industry sales hit new highs in 2005

Higher fuel prices, strong in-store sales spur record growth. By John Lofstock, Editor Convenience store sales climbed 20.2% to reach a record $474.3 billion in 2005, the third straight year of revenue growth of at least 16%, according to National Association of Convenience Stores’ State of the Industry (SOI) report. The results were announced last

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food for thought

By Ross Markman Retail Relations Editor Highlighted by a theme dinner that mimicked the Food Network’s popular Iron Chef television program, the National Convenience Store Advisory Group (NCSAG) foodservice conference was a success, particularly for the more than 300 retailers and suppliers in attendance. The three-day event, held in Atlanta, was the first NCSAG show

broadening its range

Road Ranger, a chain of 50 c-stores and travel plazas, expects to nearly double in size by year’s end. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor This promises to be a busy year for Road Ranger. Following an expansion two years ago from about 30 convenience stores and travel centers to 50, the Rockford, Ill.-based chain

cstores with no cashiers

The concept of tomorrow is being offered today. A CSD Staff Report For convenience store retailers, cashiers embody both the assets and the liabilities of running a cash-intensive business. Cashiers provide the face and the feel for store operations, but also the risk from cash and cash handling in the form of both internal and

banking on loyalty

Data mining and basket analysis is giving retailers an edge when going to market, while strategic partnerships keep costs down. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor They have a saying at Mirabito Fuel Group: “When you attract customers with cheap gas prices, you only buy their loyalty until the next gas fill-up.” That’s the kind of

newcomers welcome

For all the talk about gasoline volatility and dwindling fuel margins, there's no shortage of mega-retailers looking to fillup on fuel profits. Alongside traditional hypermarketers like Wal-Mart, Costco and BJ's, is a new breed of operators hoping to cash in on America's growing fuel demand. This includes the nation's largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot,

category captain

safe at work

Armor Safe is urging retailers to utilize their financial resources on cash management systems that help reduce internal theft and maximize employees’ time. A CSD Staff Report Missing deposits, shortages, security concerns and the time spent handling cash are constant problems for busy convenience store managers. Armor Safe understands the growing demands of today’s store

rollin right along

The roller grill has spun itself into the spotlight at Fas Mart and Pump N Pantry, delivering nice returns to the bottom line. By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor Pump N Pantry hasn’t been afraid to try new items to spice up the roller grill. Not all of them have turned a profit. Take, for instance,

decisionmakers

RetailerSpotlightAndrea Jackson, president and COO of Jacksons Food Stores, was chosen by Idaho Business Review as one of Idaho's "Women of the Year." She was honored because of her professional accomplishments, willingness to serve in volunteer organizations and to mentor other women. Jackson has risen from clerk to president and COO of Jacksons Food Stores,

tesco prepares for its us invasion

With the development of a new convenience store format to be unveiled in California early next year, UK retailers and analysts say marketers should prepare for Wal-Mart, Part II. By Andrew Don Not since The Beatles has a British invasion been so eagerly anticipated. But UK market observers warn that Tesco’s reputation as a bigger,

managing fuel operations

Circle K and Worsley roll out innovative programs to streamline costs and boost profitability. By John Lofstock, Editor With fuel prices soaring to record highs, marketers are desperately looking for software solutions that can help them manage the business more effectively. On the fuel supply side, tighter control of distribution could enhance margins and increase

lottery controversy stuns iowa retailers

Operators have lost a major profit center now that the governor has banned the popular TouchPlay machines. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Eight miles from the tiny town of Larchwood, Iowa (pop. 788), Fran Zuraff faces a major competitor for customer dollars—South Dakota. Competition wasn’t quite as stiff until recent months, when Zuraff and

a sign from above

It takes more than great food to stand out from the competition. By Mark Mayberry Your customers can go a million places to eat. It may be difficult to stand out from the competition, but it’s certainly not impossible. While in St. Paul, Minn., recently, I saw a couple of signs that helped set two

your foodservice future

I am working at my dining room table one morning in late February when I overhear a remarkable conversation taking place in the kitchen. Our two youngest kids, ages five and eight, are eating breakfast when suddenly the youngest, Jake, pipes up. "My cereal has whole grain," he announces to his sister. He can't read

faceoff

Foodservice: Branded vs. Unbranded BrandedKent Cummings, President, Cummings Oil Co. After looking at several foodservice options and trying our own proprietary concepts, we decided to partner with Hot Stuff Foods. We chose a national brand for a number of reasons,including: National brands have proven systems. When we implemented our Hot Stuff program we didn’t have

targeting teens

A study by the NACS/Coca-Cola Leadership Council urges marketers to understand the range of categories purchased by the 14- to 20-year-old demographic. By Bill Bishop, founder and president of Willard Bishop, and Martha Russell, founder and managing partner of Clickin Research One of the most compelling things about teen shopping at convenience stores is that

good to great

Two experienced ’foodies’ share insights into what retailers need to do to get from here to there in the foodservice business. By Jay Gordon, Editorial Director Foodservice can be a significant differentiator for convenience retailers. It can elevate a good c-store offer and make it a great one, even a destination. But what specific strategies

white castles twopronged attack

Hamburger chain gains entry into the c-store industry through co-branded restaurants and frozen foods. By John Lofstock, Editor White Castle might not be a household name in the convenience store and petroleum industry right now, but give it a few more years and it might become the next brand customers crave. The Columbus, Ohio-based hamburger

are you serving your healthy eaters

Measuring customers’ lifestyle attitudes can help you make profitable decisions. A CSD Staff Report The employees of a bank branch office in Austin, Texas only have one choice when they’re in a rush for lunch— the convenience store across the street. That’s bad news for their health. “I’m pretty much limited to sandwiches and juice,

the wild ride continues

Even at 25,000 stores, SUBWAY co-founder Fred DeLuca says there is plenty of room for the business to grow. By Jay Gordon, Editorial Director Fred DeLuca never intended to be a one-store wonder. “From the beginning we had a goal to open 32 stores in 10 years,” says DeLuca of the partnership he began with

better people bring bigger profits

When you first think about hiring employees for foodservice, do you assume that applicants with previous experience serving food would be preferable to those who've never made a sandwich? If so, you're looking for the wrong thing, says two important players in the convenience store foodservice arena. High energy, a love of multi-tasking and good

new tools of the foodservice trade

Foodservice equipment-which once put the industry at a disadvantage when it came to speed and labor-now makes it possible for retailers to expand menus, reduce costs and increase food sales. By Ross Markman, Retail Relations Editor Charlie Roesch remembers his childhood in the 1950s— the town of Buffalo, N.Y., dotted with slaughterhouses, the boxes of

circus act

Kwik Stop’s foodservice growth centers on Piccadilly Pizza. By John Lofstock, Editor It’s a circus atmosphere at eight of Kwik Stop’s 20 convenience stores and it has nothing to do with juggling clowns, a unicycle or the big top. Instead, what’s entertaining Kwik Stop’s customers at all three dayparts is Piccadilly Circus Pizza, the flagship

rhodes 101 is hot stuff

The Xpress foodservice program is creating sales opportunities not previously addressed by other food concepts. By John Lofstock, Editor Faced with mounting competition from fast-food operators, along with razor-thin fuel and tobacco margins, Paul Dirnberger knew the heat was on to develop a foodservice program that met customers’ demands for a quality offering that is

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