(From left), Eric Huppert, president of Team Oil Inc., Carrie Vanasse, the newly appointed head of operations and Tony Huppert, CEO, celebrate Vanasse’s college graduation.

Cultivating the Leaders of Tomorrow

Team Oil secures its future as an employee-focused organization by promoting from within. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Tony and Eric Huppert, owners of Team Oil Inc. of Spring Valley, Wis., have promoted Carrie Vanasse to head of operations, following Tony’s announcement this year of his upcoming retirement. The succession plan was implemented to secure

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Coke Brings Innovation to the Next Level

New Shopper Experience Innovation Center allows retailers to test concepts in mock stores with real customers. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The Coca-Cola Co. has launched a Shopper Experience Innovation Center (SEIC) in Atlanta. The 15,000-square-foot facility opened last May and contains two retail environments that can be converted from a supermarket to a drug

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Mobile Wallet Race Intensifies

Isis, with the support of Gilbarco Veeder-Root and Wayne, launches in Texas and Salt Lake City as it looks to gain traction in the growing mobile payments industry. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Isis, a mobile commerce joint venture by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, introduced its long-anticipated Isis Mobile Wallet last month,

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Parker’s Convenience Stores Garnering National Attention

Georgia chain debuts on Inc. magazine’s celebrated list of fastest growing companies. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. The Parker Cos. Inc., with 27 convenience stores throughout southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina, has scored the No. 3006 spot on the annual Inc. 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies list. It’s the first time the c-store chain has

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Mac’s Uses Social Media to Fight Crime

Through a partnership with Crime Stoppers, criminals will have their photos posted to Facebook and Twitter where viewers can help identify them. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Mac’s Convenience Stores, a division of Alimentation Couche-Tard, is leveraging the strengths of social media in conjunction with local Crime Stopper units to fight crime at its Canadian

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NACS CAFÉ Helps Identify Foodservice Solutions

Certified foodservice managers have shown that they are competent and disciplined, and they tend to display outstanding human resources management skills. By Dr. Nancy Caldarola, Education Director, NACS CAFÉ Foodservice has taken a prominent place in convenience stores. This segment has grown from a humble cup of coffee to a wide array of fresh sandwiches,

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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

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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

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Love’s Presents Scholarships to Employees

Five employees and seven dependents get some relief on college tuition costs. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores’ Learning With Love’s Scholarship Fund, now in its third year, has awarded $40,000 in scholarships to a number of Love’s employees and their dependents to assist with college costs for the 2011-2012

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Giving Back to the Community

The National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees boosts charitable funding. By John Lofstock, Editor. As part of its ongoing commitment to charitable causes, the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF) helped raise nearly $750,000 this year for two of its charitable partners, Hire Heroes USA and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Hire

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Valero Launches Mystery Shopper Program

Stores will be evaluated three times a year to ensure customer needs are met and employees are providing a positive retail experience. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Valero has partnered with Maritz Research to launch a new mystery shopping program, called Commitment to Excellence. As part of the new program, each of the company’s Valero,

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ConocoPhillips Begins Rolling Out KickBack Loyalty Program

ConocoPhillips is officially rolling out the KickBack Points Coalition Loyalty Program to branded marketers through a series of Road Show meetings starting today in Seattle. The meeting in Seattle will be the first of 28 Road Show meetings starting on the West Coast, before moving into the other ConocoPhillips markets. This program is a turnkey

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Sky’s The Limit at Quick Chek’s Balloon Festival

Record crowds expected at Health and Wellness Sunday to revel in music, food and fun. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Quick Chek Food Stores will kick off the 29th annual Quick Chek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America, on July 29 at Solberg Airport

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Fuel Rewards Luring Customers

With gas prices rising, loyalty programs are rewarding customers with steep discounts. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. With fuel prices approaching record highs in May, customers were thinking carefully about where they stop for gas and are paying more attention to rewards programs that offer cents-off fuel gallons purchased. Convenience store chains are responding with

(From left) John Feldman, vice president of construction with Kum & Go; Aaron Harrington, sales director for Hussmann; Kyle Krause, president and CEO of Kum & Go; and Todd Taylor, sales representative for Hussmann.

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

This March, several c-store chains inspired customers to buy paper Shamrocks to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

Industry Steps Up to Support Japan, Charitable Causes

Convenience stores continue to play an important role in raising much-needed funds in times of trouble. By: Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. When disaster strikes, convenience stores are often at their best stepping up to support the community. But what makes the industry so special is that it often continues to give back long after the

Twenty students from Oak Grove Elementary School participated in breaking a World Record during a stacking event at a Kangaroo Express store in Cary, N.C.

Kangaroo Express Garners World Record

The Pantry Inc. partnered with Oak Grove Elementary in Cary, N.C. last month, to help students break a Guinness World Record for the “Most People Sport Stacking at Multiple Locations in One Day.” In all, more than 314,000 sport stackers participated in the Nov. 18 event across the globe. The Southeastern convenience store chain, with

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

Industry Shines in National Rankings

Inc. magazine has revealed its fourth annual Inc. 5000 list, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. “The leaders of the companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have figured out how to grow their businesses during the longest recession since the Great Depression,” said Inc. President Bob LaPointe. “The 2010 Inc. 5000 showcases

Today’s Top Snack Trends

The Food Channel has released its top 10 snack trends, one of its regular trend reports prepared in conjunction with CultureWaves, Mintel International and the International Food Futurists. “These trends are meant to inspire your back-to-school snacking,” said Kay Logsdon, editor-in-chief of The Food Channel. “But they also show how people are eating today, with

Understanding Your Foodservice Customers

Now more than ever convenience store executives recognize that both survival and prosperity depend on their ability to adapt to changing customer preferences and the evolving business environment. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the changing role of convenience stores as a foodservice provider for budget-conscious, time-sensitive consumers that have scaled back on restaurant

Security by Force

Convenience store retailers are already dealing with tobacco taxes, PCI deadlines and encroaching competition. Now, if officials in Mesa, Ariz. get their way, operators within the city limits will be forced to invest in security measures aimed at reducing incidents of theft. The proposed mandate, aimed at convenience stores measuring less than 7,500 square feet,

Folk Oil Fights Hunger

Folk Oil’s PS Food Marts chain went to bat for hunger in Michigan and Ohio and raised more than $50,000 for local charities in just two short weeks. From March 15-31 PS Food Mart employees at the chain’s 29 stores encouraged customers and vendors to purchase paper hearts as part of its “Fight Hunger. Give

Recycling Program Breeds Customer Loyalty

While stopping for gas one day, two waste management interns working for the city of Lexington, Ky., pondered how much garbage could be recycled from cars if locations, such as gas stations, made it more convenient to recycle. The interns, Elizabeth Rebmann and Natalie Cooke, pitched their idea for such a recycling program to Bruce

Would You Like Wi-Fi With That?

Wi-Fi is a trendy offering customers are clamoring for, and it’s starting to appear at more c-store locations, including BP, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes and Rutter’s Farm Stores, especially as chains expand their foodservice programs and look for new ways to pull foot traffic into the store. Coffee shops, such as Starbucks have long

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