interview with the slurpee

CSD lands the interview of the year- an exclusive with one of 7-Eleven’s coolest personalities: the Slurpee. Turning 40 this year hasn’t slowed down this icy icon. CSD: First of all, we’re big fans. How do you prefer to be addressed— Mr. Slurpee, Big Slurp, the Slurpster? Slurpee: Slurpee is fine. And I appreciate the

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didnt make it to vegas

Let us share some of the highlights with you. Didn’t make it to Las Vegas for the NACS show? Here’s a sampling of highlights from the show floor: Robbie Mfg. (www.robbiemfg.com) provides “grab and go” packaging for hot and cold foodservice items. 7-Eleven is using Robbie-made pouches in a market test of buffalo wings in

missed you in las vegas a nacs postshow report

Couldn’t come to the NACS Show this year? Then register to attend this one-hour whirlwind tour of NACS highlights as the CSD Group proves that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Want to catch up on everything you missed at the 2005 NACS Show in Las Vegas? CSD Editors will share their

marked for growth

Independent marketers with a thirst for alternative fuels find value and stability with GROWMARK’s FAST STOP brand. Doug Finkbeiner thought the sky might fall when a couple of big boxesopened up in Lapeer, a small town north of Detroit, last year. To counter thepresence of a new Meijer supermarket/fuel center and a Wal-Mart Supercenterwith a

red hot eats

Great Expectations The Power of a 94′ Milkshake Keynote Speaker: Thom Crosby, President & CEO, Pal’s Sudden Service Thom Crosby calls today’s young workers “part of the best trained, most highly educated and prepared workforce that America has ever seen.” Pal’s philosophy of empowerment has cultivated a crew of store-level strategic thinkers that has propelled

iron man

While Bruce Earhart may have been ready to "sing the blues" after a couple of consecutive 14-hour days, his band Eugene and the Night Crawlers hasn't yet written a song about the convenience retailing business. How he found his way to the c-store industry might offer great material, but Earhart seems to have found his

valero sings a new tune

With the holidays right around the corner, San Antonio, TX-based ValeroEnergy Corp. has introduced several new in participating Valero Shamrock CornerStores, making holiday shopping that much more convenient for customers. Theproducts include a new line of Texas-themed music CDs, a variety of popularvideo games and a selection of blockbuster movies. In nearly 600 of its

colossal success

Despite its size, 7-Eleven Inc. employs the grace, speed to market and creative thinking often seen in aggressive start-ups. CSD honors the industry’s mightiest retailer for its all-consuming drive to serve the customer. Like many of his peers, California franchisee Jas Dhillon believes thepower of the 7-Eleven brand lies in its ability to stay relevant,

give them what they want to give

This holiday season the name of the game is convenience. With that inmind, more and more consumers are putting an end to the frenzied shopping thattraditionally accompanies the holiday season. Instead, shoppers are opting forgift cards purchased at the checkout line at local grocery, drug or, yes, conveniencestores. Gift cards accounted for more than $17

a conversation with jim keyes

Jim Keyes, who recently stepped down as president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc., is as passionate about growing people as he is about growing merchandise sales. While leading a franchise-based company for two decades comes with its share of challenges, it also comes with many rewards, especially relating to people development. A tireless advocate of

at 7eleven the customer is king

A recent Convenience Store Decisions study of convenience store customers and their shopping habits showed that 7- Eleven truly is America's preferred convenience store. Customers listed several reasons for their fondness of 7-Eleven, ranging from proprietary products like the Slurpee, to the people behind the counter, to the consistency from store to store. What also

schools in

Having a tough time finding work to attract the college-age crowd? You couldalways just have them reimagine your company. Recruiting college-age kids to work in a c-store environment remains a challengefor most of the industry. But Jr. Foods (Jonesboro, AR) has found a unique wayto get students from the University of Arkansas “working” for the

Building Fanatics at Retail Level

Every element of the National Convenience Store Advisory Group’s Fall Conference was designed to help retailers turn customers into fanatics about their brands. How do you motivate your stores (and staff) to peak performance? How do you get to the next level of sales and profitability? The answer may lie in developing a closer connection

pack outlets

Singles may account for the bulk of a convenience retailer’s packaged beverage sales, but multi-packs represent a home-run growth opportunity as “gateway items” to other impulse purchases. About three years ago, Diane Clark surveyed her market to see her conveniencestore rivals getting aggressive with multi-pack soft drinks: large warm displays,both inside and out. Her 27

no contact for meijer

Meijer Stores Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI) is the first supercenter chain to adda contactless card payment option at its gas pumps. The chain’s 150 stores thatsell gas will have more than 1,850 fueling positions upgraded with a Gilbarco(www.gilbarco.com) contactless card system. Theintegrated system is currently the only product certified by all three majorcard companies for

making connections

Hey, what do you call it when a group of executives from financial servicesfirms spends the night at a bed and breakfast? (Sounds like a joke, but it isn

Should you add to your ad budget

Advertising is a severely underutilized tool for convenience retailers, according to one industry guru. So, how much should you allocate for your ad budget—and where should you invest it? Each year, convenience retailers spend an estimated $300 million in advertising.That sounds like a lot of dough, but John Matthews, president of marketing consulting firm Gray

Moving in Moving up

Retailers stir up new business by targeting “new movers.” Since opening Smith’s Service Center (Lancaster, PA) in 1979, John Smith had tried advertising in the Yellow Pages and utilizing the Welcome Wagon service to ferret out new customers, but he’d experienced limited, immeasurable results. “There were seven similar businesses to mine in the Welcome Wagon

a subdued welcome

Welcome back to Las Vegas—the adopted home of this year’s NACS Show following the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Southeast. Our hearts remain with our friends, relatives and colleagues in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and we wish them a quick and full recovery. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities to visit.

realationship

A new study reveals that customers are ready to take their relationship with your stores and employees to a new level. Are you? Kathy (not her real name) is a grandmother in her late 40s who recently movedfrom an apartment in Scottsdale, AZ, to a house in Phoenix. “So I don’t havemuch connection to my

premium pizza minimum labor

In an effort to better serve the convenience store market, Giorgio Foods Inc. (www.giorgio foods.com) has introduced a new pizza program that uses premium ingredients to provide pizzeria-quality pizza with minimal preparation required from store employees. Two styles of pizza are available: pre-baked or traditional. Depending on the style and cooking technique, fresh pizza can

fresh pressure

Casey’s and CJ’s don’t skimp when it comes to offering fresh pizza. Dedicated labor and attention to detail keep these programs profitable. Easy doesn’t necessarily mean better. That’s the view of Casey’s General Stores(Ankeny, IA) when it comes to foodservice. With more than 1,300 corporate-ownedstores and 19 franchised stores covering nine Midwest states, the company

gottahava new ad campaign

Wawa Inc. (Wawa, PA) has unveiled a new campaign “gottahava Wawa” for billboards, transit ads, radio and in-store promotions. Wawa hired Richards Group, which counts QSR chain Chick Fil-A and QuikTrip Inc. among its clients, to spearhead the campaign. The campaign started with billboard and transit advertising, then moved into radio and newspaper ads. Customers

A recruiting advantage for convenience stores

Deploy Solutions has developed a recruiting and talent management solution configured specifically for the convenience store industry called C-Store Advantage. The foundation of the program directs all applicants to a kiosk and/or Web solution when applying for an available position, which helps achieve consistency and compliance in the application process. Then, using assessments for traits

system failure

When employees perform below expectations, chances are it’s not a training issue. Often, employees fail because of the systems that are supposed to support them. Researchers tell us that when employees who know how to perform the dutiesof their jobs aren’t performing them, lack of training is rarely the cause. Job-related training salespeople say otherwise,

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