Flourishing After the Floods

After suffering extensive water damage at its Nashville, Tenn., store, TravelCenters of America has reopened the unit with a new look and a host of modern features. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Just a year ago, the TravelCenters of America truck stop in Nashville, Tenn., fell victim to the historic flooding that ravaged Middle Tennessee

FacebookTwitterLinkedInShare

Taking Foodservice From Good To Great

With fresh food sales booming, operators are turning their attention to take-out packaging and finding that with so many options available, choosing the proper solution can be as tricky as selecting the foodservice program itself. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Convenience store foodservice programs have been big business and growing for a decade thanks to

Surging Demand for Ethnic Foods

With the growth of specialty restaurants, consumers today are exposed to new foods they may not be used to finding locally, and it’s creating a demand at convenience stores. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Ethnic offerings are driving foodservice sales at convenience stores hoping to diversify beyond basics like hot dogs, burgers and sandwiches. But

Poultry Fuels Healthy Food Sales

Whether it’s sandwiches, wraps or salads, chicken’s flexibility allows for a variety of healthy menu options. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience stores are going fresh and healthy, but not quickly enough for consumers, a new research report suggests. Convenience stores have been a growing outlet for produce, but consumers want more. More than half (52%),

Targeting Convenience Store Customers

MSA and Paradigm Sample, in partnership with Convenience Store Decisions, are gaining insights into the shopping patterns of today’s c-store customers. By Trish Temmerman, Management Science Associates (MSA). Tough economic times and stiff competition across the supply chain make it even more critical for convenience store operators to have a solid understanding of their customers,

Healthy Options for All Income Levels

As the wellness market matures, consumers across all demographics are looking to manage any number of specific health concerns. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. When Bob Sickles was growing up on his family’s New Jersey farm, he ate plenty of homegrown produce and acquired an affinity for non-processed foods. “Of course, we had Pop Tarts

Building Bottled Water Sales

The cold vault is overrun with new products and traditional favorites. Chains can’t afford to waste cooler space on brands that don’t sell. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Water continues to briskly flow into and out of convenience stores. It’s bottled, it’s branded, it’s often flavored and, increasingly, it’s infused with ingredients that are good

Cornering the Smokeless Tobacco Market

Keeping sets fresh—allocating shelf space, rotating product, keeping tabs on expiration dates and weeding out slow sellers in favor of new items—is the key to maintaining strong sales. By John Lofstock, Editor. Convenience store operators are enjoying the growing popularity of smokeless tobacco products, but they are also being forced to keep a wary eye

Forecasting Snack Bar Sales

The food bar category experienced double-digit sales growth in 2010, but 2011 could prove to be a challenging year. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The snack bars/granola bars category experienced sharp sales gains in 2010 as on-the-go consumers were looking for quick meal solutions that wouldn’t break the bank. Total snack bar sales jumped 11.26%

Quix Fix to Store Management

In addition to expanding its contract management business both nationally and abroad, Strasburger Enterprises is growing its Quix c-store brand with a renewed focus on foodservice. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Wherever oil companies and convenience store chains are divesting stores or taking on new assets, Strasburger Enterprises is often a lifeline on speed dial.

Gilligan Oil Pushes a Multi Brand Foodservice Strategy

Newest location features Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway in an effort to target customers throughout the day. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Gilligan Oil Co. is aggressively embarking on a new foodservice model that aims to combine its c-stores and two QSR franchise partners under one roof to better pull a variety of customers into the

Sweets & Snacks Expo Debuts New Trends

“Consumers look for value, exciting flavors and nutrition when seeking new sweets and snacks,” says NCA president. More than 2,000 new candy and snack products debuted this week at the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) SWEETS & SNACKS EXPO, May 24-26, at Chicago’s McCormick Place. As the largest confectionery, cookie and snack trade show in the

The Power of Chocolate

Once considered a “guilty pleasure,” chocolate’s potential health benefits are attracting customers. By Howard Riell, Associated Editor. If there is one category that has historically been immune from an economic recession it is chocolate. Despite the difficult times many households have had to endure over the past two years, chocolate is one of those treats

Expanding Confectionery Sales

Functional and sugar-free gums are predicted to see strong growth through 2014, tapping into the increasing demand for health-oriented products. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Gum manufacturers are giving Americans more healthy options, additional flavors and better packaging, creating an opportunity for category managers to remerchandise the candy aisle to capitalize on this exciting product

PCI Compliance: Benefiting the Industry in Multiple Ways

Convenience store operators must stop treating the need for compliance as a nuisance. It is a complex part of the business that must be faced head on. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Just one month ago, Chase, the second-largest U.S. bank, plus a host of other well-known businesses, notified customers that their e-mail addresses had

Enhancing Prepaid Profitability

The convenience and budgeting control features that stored valued products offer holds appeal for a wide range of Americans. By Joe Bush Contributing Editor. Prepaid’s profit potential is fueled by shifts in the marketplace, wider social acceptance and the nation’s growing population of “unbanked” lower-income consumers. And while store-level merchandising and marketing need to be

Kum & Go Receives Energy Efficiency Leader Award

Five newly opened stores are expected to consume 20% less energy thanks to efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) solutions. By Erin Rigik, associate editor. Kum & Go’s commitment to environmental stewardship has earned it the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award” from Hussmann and Trane, both brands of Ingersoll Rand, for adopting sustainable energy

Lighting It Right

In the ongoing quest for reducing energy costs, many operators are introducing LEDs in coolers, under canopies and even inside the store, but how do you know if an upgrade is right for your chain? By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. In these tough economic times, lighting upgrades could provide a bright spot on the balance

Cigar Sales Holding Strong

Flavored products and natural leaf wrappers remain popular with consumers despite increased taxation and looming FDA intervention. By Frank Seltzer, Contributing Editor. Machine-made or mass-market cigars are by far the largest segment of the cigar universe. While premium cigars get most of the notice in magazines and blogs, the reality is that most cigar smokers

The Electronic Frontier

The popularity of e-cigarettes has risen substantially over the past couple of years, giving retailers an opportunity to make up for shrinking tobacco profits. By Frank Seltzer, Contributing Editor. Electronic cigarettes are a relatively new product, but for convenience stores they are beginning to make a big impact on sales. Electronic cigarettes were invented just

Portability Pushes Hot Food Sales

Convenience store operators that infuse their appetizer menus with “craveable” items can expect to gain additional consumer traffic. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Consumers are trying to cut their dining budgets, in many cases by eliminating starter items. To drive cravings and create interest in appetizers, operators must innovate with exciting dressings and dips, unusual

Breaking the Cycle of Plastic

Retailers may have different strategies when it comes to ATMs, but with interchange fees at a record high, operators should be developing programs to get cash in customers’ hands to reduce card transactions. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. ATMs are ubiquitous in convenience stores, providing cash in a bright, secure, warm and mostly private environment,

Managing Today’s Retail Workforce

While the economy may be struggling along, the third annual CSD/Humetrics HR Benchmarking Survey finds that the industry’s turnover is shrinking, hiring is increasing and investments in technology have never been higher. In order to support the convenience store industry’s forecasting and planning responsibilities for 2011, Convenience Store Decisions and Humetrics have collaborated on our

Complying with Cigarette Sales Restrictions

As the noose tightens on menthol products, convenience store retailers are learning to accept the latest limitations placed on tobacco products. By: John Lofstock, Editor. Cigarettes will soon carry new warning labels as the question for retailers becomes how to market a product whose package basically urges consumers not to buy it. Federal legislation handed

The Growing Demand for Fresh Foods

In today’s health-conscious world, convenience stores are expanding their menus to include more healthy snacks and meals. By: John Lofstock, Editor. While cash-strapped consumers are cooking at home more often to help ease tight budgets, a new study by the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) found that these shoppers are on the lookout for

css.php