A Rocky Ride for RYO

Proper Handling Quality counts—especially with tobacco, something c-store operators had better keep in mind. Kevin Paige, owner of three Butthead’s Tobacco Emporiums in Danbury, Conn., said he is trying to distance himself from the c-store channel when it comes to tobacco. “Although I operated my own c-stores for over 20 years, I don’t think the

Empowered by Energy Efficiency

With energy costs soaring and customers rewarding sustainable behaviors, many convenience store chains are realizing the need to upgrade stores to be more energy efficient. World marketed energy consumption is projected to increase by 44% from 2006 to 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The increase could hit c-store retailers especially hard

Energizing a Crowded Cold Vault

Energy by the Numbers Although 2009 was the second year in a row of unusual weakness in liquid refreshment beverages’ performance, the worst may be over, said Michael Bellas, chairman and CEO of Beverage Marketing Corp. “Beverages are likely to be one of the first categories to benefit with a job-led economic recovery because they

Enhancing POS Possibilities

With today’s modern technology solutions—and in an economy where every dollar counts—there’s no reason stores should endure employee theft. Thanks to advancements in integrated point-of-sale (POS) systems retailers are not only reducing shrink, but are able to reward customer loyalty in real time, speed up the foodservice line, upsell products to boost incremental sales and

Keeping C-Stores Secure

When he thinks of PCI compliance, Ed Freels, director of information systems for Honey Farms Inc. recalls an old t-shirt slogan from the 1970s, “It showed the AC130 gun ship from the Vietnam era and it said, ‘You can run, but you’ll just die tired,’ and PCI compliance is no different. The most dangerous merchant

Folk Oil Fights Hunger

Folk Oil’s PS Food Marts chain went to bat for hunger in Michigan and Ohio and raised more than $50,000 for local charities in just two short weeks. From March 15-31 PS Food Mart employees at the chain’s 29 stores encouraged customers and vendors to purchase paper hearts as part of its “Fight Hunger. Give

Pride & Perseverance

At a Glance: NOCO Express With 32 locations in Western New York and Rochester, NOCO Express is among the most recognized fuel brands in Western New York. The oil company has a 77-year history of providing fuel, lubricants and home heating oil to the market. Founded: 1933 Convenience Store and Fuel Brand: NOCO Express Jobber

Developing a Value Menu with Appeal

The coming of summer means a lot of things—chief among them an insatiable hunger for hot dogs, burgers, sausages and brats. No c-store foodservice program is complete without them or the opportunities they represent. “Who doesn’t like a hot dog?” said Kim Loniecki, director of branded foodservice for Wesco Inc. in Muskegon, Mich. “When you’re

Chicken’s Popularity Soars to New Heights

Americans want it, but lots of operators are nervous about it. That’s why working with distributors and training employees on how to handle chicken is so important. Consumers have very definitely stated preferences for chicken items, which is why chains like Wawa feature chicken prominently on their menus. For example, the Pennsylvania-based operator features chicken

Forecast Strong for Cigars

Amid all the chaos of legislation, regulation and taxation, it’s good to have tobacco category managers like Gate Petroleum’s Matt Hieb. Hieb’s approach to his chain’s market-leading cigar performance is calm and measured, driven by data, common sense and manufacturer promotions. In 225 locations throughout six southeastern states, Gate’s cigar offering exceeds the southeast market

Managing Tobacco’s Four Tier War

A Closer Look at Who’s Trading Down According to Mintel International, 80% of smokers polled said it’s worthwhile to have a quality cigarette, which is contributing to sales of premium cigarettes. Other factors influencing sales include: • 51% of smokers have one preferred brand they always like to buy. • Less than 2% of smokers

Energy Sales Hold Strong

Familiarity with shifting consumer attitudes amidst a turbulent economy–and the willingness to make changes in the cooler if need be–could help retailers cash in big with isotonics and energy drinks this year. “If you’re intent on raising your share in that marketplace then I think you have to get in touch with who that user

Maximizing Candy and Gum Sales

What’s Coming? Thinking about a planogram refresh in candy? The National Confectioners Association (NCA) in Washington, D.C. advised that the category is taking a turn toward the upscale. “There is a big gourmet boom. I think we’re also going to have a ‘chocolate-covered’ category made up of things you don’t normally see covered in chocolate,

Finding Profits with Tobacco Accessories

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates, scheduled to go into effect on June 22, prohibit retailers from selling cigarettes and smokeless products in self-service displays except in age-restricted stores that ban customers younger than 18 years of age. While retailers in some states, such as New York and Idaho, have already had to comply with

Getting Back to Beer Basics

Beer continues to be an essential category for convenience stores and one that requires more than the usual amount of observation, knowledge, planning, execution and overall savvy. According to The Nielsen Co.:• Nearly 787 million cases of beer were sold in the c-store channel during 52-weeks ending March 6, 2010; down 1.5% from 799 million

PCI Compliance Requires a Full-Time Focus

The 12 Standards of PCI SSC Build and Maintain a Secure Network 1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect data. 2. Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters. Protect Cardholder Data 3. Protect stored cardholder data. 4. Encrypt transmissions of cardholder data and sensitive information across open public

9964

Cornering the Nontraditional Market

Behind the Brand: Key Decision Makers • Daniel McCabe, President: McCabe has served as the president and a director of McColla Enterprises since 1987. McCabe is an attorney licensed to practice law in New York and in North Carolina, and maintains a business law practice in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He also acts as the chief legal

Recycling Program Breeds Customer Loyalty

While stopping for gas one day, two waste management interns working for the city of Lexington, Ky., pondered how much garbage could be recycled from cars if locations, such as gas stations, made it more convenient to recycle. The interns, Elizabeth Rebmann and Natalie Cooke, pitched their idea for such a recycling program to Bruce

Breakfast Battle Brewing

Bundling with Bakery Rick Lawlor, vice president of retail sales and marketing for Hess Corp., said his company began growing breakfast sales when it added an old favorite for customers who want a sweet with their coffee: doughnuts. “There are a number of ways we’ve been growing our breakfast business, the most significant being our

Promoting Pizza’s Popularity

According to Mintel, an independent provider of market research, sales at the 16 leading pizza restaurants grew only 1.2% into 2008 to $16.6 billion. Among the challenges facing pizza providers is the public’s desire for healthier products as opposed to “high-calorie, high-fat pizza offerings and limited menu variety, which may be more of a turn-off

Targeting Customers Through Store Design

When Towns Mart enlisted the services of Design Fabrications (DFab) to create an inviting shopping environment for a new store it was constructing in Washington Township, Mich. in 2007, the chain was looking to broaden its customer base through an upgraded design. “We were targeting female and upscale customers by trying to achieve an open

Understanding the new Healthcare System

Healthcare Reform: Key Takeaways In 2014, convenience store businesses employing more than 50 workers will be required to provide health coverage and most people will be required to have health insurance. The tax on high-cost “Cadillac” policies will not go into effect until 2018; the increase in Medicare payroll taxes begins in 2013; while the

Finding Financing in a Tight Market

Money is tight, but some convenience store operators are finding the means to finance remodels or even acquisitions. Generally speaking, the availability of money depends on the size of the operator, according to Mark Radosevich, president of PetroProperties & Finance LLC in Miami. “The guys who are moderate size to large generally have relationships with

Raising the Bar on Snack Sales

Energy bars are most often associated with top athletes and endurance sports. But as consumers have found themselves pressed for time—and energy—the category has morphed into an array of tasty, low-cost products that provide a quick meal solution across multiple dayparts. More importantly, the category has evolved to include a multitude of variations from healthy

Sweetening Candy Sales

 Americans’ love affair with chocolate will never end. That said, sales of non-chocolate candy and gum are rising steadily, fueled by the economy and the search for innovative, flavorful new products. “Yes, people are right in calling this a strong category,” said Bill Singer, a principal in Singer’s Chevron Inc. in Walla Walla, Wash. “When

css.php