Salinsky Honored by SIGMA

Massachusetts retailer is the 19th operator in 53 years to receive the association’s Distinguished Marketer Award. By John Lofstock, Editor. Few people have seen the convenience store and petroleum industry evolve as has Richard Salinsky, president of Best Petroleum in Lynn, Mass. With more than 50 years of experience and dedication to the industry, Salinsky

Clark Brands Grows West

Marketer is expanding its footprint beyond legacy states as it signs on independent operators. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Clark Brands LLC is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in 2012, expanding from the Dakotas to Texas, from New Mexico to Michigan and all points in between, as more fuel marketers elect to join the Clark

Sustaining Security

Now that retailers have reached PCI DSS 2.0 compliance, it’s important to continue monitoring people, processes and technology to protect against breaches.  By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor If your chain is among those who diligently worked to achieve PCI DSS 2.0 compliance by the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline, you probably think your stores are safe from

Screen In the Best, Screen Out the Rest

Just as you should consistently ask applicants questions that get you all the information needed, so should you question yourself every time you consider hiring a new employee. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. One of the fastest growing classes of lawsuits today are employment law filings. In addition to discrimination and wage/hour actions, we’re seeing

The Impact of Restrooms on Food Sales

Poor safety and sanitation practices will turn customers away. Going above and beyond what’s required is the key to a healthy program. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The numbers tell an interesting story: according to a recent research study by Cintas Corp., fully 95% of people avoid patronizing a business in which they have had

Baked to Perfection

As c-stores enhance their coffee and foodservice programs, operators look to fresh bakery to complete the package. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience stores are investing heavily in store remodels and an experienced staff to create a bigger, better fresh foods program for customers. Too often they fall short in the bakery category, but a

Strategic Positive Employee Relations

Proposed changes by the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board could drastically change how employers interact with their workforce. By Jeffrey Usher, Contributing Editor. In recent months, the words “unions” and “collective bargaining” have been spoken in the media, at social gatherings and in business meetings more than they have been in

Keeping the Menu Fresh

Foodservice customers are becoming value-conscious, a reflection of current economic conditions. Consumers are now expecting better value in terms of price, service, consistency and food quality. By John Lofstock, Editor. Bringing consumers into convenience stores to buy food requires a great offering at a good price. But with all the competition for share of stomach,

Smokeless Sales Show No Signs of Dipping

Enhancing variety will continue to be a key for this high growth category. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Sales of smokeless tobacco products keep increasing and convenience store operators are enjoying the ride. But keeping that graph line headed north means keeping a wary eye on proposed federal regulations, keeping sets fresh, properly allocating shelf

Building the Business with a Quality Team

Cindy Fitzgibbons, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Stop’nGo of Medina Inc. A relative newcomer to convenience store industry, but no stranger to the world of operations management, Cindy Fitzgibbons has climbed the ranks since joining Stop’nGo of Medina Inc. in 2010. In her current position as general manager and chief operating officer at Stop’nGo

Train to Retain

To get and keep “A” players, retailers must become an employer of choice. This doesn’t always mean paying more money, but it does mean understanding that the way employees treat customers reflects the way their employers treat them. By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. Do you ever wonder why no one ever trains us for life’s

Building Profits and Relationships

The 2011 NAG Conference in Savannah, Ga. offered timely retail solutions and outstanding networking opportunities. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers and suppliers joined together at the Westin Hotel and Resort in Savannah, Ga. for four days of strategic educational sessions and networking as part of the 2011 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference. This year’s

Shell Bolsters Loyalty

The Fuel Rewards Network, an extension of its Grocer Rewards program, is enhancing the brand proposition for Shell marketers and wholesalers. By John Lofstock, Editor. The competition for customers has never been so furious. Consumers have more and more choices every day, and the right customer loyalty program has the power to make or break

Retail Trends for 2012

As technology continues to change the way we do business, retailers must weigh the benefits of being ahead of the curve versus the risks, and the disadvantages of falling behind. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In a scene from the futuristic movie “Minority Report,” Tom Cruise’s character walks through a shopping mall while 3-D screens

Gas Rewards Programs Drive Loyalty to Sponsoring Retailers

The Convenience Consumer Insights Panel finds that convenience store owners not engaged in a fuel program are missing significant sales opportunities. By Trish Temmerman, Management Science Associates (MSA). The pinch of the recession is forcing consumers to take a hard look at where they can tighten their belts and how they can stretch their hard-earned

Hit-n-Run Food Stores Prepares for the Future

Brenton Investment Corp. is set to build a new prototype design as it sets its sights on growth through new builds. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With 11 years under its belt and 13 successful convenience stores throughout southern Louisiana, Brenton Investment Corp. is ready to grow its fleet of Hit-n-Run Food Stores beginning with

Taking Social Media to the Next Level

C-stores are adding Facebook pages, but to profit from social media, retailers need to also engage fans with text and email marketing campaigns. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Anyone still questioning the power of social media need only look to Japan. The country, which between earthquakes, tsunamis and radiation fears has seen tourism drop, is

Preparing for Future Payment Systems

First it was PCI, now retailers have to prepare for the widespread launch of Near Field Communications, which is expected to become a widely used system for making payments by smartphone in the U.S. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. The convenience store industry is increasingly turnings its gaze outdoors to the forecourt, not only for

Making the Most Out of Meat Snacks

Led by category captain Jack Link’s, Huck’s Food and Fuel has been experiencing double-digit growth in this core snacking segment. Meat snack manufacturers are targeting new customers with innovative flavors, new packaging and an attractive price point. Leading the charge to meet the changing needs of the consumer is Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, which markets

Do You Have the Staff You Deserve?

QC Mart comes under fire after the chain’s owner launched a contest asking employees to guess which employee would be fired next. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In October, the Iowa Des Moines Register reported on the curious plight of William Ernst, the owner of QC Mart in Bettendorf, Iowa. Faced with employees who were

Weighing a Sandwich Strategy

Whether doing it themselves or finding a national partner, convenience store operators are developing food programs with fresh ingredients and quick service. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Convenience store strategies for sandwich programs are as customizable as the sandwiches themselves. Some opt to develop and prepare sandwich lines in their own commissaries or via made-to-order

Perfecting Pizza

A top-notch pie and artistic appeal help differentiate the offering for this important foodservice segment. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Pizza, a perennial favorite of American culture, is grabbing headlines as some restaurateurs and retailers devise gourmet versions with a variety of innovative toppings and crusts. And while that’s all well and good, c-store shoppers

Durbin Hits, Fight Escalates

Retailers may have won the right to debit fee caps for now, but banks are raising fees and pointing the finger at merchants, while some lawmakers look to repeal the interchange caps. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The long awaited Durbin Amendment went into effect on Oct. 1, capping interchange fees well above the 7-12

Thorntons Earns Top Chain Honors

Kentucky operator presented the industry’s most prestigious retail award at a gala in Chicago. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Convenience Store Decisions honored Louisville, Ky.-based Thorntons Inc. as its 22nd annual Convenience Store Chain of the Year at an exclusive dinner at Café Spiaggia in Chicago last month during the NACS Show. More than 200

A Remedy for Boosting Impulse Sales

Whether it’s aspirin or shaving cream, HBC is a growing category that deserves a renewed focus. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. HBC is making a comeback from coast to coast. The category—from shampoos and skin creams to cough drops and cold remedies—has always had its rightful place in a convenience store—providing a grab-and-go remedy for

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