Say it Ain’t So: A Smoking Ban in Texas?

Residents on both sides of a proposed smoking-ban bill in Texas met head to head at a hearing Tuesday evening before the Texas Committee on State Affairs to debate whether the law is a necessary for the safety of public health or an attack on the rights of business and property owners, the Star (Texas) Telegram


A Vending Machine for the 21st Century

Coca-Cola North America announced that “Coca-Cola Freestyle” is the brand name and logo for its new proprietary fountain dispenser, which is set to begin market tests this summer.   “Coca-Cola Freestyle brings to life the refreshingly positive outlook that has always been associated with Coca-Cola,” said Chandra Stephens-Albright, senior director of marketing and business development

Anger Over Proposed Smoking Ban in La.

If the Louisiana legislature passes an anti-smoking bill, the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), Columbus, Ga., said it may boycott the state for its conventions. Its August convention would bring some 5,000 attendees to New Orleans.   “And we are just one convention,” Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR told the

Midwest Madness

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices will move higher in most metropolitan markets in the United States during the first week of May, pushed up by climbing costs passed through from wholesale markets. May 1 was the deadline for all terminals that supply retail outlets to have summer

“Hot Fuel” Settlement Hurts Consumers

A proposed settlement agreement with Costco over “hot fuel” is the latest attempt by trial lawyers to mislead the public, according to Lisa Mullings, CEO of NATSO, a national association representing travel plazas and truckstops.   Despite claims that the warehouse club will “fix hot fuel,” the only likely results from the 19-page settlement agreement

Fuel American Freedom Acquires C.A. Torbett

CA Torbett Inc. , a long time BP wholesaler and marketer in New Tazewell, Tenn., has been acquired by Fuel American Freedom LLC of Madison, Ga.   Founded in 1931, the company serves both retail and commercial customers throughout Northeastern Tennessee.  “My wife Mary Lou and I are happy that the legacy that was started

7-Eleven Blasts Stars in New Terminator Movie

7-Eleven Inc. storms the big screen in Terminator Salvation, the convenience retailer’s biggest participation ever in a major motion picture. Leading up to the movie’s May 21 release, 7-Eleven has turned its stores totally Terminator, with special Slurpee flavor Apocalyptic Ice, four premium collectible cups and two paper Slurpee cups, four Slurpee spoon-straws and a

Nice N Easy Recognizes Top Employees, Trade Partner

Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes wrapped up its annual trade show and year-end meeting last week in Syracuse, N.Y. President and CEO John MacDougall announced that w008 was a record year for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and he credited the success to the company’s focus on people and customers.   Several top employees were

Slow to Market

Fewer new products are showing up on supermarket shelves this year as companies cope with the changing economy. New data from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) shows total food and drink product launches have been cut in half since last year (a 51% decline from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009).   Compounding the

Recession Buster

Steve’s Frozen Chillers Inc. said it is launching new creative financing options for convenience store operators, including 0% financing for the first 12 months, on its line of convenience store slushee machines.   Steve’s, which was founded in 2001, has been one of the fastest growing frozen beverage companies in the U.S. and now has

Alon’s Retail Spinoff Progresses

Alon USA, which began spinning off its Alon Brands subsidiary last November, is currently answering the second round of questions from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before it can take its new subsidiary public. “We have an excellent business model, and expect to have all the documentation we need to move forward finalized in

Retail Commission to Study Shopper Marketing

Coca-Cola said it is sponsoring the creation of the Retail Commission on Shopper Marketing. This group of retailers will work with industry experts to determine how to best leverage manufacturers’ insights to develop marketing approaches that increase same-store sales and profit performance. The commission will be guided by Dr. Brian Harris, chairman of The Partnering

Staying Competitive in a Tough Economy

A moribund economy is not the best time to take over as a category manager in charge of identifying what customers will spend their money on, but Pat Zelechoski is up to the challenge. Zelechoski, named category manager for NOCO Energy Corp.’s 31 NOCO Express convenience stores in the Eastern New York, will take on

ANS Targets C-Store, Service Station Owners

ANS Distributing, a leading supplier of replacement parts for service station equipment, has launched a new online site for convenience store and gas station owners.   The new, easy to use site allows owners to order and track their replacement parts quickly and safely on the web. Users can browse by product category.   Orders

Gulf, SVX Team Up on Prepaid

Gulf Oil L.P., the Newton, Mass.-based distributor and wholesalers of refined petroleum products in the Northeast, named SVX Prepaid as their preferred prepaid solutions supplier for more than 1,400 gasoline retail centers in the Gulf Branded network.   Gulf distributes motor fuels through a network of more than 2,400 Gulf-branded gasoline retail centers, 12 proprietary

Caught in the Web

Acting on its commitment to its branded marketers and retailers, CITGO Petroleum Corp. recently launched individual Web pages for each of the nearly 7,000 locally owned CITGO retail locations across the country. The company launched the sites to assist its Retailers with the increasing pressures they face not only in these tight economic times, but

Is Recession Aiding Cigarette sales?

The economy may be impacting cigarette sales in very opposite ways. On the one hand, the economic downturn has caused smoking rates in the U.S. to increase for the first time in 10 years. But some experts say the recent hike in cigarette taxes may be turning that around, The Lancet reported.   Stanton Glantz,

Some Cities to Ban Plastic Bags

The trend away from plastic bags has been growing since IKEA because the first major U.S. retailer to stop carrying free plastic bags in March 2007. Stores in a variety of markets have since followed the company’s example by encouraging consumers to bring their own bags, while cities across the nation also have joined in

Local CITGOs Support Children in Need

Despite the chill in the air, thoughts have been on summer vacation at the Pop Shoppe CITGO station at 3512 Kivett Drive in High Point, N.C. The store was one of 21 locally owned Pop Shoppes that raised money through the Shamrocks Against Dystrophy program to send kids with muscular dystrophy to summer camp.  

Gasoline in Pacific NW to Climb on Outage

 By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices in the Pacific Northwest will move higher this week after two refineries in Washington were forced shut by a power outage triggered by a car crash.   The forced shutdown of the two oil refineries late April 23, meaning less gasoline production

Shell To Cut Pollution as Part of Settlement

Shell Oil Co. reached a $5.8 million settlement with environmental groups on Thursday and agreed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a Gulf Coast refinery, the Associated Press reported.   The agreement still must be approved by a federal judge, but if approved it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Deer Park, Texas,

Brink’s Celebrates Milestone Anniversary

On May 5, Brink’s Inc., one of the most recognized symbols of security, is turning 150 years old. “There are very few companies with the longevity and legacy of Brink’s,” said Michael Dan, president, chairman and CEO of The Brink’s Co. “Celebrating 150 years is a proud accomplishment and a true testament to the company’s

EBT Tips Authorities to Food Stamp Fraud

In Belle Glade, Fla., two c-store employees at Billy’s Market were charged with organized fraud, grand theft and food stamp fraud of nearly $1 million. Police were tipped off when the store began seeing food stamp sales with Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) at a rate seven times the average in Belle Glade.   The Florida

Economy Stagnating Businesses in Maine

The recession has taken a toll on c-stores in Maine, The Kennebec Journal reported. Albion Variety is one of 56 c-stores in the state that have gone out of business in the past year.   Jeff Leonard, a spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, said Maine’s c-stores decreased from 1,146 to 1,090 in

C-Stores Prospering Despite Downturn

The convenience store market is growing faster than any other retail format. That was the message delivered by a leading chain at a major investment conference last week.   Susser Holdings Corp. CFO Mary Sullivan spoke with attendees at the Burkenroad Investment Conference in New Orleans about how c-stores are profiting as the rest of