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Corner Store Finishes 5K With $1 Million Donation

 San Antonio-based CST Brands to make run series benefiting local charities to be an annual event.   CST Brands, San Antonio-based parent company of Corner Store, recently wrapped up an eight-city 5K fun run series called the Corner Store Country Run, its first-ever fundraising event in San Antonio. The Country Run raised $1 million for

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RaceTrac’s Industry Roots Run Deep

Outstanding retail programs, a people-focused culture, an elegant new store design and a growing presence in the foodservice business earn RaceTrac Petroleum CSD‘s Chain of the Year honors for 2014. By John Lofstock, Editor RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. has long been regarded as one of the fiercest competitors in the convenience store and petroleum industry. It

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Hoping to Ignite

C-stores search for the key to unlocking the marketability of e-cigars. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Electronic cigarette sales are soaring and the vapor tank-mods business is growing. But when it comes to e-cigars, convenience store operators may find unlocking their untapped potential a challenge. While e-cigarettes are sometimes used as a buffer against traditional

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Cigar Issues Still Fresh

For convenience stores that sell cigars, it’s business as usual—at least until regulators say otherwise. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Now that the comment period on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) deeming regulations has passed, only time will tell what restrictions might affect the cigar segment, which is still alive and well. A

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Craving Meat Snack Sales

Consumers are finding the protein and satisfaction they want in dried meat snacks. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor An increasing number of American consumers are looking for snacks that do more than taste good. In a recent survey conducted by Nielsen, a consumer research organization, over half of the respondents said it was “very important”

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Innovation by the Cup

Retailers are investing more in hot dispensed beverage programs that reflect the consumers’ growing penchant for espresso-based coffee offerings, flavorful teas and more choices. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Wawa Inc. is known for its proprietary coffee, especially to its customers—one of every two are said to purchase a hot beverage every time they enter

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Grill Items Remain Hot

Roller grill food offerings can always be improved, but never at the expense of freshness and quality. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Lunch and dinner programs that present convenience store customers with a variety of roller grill options and more meal options are effective ways to build foodservice sales. In fact, fresh, savory items, such

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Fueling Fresh Sandwich Sales

Even the smallest upgrades of your sandwich offerings can generate excitement. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor When Americans purchase lunch out, they often don’t want to see the same things on the board every day. As evidence, in a recent survey by Chicago-based Technomic research company, about 60% of the respondents said that menu variety

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Healthier Pizza Options

When it comes to tastier and more nutritious pizza, consumers want their pie and they want it fresh. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor American consumers have always expected to have their cake and eat it, too. That also apply to pie—as in pizza pie. Americans might love pizza, but they also desire healthy, lower-calorie options.

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Cheering Craft Beer

As adult beverage preferences evolve, convenience stores are tapping into specialty beer trends. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Studies show craft beer is not only good for overall industry volume, but is re-energizing beer lovers, bringing new people into the beer category. Seasonals, variety packs, ambers, pale ales and wheat beers not only hold the

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Researching Customer Loyalty

Surveys and research can help to gauge how satisfied customers are with your brand. By Jerry W. Thomas, Contributing Editor The many “truisms’’ of customer loyalty lore are mostly a set of mythologies to deceive the gullible and exploit the innocent. Let us explore these assertions and then explore best practices for customer satisfaction and

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Make Sure You’re Secure

With credit card data hackers becoming increasingly innovative and sophisticated in their methods, it’s more important than ever for retailers to comply with current security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. By Marilyn Odesser-Torpey, Associate Editor Target, Supervalu, UPS, PF Chang’s and, most recently, Home Depot and even Dairy Queen—American retailers are being

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Differentiate With Design

Everything from upscale amenities to drive-throughs can make your stores stand out from the competition. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor In an era of increased channel blurring, where dollar stores, quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) and drug stores are vying for the same customers, smart store design can help differentiate your c-store over the competition. Pak-A-Sak Convenience

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C-Store Program Seeks to Help Less Fortunate

A campaign designed to provide support to area residents is enlisting the help of willing convenience stores. By David Bennett, Senior Editor With the help of local, nonprofit partners and a major U.S. pizza distributor, several c-stores have gotten into the spirit of giving in a big way as part of a regional charitable program.

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Tracking Today’s Retail Beverage Trends

As carbonated soft drink sales fall, figures show that energy and non-carbonated beverages, such as teas, are growing in popularity. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Consumer preferences are moving away from carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and toward beverages they perceive as healthier, such as energy drinks and non-carbonated beverages like teas, bottled water and functional

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Sami’s Quick Stop Gets Innovative

Newly remodeled site serves as a one-stop shopping convenience destination. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Sami’s Quick Stop on the corner of East Midlothian Blvd. and Youngstown-Poland Road in Youngstown, Ohio recently wowed customers when it reopened its doors in September, following a major $1.8 million renovation. The new and improved 24-hour location was expanded

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Walmart goes small

Walmart’s prototype convenience store in Bentonville, Ark. reflects a shift in strategy for the retailer, but will it be a game changer for the industry? By David Bennett, Senior Editor As vehicles navigate under the shiny white fuel station canopy, the eye goes immediately to the yellow columns designed to mimic the burst of petals

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Season Sweetens Candy Sales

Will this Halloween be a trick or treat for c-store candy profits? By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor Confectioners, such as Hershey, Mars and Wonka, bank on holidays to boost their annual business. After all, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas and Hanukkah combine to generate $7 billion in U.S. sales. Not surprisingly, Halloween accounts for

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Finding a Niche

Vaping products are helping offset declining cigarette sales. Howard Riell, Associate Editor With cigarette sales continuing their seemingly irreversible decline, c-store operators are making up lost dollars with electronic cigarettes and, most recently, refillable vapor tanks. Driving that business forward, however, is a bit trickier than traditional cigarettes, requiring better merchandising and an increased knowledge

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Mind Reading for Managers

How to fully engage your staff in five easy conversations to ensure that everyone is working together as one team. By Kim Seeling Smith, Contributing Editor Did you know that only about one in five of your staff bring their ‘A Game’ to work every day, according to general surveys conducted by the likes of

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Millennials Seek Healthier Workplaces

Experts weigh in on why smart companies are moving to implement workplace wellness programs—and how to start yours. A CSD Staff Report Much has been written about the impact of Millennials on America’s workforce. And it’s true that young people—those born between 1980 and 2000—have very different skills and values from the Gen-Xers and Boomers who

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Re-Imagining the C-Store

While the industry’s sales remain strong, the industry faces challenges from competing retail channels. U.S. retailers can learn a lesson from overseas marketers. By Suresh Bharadwaj, Contributing Editor In 2012, convenience stores outperformed grocery stores and drugstores in the U.S. both by dollar sales and volume growth. They netted $708.2 billion in revenue and $77.8 billion

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Negotiating Contracts with Expertise

Everything is open for negotiation—even prices, schedules and product offerings that seem carved in stone. Wharton School of Business professor Steven Blum said no one has to just accept what’s offered, but first you must hone your negotiating skills. A CSD Staff Report Life is a series of negotiations. While we may realize this in

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5 Times to Launch a Business

Many people want to start or expand their businesses, but feel that “it’s just not the right time.” Business coach Sean Castrina explains why common excuses should be used as motivation to become your own boss. A CSD Staff Report Do any of these scenarios hit home? • Rumors abound that your company is for

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Health and the Hispanic Consumer

C-stores that make an effort to understand the health issues, diet dynamics and cultural considerations of Hispanic consumers can develop healthier retail relationships in the community.  By Sylvia Meléndez Klinger, Contributing Editor As a registered dietitian who has practiced for 30 years, working with health issues that affect the Hispanic/Latino population in the U.S., I

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