. Fresh & Easy currently has

css.php