How to Power Up Savings

What operational areas should convenience stores—intent on conserving energy and cutting electric bills—tackle first? Start with the basics. By Traci Dawn Carneal, Contributing Editor Efforts to reduce energy consumption can reap significant benefits for any retail operation, especially in convenience stores where even small cutbacks can mean big cost savings. The sliding scale of options,

How to Keep Up With Evolving Payment Technology

As mobile payment grows, c-store retailers try different paths to meet customer demands. By Brad Perkins, Contributing Editor Cash may still be king, but another portable payment system has its eyes on the throne: Mobile. As a result, convenience stores operators are keeping their eyes on the progress of this inevitable transition, looking for the

How to Deal With Real Estate

Anytime a c-store acquires an existing property, there are various items to consider—from the environmental pollution that might exist in ground, to the traffic patterns on the corner, to the competition down the road. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A popular saying touts that the three most important considerations of a real estate deal are

How to Combat the Lazy Brain

Five tips to override this natural human tendency—and bolster your company in the process. By CSD Staff Humans are lazy thinkers. Although the brain comprises only about 2.5% of our body weight, it generally uses 20% of the body’s energy. That’s why the human learning machine prefers to operate in a low gear—on autopilot—as much

How to Keep Your C-Store Safe

Whether it’s employee theft, a robber, skimmers or other individuals intent on shrinking your profits, employing modern preventive means and methodologies is crucial in protecting your employees and your business. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor In the convenience store industry, a combination of best practices and technology are assisting c-store operators in reducing shrinkage problems.

How C-Stores Are Flying High With Chicken

Whether it’s for dashboard dining or taking home to the family, during different times of the day chicken offerings are helping retailers satisfy customers’ cravings for delicious, economical and wholesome food options. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Marinated, spiced, glazed, baked, broiled and especially fried, Americans seemingly can’t get enough chicken. In fact, 89% of

How to Win With Wine

Convenience stores are paying heed to customers’ thirst for better wine selections. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Wine usually isn’t top of mind for consumers when they stop at a convenience store—which is why operators need to draw their attention to the category, which can provide some good incremental sales. This past August, Technomic reported

How to Strengthen Smokeless Sales

Despite hurdles, smokeless tobacco sales continue to grow. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor As America continues its love/hate relationship with cigarette smoking, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products (OTP) sales continue to inch higher. At the same time, smokeless and other forms of tobacco continue to face hurdles in the form of local restrictions. For

How To Boost Beverage Sales

As more consumers shun carbonated soda, teas and juices are at the ready to quench c-stores’ thirst for category profits. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Of the top 10 merchandise categories in 2014 that demonstrated monthly strength in sales and margin percentage per the average store, tobacco was tops, followed by packaged beverages. According to

How the ACA Affects You After SCOTUS

The Supreme Court this summer upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans. Looking deeper, what does this mean for the convenience store industry? By Mark Battersby, Contributing Editor The U.S. Supreme Court in King v. Burwell has ruled the tax subsidies for health insurance

Obtaining a Second Opinion

Convenience store operators who make decisions based on their instinct, knowledge and experience are often proven right. But, to be especially sure that you’re on the right track, connect with an expert. By Jim Callahan We all know something about running a business and yes, many of us have been doing it successfully for years.

Rutter’s Welcomes New Director of Foodservice

A long career in food has prepared Ryan Krebs to follow in the footsteps of Jerry Weiner. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Ryan Krebs has taken over the foodservice reins at Rutter’s Farm Stores after Jerry Weiner, the renowned vice president of foodservice, retired on Aug. 28. Krebs, however, is no new comer to the

How to Free Up Frozen Beverages

Because of the robust profit margin and strong demand for frozen dispensed beverages, more channel retailers are rolling out their own signature programs. However, convenience stores still remain above the crowd when it comes to one of the coolest beverage segments out there. By Michele Wojciechowski, Contributing Editor Without a doubt, convenience stores face competition

How Retailers Are Adapting to Obama Care

The ever-evolving Affordable Care Act continues to pose challenges for retailers, even as many c-store chains make employee healthcare a top priority. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor With the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) here to stay for the foreseeable future, convenience stores are working overtime to meet the new guidelines and prepare

How Clifford Fuel Is Expanding the Easy Way

The Utica, N.Y. chain opens its 17th Nice N Easy franchised store in impressive fashion. By John Lofstock, Editor When CST Brands acquired Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes following the death of founder John MacDougall last year, many around the industry wondered if we’d seen the last of one of the convenience store industry’s most

Bolla Oil’s Bold Moves

With its deep resources and an abundance of industry experience, the New York City oil company is expanding its upscale convenience market concept and heading into New Jersey with its first travel center. By John Lofstock, Editor There are few trends in the convenience store business that catch industry observers by surprise. One of these

VP Racing Fuels Speeds Forward

With a branded program to differentiate small chains and its new Winner’s Circle Banner for its c-store partners, VP Racing Fuels’ aggressive growth makes it a 2015 Chain to Watch. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Three years into its branded program, VP Racing Fuels is offering smaller chains a way to compete with major regional

Thinking Through Shrink and Other Issues

With some inventiveness, c-stores can develop ways to manage their inventory. Effective inventory control doesn’t happen automatically. In fact, controlling inventory is somewhat of a misnomer that might be better termed: managing inventory—because of how difficult indeed it is to control. The landscape is littered with the remains of fired managers, dismissed district managers and

What’s For ‘Linner’?

If the combination of breakfast and lunch is called “brunch,” then shouldn’t the combination of lunch and dinner be labeled “linner?” That’s a question comedian Jerry Seinfeld once asked. Whatever c-stores call today’s increasingly common mix of meals and snacks throughout the day and evening, the trend offers expanded opportunities for foodservice sales. By Marilyn

How Non-Chocolate Candy is Wooing Customers

Whether it’s by the bite or by the bag, non-chocolate candy remains a staple of in-store sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Many convenience stores are heeding growing non-chocolate candy trends by stocking more chewy products and bite-size brand extensions. Of course, c-stores have only so much dedicated space and must be studious in order

How C-Stores Are Equipping Themselves for Success

Foodservice is becoming increasingly integral to c-stores, and key to any foodservice program is possessing and maintaining the right equipment for the job. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor In the face of traditional thin fuel margins and flagging cigarette sales, foodservice has continually grown as a way for many c-stores to maintain decent profit levels.

How Convenience Stores Are Winning With Ice Cream

Convenience stores entice customers with ice cream and other cool novelties this summer. By Michele Wojciechowski, Contributing Editor Few Things top off a scorching hot day better than ice cream. While c-stores sell the sweet treat and other frozen products all year, summertime is the top occasion to capitalize on consumers’ appetites. It’s not surprising

A Word of Advice

Life’s not all about wine, golf and good times. Good business practices and fond memories have a place as well. By Fran Duskiewicz This past June marked my 30th anniversary in the convenience industry, so it’s not surprising that many memories are tied to my tenure at Nice N Easy. Here are a few pertinent

How To Keep a Robust Grill

No matter what other foodservice products you offer, the roller grill is the first thing customers encounter. A clean, filled grill makes a clear statement about your commitment to foodservice. So does one that isn’t so well maintained. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Few retailers are ambivalent about roller grills. They either really love them

How Legislation and Taxes Are Affecting Cigars

C-store operators looking to grow their cigar business need to keep one eye on their customers and another on legislators looking to raise OTP taxes. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Several states continue to consider excise taxes for cigars and other tobacco products (OTP), while others look at raising the smoking age and enacting outright

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