Inside Look at Store Activity

Series2k has released S2k Realtime Center, a realtime reporting module to complement its Series2K Back Office Management System. The S2k Realtime Center is a Web-based application that allows a convenience store operator or owner to instantaneously see what is going on in their store. The S2k Realtime Center pulls information from the point-of-sale system every

Family Express Debuts New Corporate Headquarters

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

CIGS-THUMB

Premium E-Cigarette

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

Prepaid Services

Blackhawk Network, a provider of prepaid and financial payments products offers PayPower, a suite of prepaid products and services designed to help consumers stay in control of spending with simple and safe solutions that provide value, transparency and budgeting. The suite of products is targeted to consumers looking for alternatives to traditional financial credit, whether

NACS Showcases Cool New Products

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

New Look for Beef Jerky

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky has teamed with Realtree Camo to offer a “snack hunters can’t go without” promotion. Through December 2010, a selection of Jack Link’s beef steak products are available in blaze-orange-colored packaging, featuring distinctive Realtree Camo patterns. The standout blaze orange packaging adds extra visibility, while the beef steak offers hunters a satisfying

Botanical Cigar

Arango Cigar Co. offers its “Windy City” Premium Botanical Cigar, made exclusively for Arango by Drew Estate, in its Nicaraguan factory. In 1998, Drew Estate pioneered the art of vapor-infusing cigars with a wide variety of herbal, floral, spice, and other botanical flavoring essences. Today, their Acid cigars are widely recognized for these intriguing flavor

Marketing in a Digital Age

The world of marketing is fast evolving to keep pace with an influx of new technological options, and no one knows this better than Jared Sturtevant, who recently stepped into the newly created director of marketing role at Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. In his new position, Sturtevant orders, proofs and provides artistic direction on

Environmentally-Friendly Chewing Gum

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

A Moment of Sweetness

Cumberland Packing Corp. has tasked creative agency Mother New York with reintroducing Sweet’N Low to U.S. consumers by reminding people of the brand’s long history and tradition by playing up its iconic name, packaging and its most memorable color. The campaign, which includes print, outdoor and digital, will run nationally throughout 2010. Mother broke away

Securing Payment Data

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

Sealed-Fresh Foil Wrapping

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

Elevating Snack Sales

The weak economy has not taken much of a bite out of meat snack sales. Americans are loathe to sacrifice edible indulgences, even in times of financial crisis. All three NACS snacks categories—salty, packaged sweet and alternative—showed increases in average sales per store from 2008 to 2009, and showed gross-margin percentage and average gross-margin-dollar-per-store gains.

Saluting Family Businesses

I just got back from the National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference in Charleston, S.C., and came away with a much better understanding of the issues facing small businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing with the massive overhaul of the U.S. medical system, costly PCI compliance investments that yield no ROI or embracing

Growing Milk and Dairy Sales

Milk’s Bumpy Ride   In Mintel International’s new “Milk in the U.S.” report, senior analyst David Browne predicted a “bumpy ride” for the $11-billion milk market. Few categories, he noted, are as volatile as milk, which is reflected in the wild dollar sales swing during 2004-09.   “Volatility may return to the market in late

Tedeschi’s Showcases Pride and Tradition

At a Glance: Tedeschi Food Stores   Headquarters: Rockland, Mass. Founded: 1923 Store Count: 189 2009 Annual Revenue: More than $600 million Employees: 2,100 Markets of Operation: Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Proprietary Brands: TD’s Deli and TD’s Express foodservice; Tedeschi Select groceries, snacks and beverages; and Tedeschi Fuel   While other chains

Train to Retain

Convenience store turnover is staggering—100% is typical, and 200% is common among hourly retail employees. Yet, in a Fortune magazine survey of the most admired companies, “the single best predictor of overall excellence was a company’s ability to attract, motivate and retain talented people.” Training and preparing employees for advancement is one proven method for

VERC Enterprises Aims and Delivers

VERC ENTERPRISES AT A GLANCE   VERC Enterprises was launched 35 years ago by Paul Vercollone and his father Eugene in 1975 with a single gas station/car wash in Marshfield, Mass. Leo Vercollone, the company’s current president and CEO, joined the team after he graduated from Boston College in 1977. Paul continues to oversee the

Keeping USTs and Fuel Dispensers Safe

“Those operators who are only now waking up to the need to tend to UST-related matters need not despair. I recently put together an update for a client I have on all 50 states, and everything I remember reading said that no one’s been cast out, shut down or told they can’t operate because they

Tackling New Challenges

During her 13-year career in the industry, Donna Perkins has come a long way. Her enthusiasm and desire to learn drive her success. As pricebook manager for Calloway Oil Co., Perkins maintains costs and retails for all items in the company’s 23 E-Z Stop Food Mart stores in Tennessee. She also handles vendor issues, cost

Shopping for POS Solutions

Convenience to customers today means one-stop shopping, short lines at the counter and the ability to get in and out of a store fast. New integrated point-of-sale (POS) solutions are speeding up service and offering customers the convenience they demand thanks to faster processing times. What’s more, they’re saving operators money, labor and time. Finding

Keys to Growing Foodservice Profitably

Why are some retailers prospering when others are struggling? What are the keys to growing the business—even during tough economic times? How are successful retailers approaching the business differently than others? These are all questions that could be applicable to any part of the retail business. However, the questions are extremely salient to foodservice programs

Processing PCI Confusion

Many retailers are breathing a sigh of relief in regard to PCI, after this summer’s deadline for software compliance was relaxed after a request by the major oil companies, giving scrambling retailers a little more time to comply. But retailers be warned: chains that face a breach could still get hit with huge fines. “Some

Meeting the Demand for Fresh Foods

Rx for Dinner   Walgreen’s drug chain recently announced that it will test market chilled foods at a dozen of its 7,500 stores this fall to determine if busy consumers are willing to stop at a drug store for a grab-and-go lunch or dinner. While full details of the test have not been made public,

Building a Proprietary Food Program

Ingredients for Success   The answer to the question, “How can c-store operators develop proprietary foodservice programs?” is, according to consultant Dan Bendall, founder and president of FoodStrategy Inc. in Rockville, Md., the same as what he would tell any would-be restaurateur. “You need the following ingredients to be successful, not just serve food.” They

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