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PeopleMatter Secures $14 Million Financing

Focus on hourly workers in $2.5B market sets software company apart. PeopleMatter, provider of a talent management solution (TMS) specifically designed for hourly workforces in the service industry, announced today a $14-million Series C round of venture funding led by Morgenthaler Ventures. This financing will continue to accelerate PeopleMatter’s product-innovation and customer-acquisition strategies. Existing investors

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Buck’s Inc. Selling Chicago Convenience Stores

Both company-owned company-operated sites and company-owned dealer-operated locations are available for purchase.   Buck’s Inc. is selling 62 properties located in the greater Chicago and St. Louis metropolitan areas by sealed bid sale. The St. Louis deadline (Feb. 22) has passed, but the Chicago bid deadline is set for March 8. NRC Realty & Capital

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The Evolution of Cash Management

Smart safes are getting smarter and so are the convenience store operators who use them. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor It’s all about the money, so handle it intelligently. Having a smart safe—and training employees to use it effectively—relieves a lot of the traditional headaches associated with handling cash, according to Los Angeles-based retail security

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A Simple Tobacco Fable

Alternative products are helping to shape the future of convenience store tobacco sets. By Lou Maiellano. Imagine, if you will, that European explorers land in Africa, North America or South America in the 14th, 15th or 16th centuries. Upon landing, these explorers find the inhabitants of these exotic new lands drinking a strange, energizing brew

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Big Apple Plants the Seeds for New Growth

After rebranding a number of its locations under the CITGO brand, Big Apple Food Stores looks to expand its retail portfolio in 2012. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor C.N. Brown’s Big Apple Food Stores has had a busy 12 months. The 82-store chain with locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, completed an aggressive push

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Fast Nickels vs.Slow Dimes

When it comes to competing in the fuel business, convenience store retailers must fight to maintain their market share. By Jim Callahan. I received an inquiry from a small retailer in the Northeast recently who had lost a huge chunk of his fuel volume due to some fierce new competition. This is an issue that

Finding Your Way with Foodservice

Growing up in New YORK CITY few things were as natural to me as eating out. Even now with three children, a minimum of two meals a day are eaten outside the house seven days a week. The kitchen table is more of a convenient place to store things, like takeout menus and the kids’

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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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The 2012 Convenience Retail Outlook

Economic uncertainty is causing retailers to be cautious as they plan for the upcoming year, but investments in technology, social media and foodservice appear to be expanding. By David Bishop, Contributing Editor.  The outlook for 2012 depends largely on the focus of the question. What is clear based on the CSD/Balvor 2012 Convenience Retail Outlook

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Go Green, Save Green

How one retail chain saved $20,000 annually by turning to energy efficiency. By Ali Farsai, Contributing Editor Our family has been in the gas station and convenience store business for over 25 years and the past few years, as we are all painfully aware, business has been down. We have had to think “outside the

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Study Shows Website Visits Drive Brand Purchases

CPG brand Website visitors spend 37% more on the brand and 53% more on product category in retail stores. A study from Accenture, comScore Inc. and dunnhumbyUSA, aimed at helping consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers better understand the link between consumers’ usage of brand Websites and their in-store brand buying behavior, found that visitors to

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Will EMV be DOA?

Visa is encouraging retailers to move toward the EMV technology seen in Europe, but some argue by the time it’s implemented in the U.S., the technology will be outdated. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Visa this fall announced plans to speed up the migration to contact chip and contactless EMV chip credit card technology in

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Robinson Takes the Helm at NACS

Incoming chairman promotes advocacy as he prepares to battle swipe fees, fuel standards and tobacco regulations in the year ahead. By John Lofstock, Editor. Renowned author and business strategist Tom Peter once said, “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” When it comes to the challenges facing the convenience store and petroleum industry over

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The Impact of Alternative Fuels

The political momentum to bring renewable energy products to the pumps is strong and growing. But with all the added costs to rebuild the nation’s petroleum infrastructure, is it worth it? By John Lofstock, Editor. Preparing for the future is a complex issue retailers should always be pondering. But in the fuel business this question

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Maintaining Compliance with Fuel Tank Standards

Out of sight, out of mind could land convenience store and gas station owners in serious trouble if they neglect their underground storage tanks (USTs) any longer. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. With fines for leaks on the rise, regulations for tank compliance data retention getting longer and reporting frequencies increasing, the time has come

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Building New Tobacco Sales

Retailers and government officials butt heads over handmade cigarettes. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Celeste Lucas likes to smoke, but she doesn’t like paying $5 a pack for cigarettes, so she took matters into her own hands and purchased a roll-your-own cigarette machine. Using loose tobacco and paper tubes, she can now create an entire

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Driving Foodservice Profitability

Taking steps to promote innovative products and value pricing can elevate the whole roller grill experience. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. When consumers think of convenience store food, roller grill hot dogs are top of mind. Roller grills have developed a mixed reputation over the years, but they remain a staple of c-store foodservice programs

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Boosting Energy Sales

Although some c-store operators admit to being worried about regulators turning their focus toward energy products, many believe the category has at least another year of strong growth ahead. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. Sales of energy shots are soaring despite the lingering recession. New products, flavors and marketing messages are making it one of

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Delivering a Winning Pizza Program

In an effort to grow its foodservice business, Casey’s is expanding its menu to include pizza delivery. By Joe Bush, Contributing Editor. Casey’s General Stores has sold pizza for more than a quarter century making it one of the earliest convenience store chains to do so. Now, in an effort to expand its customer base,

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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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Training the Leaders of Tomorrow

While management is always on the lookout for new talent, it’s also up to employees to demonstrate that they are ready to advance to leadership positions. By Jim Callahan. As we embark on 2012, it’s time to start considering how you’re going to begin grooming team members for advancement within the company. Today’s employees are

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Clark Brands Grows West

Marketer is expanding its footprint beyond legacy states as it signs on independent operators. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor Clark Brands LLC is pursuing an aggressive growth strategy in 2012, expanding from the Dakotas to Texas, from New Mexico to Michigan and all points in between, as more fuel marketers elect to join the Clark

Are Customers Always Right?

As anyone even remotely associated with the service industry will tell you the customer is king. But a new book is challenging that theory and takes a critical look at the true value of disgruntled customers. For example, in a retail setting, the squeaky wheel almost always winds up getting the grease. Customers tend to

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Sustaining Security

Now that retailers have reached PCI DSS 2.0 compliance, it’s important to continue monitoring people, processes and technology to protect against breaches.  By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor If your chain is among those who diligently worked to achieve PCI DSS 2.0 compliance by the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline, you probably think your stores are safe from

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