MillerCoors Steps Up Charity Efforts

MillerCoors said the final numbers are in and the 17th annual St. Jude MillerCoors Halloween promotion was another success. The brewer said it raised more than $4.78 million for the children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the October fund-raiser. Participating convenience stores, restaurants and retail outlets helped collect money for St. Jude, one


PCATS Appoints New Secretary

The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) today announced that Kraig Adams, director of collaborative customer capabilities of The Coca-Cola Co. has been appointed to serve as Secretary of the PCATS Board of Directors. Adams also serves as vice-chairman of the PCATS Membership & Marketing Committee. Adams will serve out the remainder of the

Circle C Files for Bankruptcy

Circle C Food Stores, a Huntsville, Ala.-based convenience store operator, filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to liquidate. The company, which operates eight stores in the Birmingham area, cited debts of between $1 million and $10 million, and assets of less than $500,000 in a filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Decatur, Ala. The company,

Wisconsin Milks the Cash Cow

On the heels of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which increased the federal tax on tobacco 156% to $1, Wisconsin has proposed a $1 tax increase on cigarettes for the new Wisconsin State Budget. However, the timing of the tax and strategy behind what the state hopes to accomplish was blasted as irresponsible by

Kentucky Flame Out

The Louisville, Ky., Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee unanimously passed an ordinance this week that bans the sale of lighters that “are not readily identifiable as lighters.” Fire officials say they are often picked up by children. The ordinance will go before the full council at next week’s meeting and will be on the consent

Stamp of Approval

Tesoro Hawaii convenience stores soon will offer postage stamps at face value. Tesoro has enrolled 30 of its 2Go convenience stores on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island in the U.S. Postal Service’s “Stamps to Go” program that allows Tesoro to buy stamps at face value and then requires them to sell that postage for

Off to the Races

Bristol Motor Speedway officials today announced an agreement with Fas Mart Convenience Stores naming the company as a new partner during major event weekends. NASCAR fans in town for races and the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals will be able to find Fas Mart convenience items without having to leave the BMS campgrounds. “Fas Mart is

Mark VII Launches Two New In-Bay Automatics

Mark VII Equipment Inc. announced its next generation of rollover carwash systems, the SoftWash XT and AquaJet XT. Each system leverages the best features of its predecessor while adding unique new features that drive incremental revenue, lower operating costs, increase customer satisfaction and reduce consumption of precious resources. Both have been redesigned from the ground

Fuel Trending Upward

By Brian Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, DTN After making a U-turn and moving down more than a nickel in late February, the U.S. average price for regular grade gasoline at retail outlets will again increase, pushed up by sharp gains in the wholesale market. The wholesale markets remain extremely volatile, and we could see wholesale

F.A.B. Leaps into Foodservice

F.A.B. Inc. (Frosty Acres Brands), the national foodservice purchasing cooperative for independent distributors, is stepping up its focus on fresh foods with the launch of the Up for Grabs foodservice program. The Up for Grabs program offers distributors an exclusive brand designed for the convenience channel. With a variety of premium products, specialized merchandising systems,

ShortStop Enhances Financial Services

ShortStop, a ConocoPhillips branded convenience store chain in Boulder, Colo., is expanding its current mobile gift program to include Mocapay’s mobile loyalty solution after a successful three-month mobile gift trial. ShortStop, a four-store chain that has served the Boulder community for more than 30 years, expects to launch its mobile loyalty program in the second

SCHIP Federal Tax Increase Update

The federal cigarette and tobacco tax increases signed into law in early February by President Obama will take effect on April 1, 2009. With the tax increases less than one month away, tobacco retailers should review the list of recommendations below to help prepare for these tax increases: 1. To minimize the floor stocks tax, retailers

Chevron Names John Watson Vice Chairman

Chevron Corp. said Vice Chairman Peter J. Robertson will retire from the company and its board after more than 35 years of service at the San Ramon, Calif. oil company. Robertson will be succeeded by John Watson, currently executive vice president of strategy and development. The company also named Charles A. James, currently vice president


TOP PERFORMERS Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. MillerCoors Heineken USA HONORABLE MENTIONS Mike’s Hard Lemonade Samuel Adams (Boston Beer Co.) Corona (Crown Imports) The economy may be slowing, customers may be spending less, but beer sales remain solid at convenience stores. A recent report by AC Nielsen shows beer sales are least affected by the current poor


TOP PERFORMERS Tyson Foods Inc. Chester’s International The Broaster Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Krispy Krunchy Chicken Squawkers (Brakebush Brothers) For such a little creature, chicken certainly knows how to command a formidable presence on foodservice menus.  To fully grasp this indefatigable bird’s share of American stomachs, look no further than this: Each U.S. consumer gobbled up

Cody’s Goes To Kum & Go

Cody’s Convenience Stores at a Glance Headquarters: Springfield, Mo. Store Count: 37 Fuel Brand: Phillips 66 Missouri Markets: Battlefield, Bolivar, Clever, Fair Grove, Hollister, Joplin, Monett, Neosho, Nixa, Republic, Rogersville, Springfield, Waynesville and Webb City. Distinctions: The Cody’s Gift Card, live bait, financial services, full-service delis and various leading foodservice concepts. It took the right

Innovation Drives Frozen Sales

  TOP PERFORMERS Coca-Cola Co. PepsiCo ICEE (J&J Snack Foods) HONORABLE MENTIONS F’Real! Foods Dr Pepper (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) Slush Puppie (J&J Snack Foods) It’s little surprise that The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo were ranked as top performers in the dispensed cold beverages category, but innovators like J&J Snack Foods and F’Real! are certainly


TOP PERFORMERS Philip Morris USA R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Lorillard Tobacco Co. HONORABLE MENTIONS Commonwealth Brands Inc. Liggett Vector Since the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), tobacco taxes and sales from tax-free sources continue to plague the convenience store industry. Cigarettes continue to be the top in-store category based on sales dollars. On a monthly

Budgets Tightened, Jobs Squeezed

As retailers big and small continue shedding jobs amid economic troubles, some convenience and petroleum brands bleed a little, some bleed a lot.  The industry is taking its share of hits in this economic tsunami, but if there’s any consolation, it’s this: Their wounds aren’t nearly as deep as those suffered in other retail channels.

Dispensed Beverages: Hot

TOP PERFORMERS S&D Coffee Boyd Coffee Folgers (J.M. Smucker Co.) HONORABLE MENTIONS Sara Lee Foodservice Ronnoco Coffee Co. If you haven’t figured it out by now, most customers aren’t going to be happy with a one-pot coffee program bookended by a cup of sugar and a bowl of curdled creamer.  They could get that at


TOP PERFORMERS Swisher International Inc. Swedish Match Altadis USA HONORABLE MENTIONS John Middleton (Philip Morris USA) Royal Blunts (New Image Global) PrimeTime Cigars New insights on the cigar category reveal that retailers who manage the tobacco segment more strategically benefit from accelerated growth and a larger share of the market. “Retailers focused on offering a

Sunoco Downsizing

Sunoco Inc. said it is selling off 165 convenience stores and gas stations in the Eastern U.S.  The properties are located in selected markets in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Philadelphia-based Sunoco operates a network of approximately 4,700 retail sites—including the APlus

Prepared Foods

TOP PERFORMERS Sara Lee Foodservice Oscar Meyer (Kraft Foods Inc.) Ruiz Foods Inc. HONORABLE MENTIONS Don Miguel Mexican Foods Inc. Stouffer’s (Nestle) Old-time retailers tell it this way: Some years ago, convenience customers were more willing to give up a little something on quality—in the way of food, at least—if it meant they’d get something

Smokeless tobacco market plans, snue and spit free product information

TOP PERFORMERS Copenhagen (Philip Morris USA) Skoal (Philip Morris USA) Grizzly (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) HONORABLE MENTIONS Kodiak (Conwood Co./ Reynolds American) Timberwolf (Swedish Match) Longhorn (Swedish Match) Few product categories are as dynamic as smokeless tobacco, which helps make managing the set all the more interesting. With so many new products, flavors and line

Retaining Talent For The Future

The best thing about the economy being such a dog? Employers get the pick of the litter when it comes to job candidates. Worcester, Mass.-based Honey Farms Mini-Market landed an expert last month when it hired retail veteran Lisa Clement to oversee nine Honey Farm stores in the Worcester and Middlesex county markets. Just weeks