7-Eleven Powers Up its Fresh Foods Menu

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7-Eleven marks the first retailer to offer Tony Horton Kitchen Foods. Celebrity health and fitness expert Tony Horton has teamed with 7‑Eleven Inc. to launch a new line of healthy and nutritious foods and cold-pressed juices under the Tony Horton Kitchen label. Tony Horton, the master behind the best-selling fitness program, Beachbody P90X, is a

Wells Fargo Offers Insights On Non-Combustible Nicotine Industry

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Following the recent ECig Vegas Conference Wells Fargo offers key takeaways, predictions. Wells Fargo Securities recently spoke on the “Views From Wall Street” panel at the ECig Vegas Industry Conference. “After attending/speaking at this conference, we continue to sense uncertainty around the broad vapor category, likely driven by eventual increased regulation and where the industry

Top Shelf Retailing

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Shelf tags are becoming an increasingly important component of reducing out-of-stocks and providing a better customer service experience. Before heading to his neighborhood gym, Terrance Stewart of Fort Worth, Texas, stopped at a local convenience store to pick up an energy drink. He selected his favorite from the cooler and headed toward the sales counter.

Debit-Card Reform Helps Consumers Save Almost $18 Billion

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Reform also supported 100,000 new jobs in three years. As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, Congress reformed the debit-card swipe fees that banks charge merchants. The regulations have now been in effect three years. In that short time, the debit reform—known as the Durbin Amendment for the senator who introduced it—has created

Tri-Lakes Petroleum Opens New Location

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Shows customer appreciation with event and giveaways. On Aug. 20, local CITGO Marketer Tri-Lakes Petroleum LLC and CITGO Petroleum celebrated the grand opening of its newest location in Kalamazoo with a customer appreciation event. As part of the celebration, more than 150 locals gathered at the new station, located at 6300 E Michigan Ave., to

Hershey Wins P3 Impact Award

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CocoaLink Program recognized for improving the lives of cocoa farmers in Ghana. The Hershey Co. was honored at the Concordia Summit with the prestigious P3 Impact award for its CocoaLink mobile phone program in Ghana. Cocoa experts create weekly text and voice messages based on the cocoa-growing calendar and farmers use their own mobile phones

Making Prepaid Pay

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Marketing, merchandising and knowing customers’ needs are keys to expanding prepaid profitability. Research indicates that the amount of money spent at retail on prepaid services continues to grow in the U.S. But that may not necessarily mean the category will pay off handsomely for every c-store operator. The total dollars loaded through retail card malls grew

Is Loyalty Right For Me?

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Experts debate the challenges and benefits of integrating mobile payment and loyalty at convenience stores. Mobile payment is fast becoming a reality. More c-stores and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are introducing payment and/or loyalty apps, and the recent announcement of Apple Pay is being heralded as a game changer in the mobile space. What’s more, technology

Kretek Names Five New Key Account Managers

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Business growth and new retail chains are driving the need for greater account service. Kretek International Inc., exclusive importer and marketer of Djarum and Cuban Rounds Cigars, Voodoo and EZ Cig e-vapor products, DjEEP lighters, Nuvino Wines, and VirMax male performance products, has added five new key account sales managers in their Central and Northeast

Make Sure You’re Secure

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With credit card data hackers becoming increasingly innovative and sophisticated in their methods, it’s more important than ever for retailers to comply with current security standards set by the PCI Security Standards Council. Target, Supervalu, UPS, PF Chang’s and, most recently, Home Depot and even Dairy Queen—American retailers are being victimized by credit card data

A Teaching Moment

By Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc. I arrived at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning at the Team Oil Travel Center.  The previous day, my business partner and I decided to clear out the 700 DVDs we had in stock. My partner, Eric, directed the staff to put them all on the shelf and

Starting Your Own Consulting Business

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John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises. Recently, I celebrated my ten-year anniversary as a management consultant. It has always been a life-long dream of mine to be on my own and in 2004 I realized that goal. I had spent some 20 years in corporate America prior to and breaking out on

Developing A Retail Real Estate Strategy

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By John Matthews, founder and president, Gray Cat Enterprises Organic growth by a retailer is an exciting time for the company. Reinvesting earnings into the expansion of their branded stores through new construction communicates that a) business has been good; b) by growing the network of stores through brand-new locations, it helps strengthen market share;

Recognizing Your Best Customers

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By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises. Last month, I was participating in a client meeting and like most meetings that are lengthy, food is generally brought in and we eat/meet on the fly. This time we ordered a bunch of pizza and drinks to feed a group of 20 or so.

Developing Open Communication With Your Vendor Partners

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. Imagine a business world where resources were plentiful and industry expertise could be available at every juncture. Where decisions could be made that dovetailed alignment in support of your strategic plan throughout your networks. Imagine a world that anticipates your directives and assists in

A Blog About Writing A Blog

By John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc. About three years ago I began to publish a blog focused mainly on improving processes within small business. Many of these blogs are derived from having worked many years in larger organizations and attempting to translate those experiences to smaller businesses in the retail

Phillips 66 Continues to Drive Retail Innovation

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The Houston-based energy company is piloting several test programs and rolling out new images to help its branded marketers boost sales and attract new business. By John Lofstock, Editor Phillips 66, which supplies more than 7,100 outlets under the Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco brands, continues to innovate. Through a strategic program called Experience 66,

Retailers Meet Goal in Preventing Tobacco Sales to Minors

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NATO Executive Director Thomas Briant discusses the policies that have been successful in curbing cigarette sales to minors. By John Lofstock, Editor A new report just released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicates retailers continue to meet federal mandates banning tobacco sales to youths under the age of 18. Tom

NAG Conference Delivers New Ideas in San Antonio

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C-store leaders gather at the annual meeting of the National Advisory Group to share ideas and network with fellow colleagues. By Erin Rigik and David Bennett, Senior Editors The 2014 National Advisory Group (NAG) welcomed retailers to the Westin Riverwalk in San Antonio, Sept. 7-10 to discuss hot-button topics and exchange industry insights. Also featured

Living the American Dream

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Nachhattar Chandi began his c-store career as a cashier. Today he owns and operates 17 convenience stores and counting. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Nachhattar Chandi’s entrepreneurial journey from his start in a small village in India to a U.S. c-store cashier, to a successful c-store franchisee and owner of Chandi Group USA is a

Gasoline’s Whipsaw Trade in Oversold Market

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By Brian Milne, Energy Editor, Schneider Electric The gasoline futures contract nearest to physical delivery traded in a more than 25cts gallon range in September with little less than two days of trade for the month remaining, which included sharp daily reversals in what is known as whipsaw price action late in the month ahead

Rutter’s Celebrates National Coffee Day

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Customers enjoy free coffee today. National Coffee Day is today, Monday Sept. 29. Rutter’s is leading central Pennsylvania’s celebration with a special offer for its customers. All day on Sept.29, every Rutter’s customer who purchases any of Rutter’s delicious, award-winning breakfast sandwiches and presents their Rutter’s Rewards card at the register will get a free

TravelCenters Acquires Iconic Johnson’s Corner Truck Stop

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Petro Johnson’s Corner location to maintain Johnson’s Corner restaurant and bakery, and community roots. TravelCenters of America LLC (TravelCenters), operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands, has announced the expansion of its network with the acquisition and rebranding of the newest Petro, located at I-25, Exit 254 (2842 SE Frontage Rd.)

Nice N Easy Announces Scholarship Winners

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The Linda Nelson Memorial Scholarship is awarded to seven students. Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, a convenience store chain in Upstate New York, has awarded Linda Nelson Memorial Scholarships to seven local students. Established by the late President, Founder & CEO John MacDougall, the award is in memory of Linda Nelson, a spirited Nice N

Thorntons Launches New Refreshing Rewards Program

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New loyalty program is based on visits, not points or purchases. By Erin Rigik, Senior Editor Thorntons just announced the launch of its new Refreshing Rewards program, which is focused on enhancing experiences for its customer base across all its markets. “A loyalty program is something we have been looking into for a number of

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