Effectively Managing Scan Data

Before executives at The Spinx Co. roll out a sales promotion to their 75-plus convenience stores in the Carolinas, they carefully review current point-of-sale (POS) sales data. “We’re able to pull all sorts of data by store, by category and by items,” said Bryan Zeiger, category manager for Spinx, who relies on the reports when


Emerging Retail Trends

Convenience store owners should expect to embrace new technology and a fresh set of rules for communicating with today’s consumers as 2011 approaches. A  year that witnessed a whirlwind of technological advancements proved that retail is all about change. The best retailers are embracing that change and  diversifying their technology investments in order to stay

Walgreens To Add Charging Stations

Drug store retailer Walgreens and energy company NRG Energy have teamed to deliver the first privately-funded electric vehicle network in the U.S., Energyefficiencynews.com reported. Some 18 eVgosm high-powered rapid charging stations are scheduled to be rolled out at Walgreens stores across Houston, Texas, starting in February. “Our neighborhood stores will be a great and convenient

Legacy Leadership

  At a Glance: Rutter’s Farm Stores Rutter’s enjoys a long, proud history tracing its roots in Central Pennsylvania all the way back to 1747. The company broke ground on its first convenience store in 1967 and today retails more than 100 million gallons of fuel annually throughout Pennsylvania’s York, Lancaster, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and

The Fight for Interchange Reform Continues

The long and winding road to controlling credit card fees took yet another turn on Oct. 12, 2010, when TCF National Bank, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Durbin Amendment, which was included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, also known

Chevron Fuels Schools Promotion

During the month of September, Chevron’s Fuel Your School promotion, with the help of California drivers, raised $858,445 for schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. To participate, customers simply had to fill up their gas tanks at participating Chevron stations in Alameda or Contra Costa between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. Chevron then donated

Bottled Water Bouncing Back

Bottled water’s bubble may have burst the past couple of years, but retailers with private label water have done just swimmingly, and retailers are optimistic that the next 12 months will be equally strong. The packaged beverages subcategory enjoyed decades of growth, as consumers increasingly chose refreshment that fit their healthier lifestyles. From 1984 to

NACS CAFÉ Serves Up a Foodservice Education

It began with a simple, yet powerful premise: Convenience store retailers, with their great locations and high customer traffic are well-positioned to capitalize on the development and execution of meaningful foodservice programs. All they need is a solid foundation of information, support, solutions and best practices to succeed. Enter Greg Parker, president and CEO of

Seizing Real Estate Opportunities

Prying Properties Loose   Important for retailers to understand is that commercial real estate today is an industry in transition. Its landscape is littered with landlords, if not desperate, than at least strongly motivated to make deals work.   “Things are tight,” said George Anderson, vice president of market analytics for NAI Global in Princeton,

Is Your Kitchen Fully Equipped?

Where there’s successful foodservice programs, there’s efficient foodservice equipment, and in the convenience store industry, there’s foodservice everywhere. According to NACS’ State of the Industry numbers for 2010, foodservice provided the largest slice of the in-store gross-margin pie, at 26.35%, and was second in in-store sales only to cigarettes. As consumers contemplate what to eat,

Warming Up to Soup Sales

This is Foodservice 101: when the weather turns cold, consumers want warmth—often in the form of soups and hot convenience foods. Giving your consumers what they want is Convenience Store Success 101. Putting hot soups and other ready-to-go items on the menu this the fall only makes sense, and isn’t all that hard to do.

Premium E-Cigarette

Kretek International Inc. offers a new line of CIG2O (sig-two-oh) e-cigarette products. The CIG2O rechargeable water vapor cigarette was developed in the U. S. for Kretek by Spark Industries. CIG2O e-cigarettes was successfully launched in smoke shops early in 2010. The strength of adult consumer response led to the current nationwide roll out. The initial

Gasoline at $3 Gallon for the Holidays

By Brian L. Milne, Refined Fuels Editor, Telvent DTN Wholesale gasoline prices were mixed in metropolitan markets across the U.S. for the week ending Monday (12/20), easing along the West Coast while advancing along the East Coast and in Midwest markets. The weekly price changes were limited however, likely keeping the US average for regular

Developing a Customized Foodservice Menu

Testing New Products   As new products earn their way onto your menu don’t forget about the equipment.   “Let’s say you’ve got a roller grill and you’ve been selling hot dogs forever,” explained Larry Miller, president of Miller Management & Consulting Services Inc. in Sanford, Fla. “Now somebody brings you a handheld Mexican product,

Lighting the Way to Profitability

Lighters can be an afterthought. There are relatively few manufacturers, everyone merchandises them near the front counter, liability issues have cut down on cheap products and differentiation is only skin deep. But even given the limited number of companies supplying products, lighters produce an excellent margin—between 40% and 60%—and sales have been steady for the

Outlook Strong for Salty Snacks

The recession of the past couple of years has not swayed consumers from their salty snack habits. In almost every type of data, salty snacks continue to thrive. According to NACS’ 2010 State of the Industry report, convenience store salty snack sales climbed 3.4%, while margin dollars climbed 4.8%. Since 2007, sales of salty snacks

Elevating Snack Sales

The weak economy has not taken much of a bite out of meat snack sales. Americans are loathe to sacrifice edible indulgences, even in times of financial crisis. All three NACS snacks categories—salty, packaged sweet and alternative—showed increases in average sales per store from 2008 to 2009, and showed gross-margin percentage and average gross-margin-dollar-per-store gains.

Growing Milk and Dairy Sales

Milk’s Bumpy Ride   In Mintel International’s new “Milk in the U.S.” report, senior analyst David Browne predicted a “bumpy ride” for the $11-billion milk market. Few categories, he noted, are as volatile as milk, which is reflected in the wild dollar sales swing during 2004-09.   “Volatility may return to the market in late

3 Rules of Social Media Marketing

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have put the power of the media in the hands of the average citizen. Entrepreneurs, information marketers, and college students have learned that they can be the media for audiences both large and small. They have also learned that the nightly news and the traditional print media will

Tax Planning and the IRS

It is no secret that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits relatively few tax returns. In fact, each year the IRS publishes the figures. The IRS’s own data reveals that slightly more than 1% of all tax returns filed were audited. The audit figures for the almost 10 million business returns filed in fiscal 2009,

Shopping for POS Solutions

Convenience to customers today means one-stop shopping, short lines at the counter and the ability to get in and out of a store fast. New integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions are speeding up service and offering customers the convenience they demand thanks to faster processing times. What’s more, they’re saving operators money, labor and time. Finding

Tedeschi’s Showcases Pride and Tradition

At a Glance: Tedeschi Food Stores   Headquarters: Rockland, Mass. Founded: 1923 Store Count: 189 2009 Annual Revenue: More than $600 million Employees: 2,100 Markets of Operation: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Proprietary Brands: TD’s Deli and TD’s Express foodservice; Tedeschi Select groceries, snacks and beverages; and Tedeschi Fuel   While other chains

Electronic Wallet: The New Way to Pay

The thirsty teenager steps up to a bright red vending machine and takes out her mobile phone. She places the phone near a reader attached to the machine and a cold can of cola is immediately dispensed. This scene is repeated thousands of times each day for thirsty consumers—in Japan. For almost six years, Japanese

Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

Rx for Dinner   Walgreen’s drug chain recently announced that it will test market chilled foods at a dozen of its 7,500 stores this fall to determine if busy consumers are willing to stop at a drug store for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner. While full details of the test have not been made public,

Processing PCI Confusion

Many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI, after this summer’s deadline for software compliance was relaxed after a request by the major oil companies, giving scrambling retailers a little more time to comply. But retailers be warned: chains that face a breach could still get hit with huge fines. “Some