Convenience store operators must take the time to observe how their competitors are marketing tobacco. In most of the presentations I have given over the past few years, I challenge my participants to take the time to understand how their business is doing, but to also make sure to check on the competition. After all,
Even during the holiday season customers expect their local c-store not only to be open, but to meet their diverse needs. Every year during the holidays I have cashiers tell me that customers ask them why our stores are open on days like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Customers often remark, “It’s a
Car care merchandise is delivering incremental sales with the help of private labels and impulse purchases. Customers have long ventured into local convenience stores to grab a bottle of windshield washer fluid or oil for their cars. Years ago, a small display would hold a few bottles of automotive fluids in case of an emergency.
David Johnson named group chairman as the National Advisory Group concludes its 2010 meeting focused on building profits and relationships. The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference wrapped up in Charleston, S.C., offering convenience store owners a much better understanding of the issues facing small and mid-sized businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing
When a number of major tobacco companies, including R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Conwood Co. LLC, Commonwealth Brands Inc., Lorillard Inc. and National Tobacco Co., decided to take on the federal government’s ban on tobacco advertising, they were looking for one retailer to step up and join the fight. They got their wish when Frank Hinton,
U-PAK-IT Corp., the third largest Louisiana-based c-store chain, features a unique business model that helps mom-and-pop stores unite to compete in an industry that often eats single stores for breakfast. The first U-PAK-IT store was opened in Winnsboro, La., in 1986. The company quickly grew when a number of neighborhood stores, faced with rising prices
Valparaiso, Ind.-based Family Express is celebrating the opening of its new corporate headquarters. The 30,0000-square-foot facility not only features offices and a fitness center, but combines its Valparaiso, Ind., and Lafayette Ind., training centers into one cyber training center, including a fully-merchandised Family Express store, built to scale with equipment and gas pumps. The new
The NACS Show’s Most Popular Cool New Products The top new items viewed by retailers at the NACS Show include: • Disney Foodles and Crunch Pak Sliced Apples (Crunch Pak) • Ready Snax Fresh Fruit Parfaits (Ready Pac Foods) • International Delight Flavor Shots (WhiteWave Foods / Dean Foods) • f’real FRLB4 Frozen Beverage
The SWAT Team During its brief tenure, the PCATS Data Security Standards committee has proven extraordinarily active, holding biweekly conference call meetings that are regularly attended by as many as 50 members. As PCATS Executive Director Gray Taylor pointed out, “These aren’t single-site operators. These are people who are in charge of security for
The long and winding road to controlling credit card fees took yet another turn on Oct. 12, 2010, when TCF National Bank, a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corp., filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Durbin Amendment, which was included in the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, also known
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
Bottled water’s bubble may have burst the past couple of years, but retailers with private label water have done just swimmingly, and retailers are optimistic that the next 12 months will be equally strong. The packaged beverages subcategory enjoyed decades of growth, as consumers increasingly chose refreshment that fit their healthier lifestyles. From 1984 to
It began with a simple, yet powerful premise: Convenience store retailers, with their great locations and high customer traffic are well-positioned to capitalize on the development and execution of meaningful foodservice programs. All they need is a solid foundation of information, support, solutions and best practices to succeed. Enter Greg Parker, president and CEO of
Where there’s successful foodservice programs, there’s efficient foodservice equipment, and in the convenience store industry, there’s foodservice everywhere. According to NACS’ State of the Industry numbers for 2010, foodservice provided the largest slice of the in-store gross-margin pie, at 26.35%, and was second in in-store sales only to cigarettes. As consumers contemplate what to eat,
This is Foodservice 101: when the weather turns cold, consumers want warmth—often in the form of soups and hot convenience foods. Giving your consumers what they want is Convenience Store Success 101. Putting hot soups and other ready-to-go items on the menu this the fall only makes sense, and isn’t all that hard to do.
Kretek International Inc. offers a new line of CIG2O (sig-two-oh) e-cigarette products. The CIG2O rechargeable water vapor cigarette was developed in the U. S. for Kretek by Spark Industries. CIG2O e-cigarettes was successfully launched in smoke shops early in 2010. The strength of adult consumer response led to the current nationwide roll out. The initial
Revolymer Ltd. has launched Rev7, a confectionery chewing gum with long-lasting flavor. The product is also removable and degradable, making it the first commercially available environmentally-friendly gum. The company has studied the gum’s removability and degradability characteristics in a variety of climates. The gum can be removed from clothes using soap and water, and tests
Due to popular demand, Swisher International has introduced Sealed-Fresh foil wrapping on all of the company’s Swisher Sweets Cigarillos. First introduced on Swisher Sweets Wine Cigarillos, the new Sealed-Fresh packaging proved to be a huge success among retailers and customers. Expanding on that success, the new technology is now incorporated as the standard packaging for
Kretek International Inc., U.S. distributor of ExtenZe, a male enhancement brand, has introduced new ExtenZe Plus fast acting pills in a five-pack value unit. The new bright red five-pack pills feature an easy-to-take pearlized coating and are being promoted at the same price as the current four-pack unit during introduction through the end of 2010.
The Coca-Cola Co.’s most successful new sparkling beverage in a generation, Coke Zero, turns five this year. During its time on the market, Coke Zero has posted double-digit sales gains for five straight years and is showing no signs of slowing. Among more than 350 sparkling beverage brands launched since 2001, Coke Zero is one
Seventy-seven percent of customers would like to see healthier items on c-store menus, according to Mintel. The Mexican Original brand from Tyson Food Service offers a full line of specialty tortillas that help meet the needs of health-conscious consumers without sacrificing flavor. Mexican Original tortillas are available in a variety of different sizes to help