upgrading the bean

C-store retailers expect enhancements to the coffee bar new blends, cups and designs—to foster dramatic growth. Less than six months ago, the coffee presentation at Heritage’s Dairy Stores looked pretty basic. It took up 8 ft. to 10 ft. of space, featuring just a few brewers selling dark roast, decaf and a proprietary blend. Today,

cool

A new digital badge could help increase sales, improve the execution of in-store promotions and raise awareness of your brand. Seems like you just might need some ’stinkin’ badges’ after all. Picture this: It’s Super Bowl weekend and an adult customer comes to the register with a sixpack of Bud Light. He places the package

a holy grail for tobacco

Seeking better ways to manage the cigarette category as a means of securing more gross profit dollars? A ’six-step’ analysis may help uncover hidden profits. Even though the “same firms” database of CStoreXchange (CSX) shows that 2004 cigarette dollar sales may approximate 1% more per store versus 2003, when you factor in tax and price

is krispy kremed

Key changes in the rungs of Krispy Kreme’s corporate ladder raise both optimism and doubt regarding the once-infallible brand’s long-term prospects for the c-store channel. For one-time Wall Street darling Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., the dough may yet rise again. The board of directors for the North Carolina-based donut maker, which had been making headlines

loss leaders

New technology convinces Town & Country and WESCO Inc. that slashing losses can be just as profitable as growing sales. About three years ago, WESCO Inc. (Muskegon, MI) implemented its "Churn Busters" program as a means of slashing turnover. The savings gained from the program—the company reduced its turnover by 50% in just one year—

nice n easys new face

A bold new store image helps Nice N Easy in its quest to become the ’Wegmans of convenience retailing.’ Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes has no fear of going out on a limb. In the face of dwindling cigarette sales—the chain has seen its carton sales cut in half over the past five years due

numbing the sting

Due to a zero-tolerance policy Terrible Herbst instituted about three years ago, George Philpott has had to witness the termination of an hourly employee that served the company for 18 years, as well as a store manager that worked there for seven years. He’s seen some good people leave in tears after violating the stringent

staying fresh

New technology helps retailers focus on freshness and maintain the power of their brands. It wasn’t long ago that convenience stores were stuffed with nothing but pre-packaged foods with a long shelf life. That’s not the case today, as consumers have dictated what matters most: convenient products with freshness and quality. That, after all, is

walmarts small mart

Might the world’s largest retailer take a run at operating convenience stores? Absolutely. By Michael Bergdahl Imade a presentation at the National Association of Convenience Stores’ 2004 annual conference in Las Vegas last October. My speech centered around my book, What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World.

flavor boost

Cigars and moist smokeless tobacco items bearing exotic aromas and tastes account for much of the non-cigarette tobacco category’s recent sales growth. ‘Who would have guessed that apple would be such a strong flavor?" asks Kent Raphael, vice president of merchandising for Village Pantry LLC (Indianapolis, IN). He’s not asking about a hot-selling juice drink

hot doggin

Hot dogs have long been a staple on convenience store roller grills, but new items help spice up sales. For as long as Jeff Beal can remember, foodservice has always set apart Johnny Quik Food Stores, Inc. (Fresno, CA). Eight years ago the 20-store chain tried its first Subway, which has yielded three more franchises

ice ice baby

Are you producing the right type of ice for your customers’ dispensed beverages? If so, are you producing enough of it? Having the right type of ice and producing the right amount of ice in a costeffective way are critical to maintaining profitability at the beverage center. There are two basic types of ice made

meat marketing

In search of a truly unique foodservice offering, NOCO Express found a hometown partnership that really ’beefed up’ store sales. There’s a delicacy that originated in Buffalo, NY, called a Roast Beef on Weck sandwich. It’s a hot roast beef sandwich where the meat is aged three to four weeks in a cooler and hand-carved

paying a premium

Healthcare costs are on the rise nationwide. Self-insured Sheetz takes a committee-based approach to curtailing healthcare expenses. During the past five years, businesses across the country have seen health benefits costs jump an average of 14% per year. As a result, companies are making tactical moves to help stop the bleeding, so to speak. Whether

pod people

The hot dispensed beverage category represents 32.8% of all food sales in the convenience channel

speedyrecovery

Darker days behind it, Fas Mart stands poised to reap a bountiful harvest When Brad Chivington joined Fas Mart Convenience Stores Inc., he had a sobering realization just a few months into his tenure as senior vice president of sales and marketing: "What have I gotten myself into?" In early 2000, Chivington came to the

spoons and toons

Cereal ain’t just for breakfast anymore. A new concept called Cereality caters to all customers and all dayparts by recreating a cherished childhood experience. Starbucks may soon have competition for consumers’ "third place," after home and the office. Near the University of Pennsylvania campus in downtown Philadelphia stands the Cereality Cereal Bar & Caf, an

productsservices

Charge and protect Seven million people became victims of identity theft in 2003—an 80% increase versus the prior year, according to the research firm Gartner Group. Further research shows that 55% of Americans plan to use the Internet to buy "stuff." Next Estate Communications (www.nextestate.com) provides prepaid debit card programs through i-Gen® Free & Clear™,

advertisings final frontier

Forget TV. Radio shmadio. Billboards? Puh-lease. Why not advertise where you know consumers have their eyes and ears trained: their cell phones. Imagine having the power to send advertising messages directly to devices in the palms and pants pockets of your best customers. Well, now you do. Services from marketing vendors like Textalert.com (www.textalert.com) enable

wrist watchers

7-Eleven adds to trend of selling wristbands to support worthy causes. Following the enormous success of the “LIVESTRONG” bracelet from cancer survivor and champion bicyclist Lance Armstrong, 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) has launched its own wristband for another noble cause—supporting U.S. troops. 7-Eleven is helping customers support American troops and the United Service Organizations (USO)

cashing in on credit

Rising credit card fees got you down? Some retailers have convinced many credit customers to trade down to cash. Customers using cash or a CITGO Cash Card (above) at Larry Neville’s CITGO station in Florida receive a discount on gas purchases. Some credit-card customers aren’t too pleased, but Neville says the program has been worthwhile

foodservice

Coffee gets its legs Adding disposable beverage transports to the lineup can give a jolt to the industry's leading gross profit margin category—hot dispensed beverages— while reinforcing a retailer's brand image. Such bulk transports, pioneered by vendors like LBP Manufacturing (www.lbpmfg.com), enable customers to take multiple cups of coffee—10 to 12 per fill-up—on the move,

whats the big idea

Stuff your stocking with ideas for making more money in 2005 by Kate Buczko, Associate Editor, and Bill Donahue, Editor New ideas are the lifeblood of our industry. They give our stores the opportunity to grow and adapt to market conditions, and expand into virgin territory. The editors of CSD have compiled some of the

fuel marketing

Miller Oil nets higher fuel margins Three years ago Miller Oil Co. had been taking a beating at the pumps. The market had inverted for nearly three months and Miller's fuel volume was, pardon the pun, in the tank—a 10% to 15% decline per year over a three-year period—due to competitors pricing below cost. The

new retail concepts

Developing trends Approximately 40% of U.S. households will own at least one digital camera by the end of 2004, according to InfoTrends Research Group. As the technology becomes more prevalent, consumers are looking for affordable, convenient printing options, and if convenience stores are prepared, they could capture those customers. 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) is in

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