Rutter’s Expands Iced Tea Line

Convenience store customers in Pennsylvania and Maryland have a new beverage option to get excited about. Rutter’s, a 56-store chain based in York, Pa., has introduced Southern Brew Sweet Tea to its line of iced teas.   This new flavor marks Rutter’s 13th iced tea variety. It is available in regular and diet gallon-sized containers


Coffee Wars Heating Up

McDonald’s began national advertising this week for its McCafe line and its competitors are stepping up their game, trying to overtake, or at least share, the spotlight.   More than an estimated $100 million will be poured into the McCafé ad campaign with will reach consumers through TV, print, radio, outdoor, Internet, events, PR and

General Tobacco Opens Distribution Center in Arizona

Mayodan, N.C.-based General Tobacco (GT) opened GT West, a distribution center for its complete line of low-priced tobacco products in Phoenix.   This new site will expedite delivery time to accommodate its west coast customers. Transit times to customers include: one day to Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Southern California; two days to Central California,

Spinx Rolls Out Gilbarco’s Passport

The SPINX Co. Inc., Greenville, S.C., has introduced the Gilbarco Passport point-of-sale (POS) system to 28 locations in North and South Carolina.   “We chose Passport because of its superior user interface and service compared to our old POS system; and because of its outstanding new features, like third-party integration with our back office via

Circle K Gets a Jolt

Wet Planet Beverages, the parent company of Jolt, has partnered with Circle K, which has more than 2,100 c-stores nationwide, reported. Jolt Energy Drinks and Jolt Energy Shots are now available in 300 of those stores throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Virginia.   JOLT is available in seven flavors and uses

Mississippi Tax Approved

It’s about to get a lot more expensive to smoke in Mississippi. State cigarette taxes will soon jump by 50 cents in the state, from the current 18 cent tax to a costly 68 cents per pack, lawmakers voted this week, the Associated Press reported.   The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the state Senate

Obama Administration Tackles Ethanol Plans

The White House made its first major statement regarding its ethanol stance on Tuesday. Three Cabinet members outlined a plan that would protect corn ethanol producers from the credit crisis, work with them to reduce their use of natural gas and coal in ethanol production, and push the auto industry to create vehicles that can

ExxonMobil to Support Hispanic Heritage

ExxonMobil, Irving, Texas announced that it will continue its support of the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards, which honor Latino students in America who excel in engineering and mathematics, by sponsoring the awards for the ninth straight year.   “ExxonMobil sees it as an imperative to encourage and reward students who are excelling in the vital

Gasoline Prices Climbing as Memorial Day Nears

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor for DTN   Retail gasoline prices will move higher across the country’s major metropolitan regions this week after values surged in wholesale markets during the first full week of May. The spark that lit the upside price rally afire was financial trading in energy commodities on signs suggesting

Spotlight on HR

Practically anything anybody wants to know about franchising a 7-Eleven store can be found on a comprehensive, new website –, which officially launched today.   The new Web site, which also can be reached by selecting the “Franchising” tab at the top of the company’s home page, is devoted solely to all-things-franchise including:  

No Smokes in Texas?

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services in Texas has approved a statewide smoking ban proposal by a 5-3 vote, and has sent the bill to the full State Senate for debate, the Austin American-Statesman reported.   The proposed ban would forbid smoking at indoor workplaces in Texas, including bars and restaurants.   This

Hershey Launches Industry-Focused Web Site

The Hershey Co., Hershey, Pa. has announced its new Web site, which offers targeted communication for more than 90,000 independent convenience store retailers in the U.S.   “Strong brands, category leadership, and exciting programs and promotions make Hershey’s the Perfect Partner for retailers across the Convenience Store Industry. The Hershey’s Convenience Web site is an

United for a Cure

This fall, Lion Uniform Group is partnering with convenience stores across the country to introduce Fueling Awareness, a nationwide campaign in support of breast cancer awareness.   This October, employees across the country will join the movement by trading in their usual work apparel for limited edition pink ribbon polos to be worn in observance

FOAC Members Convene for Annual Trade Show

By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor   More than 100 vendors and storeowners were on hand last week to participate in the 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association of Chicagoland (FOAC) annual trade show in St. Charles, Ill.   Franchise owners came together to discuss goals for the future and the state of the economy, as well as

PM Goes on the Offensive

Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest tobacco company, is taking a New York retailer to court after it allegedly sold counterfeit cigarettes and illegally used the company’s Marlboro trademark, the Associated Press reported.   The accused retailer is N.Y.-based Tammy’s Smoke Shop, where 184 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes where reportedly confiscated on Tuesday by Suffolk

N.Y. City Cracks Down on Late Night Stores

C-stores that operate all night in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. may soon be facing new fees and regulations, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.   A new city ordinance would impose tougher rules on c-stores that operate between 11p.m. and 5 a.m., including a mandatory $500 yearly permit from the city. Leaders citied issues with illegal drugs sales, loitering

Chevron Reveals 2008 Performance Report

Chevron Corp. released its 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report this week, showing it invested $160 million in communities around the world, posted record safety performance and completed major energy efficiency projects.   “Energy is the foundation of global growth and prosperity,” said Dave O’Reilly, Chevron chairman and CEO in a press release. “But Chevron does much

Sheetz Supports Special Olympics

On Monday, checks were presented to the Special Olympics programs in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, after Sheetz Inc., which operates more than 350 locations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, teamed up with the Pittsburgh Steelers and raised more than $36,000 for the cause.   As part of the fund-raiser, Sheetz

ExxonMobil Draws Customers with Navigation Tool

Fairfax, Va.-based ExxonMobil has launched an improved station locator Web site that provides customers with one-stop shopping and easier navigation. The site helps customers identify Exxon and Mobil stations along driving routes, using Google mapping technology and features turn-by-turn directions to stations with specific services, including convenience stores, service bays, diesel fuel, ATMs and car

CITGO Owners Gather to Expand Skills

Two CITGO retailer meetings come none too soon for c-store operators looking for ways to improve efficiency and cut costs at the nearly 7,000 locally owned CITGO stations nation wide. The annual Wisconsin Retailer Meeting in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. on April 28 and the Northeastern Region Retailer Meeting in Mashantucket, Conn. on May 28, include

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