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Boosting Fresh Food Sales

Americans are more amenable to buying meals at convenience stores, but won’t budge when it comes to quality, price or convenience factors like portability and packaging. By Howard Riell, Contributing Editor. Takeout food was invented for on-the-go consumers. But a takeout program has to do more than travel at high speeds. Today’s consumers want quality

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Foodservice Trends for Hispanic Consumers

Stripes is among the growing number of convenience store chains providing an authentic Hispanic cuisine to attract this growing demographic. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor. Early each morning the parking lots of Stripes Convenience Stores fill up with the trucks and cars of customers wanting to purchase a hearty meal of breakfast tacos, carne guisada

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Motivating Employees in a Challenging Economy

Some chains just don’t have the financial resources to give out much-deserved raises and bonuses, but there are other ways to show your staff you appreciate their hard work. By John Lofstock, Editor. To say the least, the past few years haven’t been the best for business. While we have weathered a brutal recession, it’s

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Don’t Settle for Employee Mediocrity

Training and preparing employees for advancement is one proven method for attracting and retaining these talented workers.  By Mel Kleiman, Contributing Editor. In the course of my more than 25 year’s of consulting and professional speaking work about how to recruit, select and retain the best frontline employees, I have identified one common case of

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Developing an Effective Menu

Foodservice operators must regularly develop new products and tweak old ones to pique consumer interest and attract repeat business. By Heather Henstock, Contributing Editor. Nice N Easy Grocery SHOPPES has long offered salads and sandwich melts. But the two menu lines didn’t reach their full potential until the convenience store chain hired three trained chefs

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Coulson Oil Sets the Stage for Expansion

With a new real estate entity in place, the company is positioned to grow its chain of dealer-leased stores beyond Arkansas. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Coulson Oil Co., one of the Southwest’s largest independent distributors of motor fuels, took a big step toward continued growth in August with the formation of Coulson Real Estate

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Battling City Hall

While dealing with red tape is a common occurrence when dealing with local municipalities, there are tax benefits for businessowners to make the process less costly.  By Mark E. Battersby, Contributing Editor. Thanks to the economy and skyrocketing costs, convenience stores and other businesses are making less money and paying more in taxes while, at

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Inspiring Impulse Sales

When stocking up on novelty items, thinking outside the box can help retailers drive big profits. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Retailers are driving impulse purchases with unique novelty products, including big ticket items, seasonal displays and small ring products that make everyday life more convenient. Dallas-based 7-Eleven Inc., for example, is making packing easier

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Adding a Spark to Tobacco Sales

Customized and novelty lighters offer customers an opportunity to express themselves. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor. In simpler times, lighters were used chiefly as a means to an end—lighting up a cigarette, birthday candles or even restarting an oven. Today, however, with the growth of the tobacco accessories category, lighters have become an end in

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Dairy

To drive profits in this core category, c-stores need to create a destination that showcases value, freshness and quality. By Erin Rigik, Associate Editor. Dairy offerings have been dwindling at convenience stores in recent years as operators make space in the coolers for popular items like energy drinks and other healthful beverages. But when stores

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Complying with Government Regulations

Whether it’s foodservice, tobacco or unionization, c-store owners must educate themselves on the changes that are taking place and respond accordingly to protect their investments. By Jim Callahan. As if we did not have enough government intervention to deal with, we are about to come face to face with an enormous increase in rules and

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How to Boost the Value of Your Convenience Store

By Mike Handelsman, group general manager, BizBuySell.com and BizQuest.com. There’s no arguing that banks, potential investors and creditors look heavily to a company’s financial statements to determine its value. However, past financials often aren’t the whole story. Here are some additional factors to consider as you seek to maximize your company’s value – whether you

Shell Leaps into Loyalty

At a Glance: Shell’s Fuel Rewards Program   In an effort to bring value to its fuel customers and branded marketers, Shell Oil Products U.S., in July, launched its Grocery Rewards program with several of the nation’s largest supermarket brands in markets across the country. Customers earn one fuel point for every dollar spent at

Fresh from the Farm

Focus on the Franchise   Minimum Franchise Requirements: Net Worth: $750, 000; Liquid assets: $250, 000 Targeted growth areas: Swiss Farms is looking for single and multi-unit franchisees in the following counties: Northern Delaware: New Castle County; Eastern Pennsylvania: Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks and Philadelphia County; New York: Nassau and Suffolk County; New Jersey: Camden,

Lessons Learned from Challenging Year

There’s no doubt that 2009 will go down as one of the most challenging years ever for the convenience store and petroleum industry. Combined with the poor economy that plagued marketers all year, credit card fees and tobacco regulations added fuel to a fire that, quite honestly, was already burning out of control. For this

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

Pennington Prospers with Pizza

Inside the Numbers What do one million personal-size pan pizzas add up to? According to the folks at Hot Stuff Foods, about 550,000 pounds in all. It includes 250,000 pounds of dough, 150,000 pounds of custom blended cheese and 62,500 pounds of sauce, plus the meat toppings and vegetables. One million personal-size pan pizza boxes,

Progressive POS Solutions

Speed of service is crucial, of course, but with all the services that convenience stores offer today communication—between machines—is key. From gas pumps and safes to back-office software and lottery terminals, operators are finding that integrating them with their point-of-sale (POS) systems leads to greater accuracy, efficiency and profitability. Mary Vinson, director of operations for

NACS Showcases Cool New Products

Cool Products Unveiled The top new items viewed by retailers at the NACS Show include: • Dippin’ Stix Healthy Snacks, Reichel Foods Inc. • Pringles Extreme Peggable Bags, Procter & Gamble Distributing Co. • Eclipse ELS, ElectraLED Inc. • Stride Gum, Cadbury North America • Dole Fruit Bowls in a Clear Merchandise Glide, Dole Food

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

PDI Offers One-Stop Software Solutions

Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI) offers a wide array of services to assist customers in taking advantage of PDI/Enterprise, a complete network-centric software system that allows convenience, wholesale petroleum and foodservice operations to do business electronically. It was designed with input from more than 250 PDI customers. When choosing any backoffice software provider, both Quinn Ricker,

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.

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

Employee Appreciation Goes A Long Way

Carl Singleton has had a whirlwind career, rising through the ranks at Worsley Operating Corp. His colleagues describe him as a “force to be reckoned with” who has made a positive impact on his company since joining the team in 2006. Singleton embarked on his career in the c-store industry 14 years ago, beginning as

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

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