Going Green to Reduce Costs

Wanting to help save the world is admirable, but unless a real cost-savings can be realized convenience store operators seem to agree this economy is not the best time to be experimenting with “green” investments. The key to sustainability issues, then, is finding that balance, and that’s where several c-store chains are differentiating themselves. Scott

Nice N Easy Celebrates in Style

In a gala befitting the industry’s oldest and most prestigious retail award, Convenience Store Decisions and more than 150 industry retailers and suppliers honored Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes as the 2009 Convenience Store Chain of the Year at the Wynn Hotel’s venerable Daniel Boulud restaurant in Las Vegas. Nice N Easy, the Canastota, N.Y.

New Regulations on Tobacco from the FDA

Over the past six months since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began wielding its new powers to regulate cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco, the implementation of the law has been anything but smooth. Even though Dr. Lawrence Deyton, the FDA’s new head of the Center for Tobacco Products, announced several times during “Listening

Fighting Credit Card Costs

Is there relief ahead for exorbitant credit card fees? The answer is yes. But first, there’s a fight to be fought. According to NACS in Alexandria, Va., credit card payments have grown from 21% of transactions in 1995 to 49% today, with the trend expected to grow to more than 50% by next year. The

Investing in a Foodservice Future

At first look, boosting business with breakfast sales may seem like a strange idea in these tough economic times as today’s high unemployment means fewer workers stopping for breakfast en route to work. The fact that teenagers and men between the ages of 18-35, who are some of the c-store industry’s most frequent visitors, have

Frontline Reversal of Fortune

EDITOR’S NOTE: CSD AND HR CONSULTANT MEL KLEIMAN WILL PRESENT THE SECOND ANNUAL HR STUDY, FEATURING EMPLOYEE TRENDING DATA AND A STORE EMPLOYEE SALARY OVERVIEW, IN THE JANUARY 2010 ISSUE OF CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS. Just a short 18 months ago, most convenience retailers were desperate for frontline workers and, on most days, priority one was to

Controlling Operating Costs

From escalating utility costs and credit card fees to labor and looming PCI deadlines, retailers have their hands full with a host of issues that are impacting their businesses. No issue is as complex and timely as PCI compliance. The stakes in the PCI game are high and, as 2010 approaches, c-store operators need to

Serving the Unbanked

As the economy worsened, the number of adult Americans without bank accounts grew exponentially—and the use of prepaid cash cards climbed to new heights as well. Directo, a company that tracks pay cards to unbanked workers, reported that the recession has sent the number of unbanked Americans soaring to about 50 million, well up from

Grocery Sales Going Up

Signs of the Times Overextended and anxious about the economy, consumers are responding to economic pressures by buying less, borrowing less and paying down credit card debt. The amount Americans owe on credit cards and other consumer loans plunged a record $21.6 billion in July, dimming prospects that the budding economic recovery will extend to

Super Quik Named Kentucky Store of the Year

The Kentucky Grocers Association and Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores (KGA/KACS) honored Flatwoods, Ky.-based Super Quik Inc. and its president G. Lynn Rice with the 2009 Kentucky Convenience Store of the Year last month. Rice accepted the award on behalf of all the Super Quik employees at KGA/KACS’s annual meeting. “It’s nice to be recognized

New Products Keep Food Sales Fresh

Sophisticated customers are demanding foodservice programs that keep the menu fresh by rotating options and adding new products and flavors. Dan Rotherham, director of operations at Feather Petroleum Inc., which operates 18 Stop ‘n Save c-stores in Colorado, has seen firsthand how adding new products and streamlining store menus has helped business. “We strive to

Meeting the Demand for Meat Snacks

Meat snack manufacturers are going after the teen demographic, solidifying them as the product’s target audience, and introducing new flavors and varieties to meet the changing needs of consumers. Many retailers agree flavored meat sticks are driving the category. “Flavors products are strong right now whether it’s the hot, teriyaki or the smoked,” said Bill

Neighbours to the North

Since receiving CSD’s Chain OF THE YEAR award in 2002, Petro-Canada has seen multiple changes. The most significant has been the merger between Suncor Energy Inc. and Petro-Canada, which was finalized in August of this year. While the company operates under the Suncor Energy name, it maintains the trusted Petro-Canada brand for its refined products

Nice & Envied

Mission accomplished. When John MacDougall challenged his team at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes to come up with a company mission statement, he left pretty simple instructions. “Keep it short, keep it focused and let’s be true to ourselves,” he said. The result was a concise proclamation of the chain’s commitment to the customers it

Changes Abound at ExxonMobil

Since winning CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 2003, Exxon Mobil Corp. has been busy, beefing up it’s foodservice program at On the Run stores, then forming a new strategy that moves away from direct-store operations and beating out Wal-Mart for the top spot on the Fortune 500 list. But it’s the changes at

Wawa Guided by Rich History

The seeds for Wawa convenience stores were sown in 1902 when George Wood started a dairy with a small herd of cows and a processing/bottling plant in Wawa, Pa. Using the slogan “Buy Health by the Bottle,” the business grew throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey as a team of milk men delivered dairy products directly

Organic Growth Drives Kwik Trip

In 2004, CSD awarded La Crosse, Wis.-based Kwik Trip Inc. with the Chain of the Year award recognizing a company that values people and forays into new technology, combining business and energy intelligence to save dollars. CSD also was impressed with Kwik Trip’s use of vertical integration to control the products and support functions that

Speedway SuperAmerica Presents a Unified Front

SuperAmerica won CSD’s Chain of the Year award in 1991, and Speedway was recognized with that honor six years later. In 1998, the two convenience store chains merged to form Speedway SuperAmerica LLC, which is owned by Marathon Oil Corp. Today, Speedway SuperAmerica, which is based in Enon, Ohio, is made up of more than

7-Eleven Continues Reinventing Convenience

7-Eleven Inc., the world’s largest operator, franchisor and licensor of convenience stores, was named Chain of the Year in 2005. The stores got their iconic name in the 1940s because they were open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., which was considered extended hours in those days. By the ‘60s, lifestyles were changing, and consumers

Employees Fuel QuikTrip’s Success

QuikTrip Corp.,  the Oklahoma-based convenience retailer, opened for business in 1958 with a single store and second-hand furnishings. Today, the chain is made up of 532 convenience stores across nine states, all of them open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The privately-held, family-owned business has approximately 10,000 employees, who reportedly enjoy their

Valero Rises to the Top

At a Glance: Valero Energy Corp. Valero operates 16 refineries and seven ethanol plants stretching from California to Canada to the Caribbean. The San Antonio-based operator generated more than $119 billion in revenues in 2008 with total assets of $34.3 billion. Other company highlights include: •Number of Employees: Approximately 22,000 •Refining Throughput Capacity: 3.1 million

Catering to the Community

It was 1968 when Don Lamberti purchased a Boone, Iowa service station and converted it into a convenience store, launching what would eventually grow into the thriving chain known as Casey’s General Stores. By the end of its first decade, Casey’s had more than 100 locations, plus its own warehouse. To meet its growing business

Couche-Tard Pushes U.S. Expansion

When Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. was presented with CSD’s Chain of the Year honors in 2007, the company’s smart, strong growth was cited as the foundation for the honor. A little more than two years later and not much has changed. The company is still regarded as one of the savviest marketers in two countries, and

Innovation a Hallmark at Sheetz

In 1952, Bob Sheetz purchased an Altoona, Pa., dairy store, one of five retail operations owned by his father. His second store opened its doors in 1963 and the third opened five years later. By 1969, Bob’s brother Steve was serving as general manager, and the pair decided to open one store each year through

Dual Branding Strategy Drives Chevron

It’s been a challenging couple of years for convenience store operators, marked by wild fuel price fluctuations and exorbitant credit card fees. Despite the adversity, Chevron stood apart as one of the premier industry leaders. By advancing its Image Refresh program at ExtraMile convenience stores, growing the Texaco brand and introducing a no-fee credit card

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