$1 Million Treat

Building on the success of its Brand Halloween Promotion in 2007, Mars Snackfood U.S. is launching The Halloween Million Dollar Contest next month, a national sweepstakes that will treat one lucky person to a $1 million prize and award 20,000 other prizes as well. Consumers can enter UPC codes from participating products at www.HalloweenMillion.com and

MillerCoors May Relocate To Chicago Or Dallas

Crain’s Chicago Business reported this week that the headquarters for MillerCoors will be located in either Chicago or Dallas, and not Milwaukee. MillerCoors has been looking for 100,000 to 150,000 square feet of space in Chicago, and could employ as many as 400 people at the home office, according to the business journal. MillerCoors is

Sam’s Club Opens Houston Business Center

Sam’s Club is opening its first Business Center format in Houston later next month, which will offer a greatly expanded selection of products and services to meet the diverse needs of small business owners and others in foodservice, convenience stores, vending, office administration, floral operations, hotel/motel and more. The new locations’ grand opening ceremony is

For Health and Wellness Devotees, Money Doesn’t Matter

A study by the Natural Marketing Institute shows retail sales within the U.S. consumer packaged goods’ health and wellness industry hit $102.8 billion in 2007, representing 15% growth since 2006, mediapost.com reported, adding that there doesn’t seem to be any signs of a slowdown in this sector. NMI predicted that double-digit growth of the health

No Longer Loners

Texas motorists seem to be reining in their driving after months of bucking the national trend, The Houston Chronicle reported. State gasoline tax collections reported in June indicated taxes in Texas fell for two months in a row after a streak of gains earlier this year, even as prices inched toward $4 a gallon, according

1 in 3 Wash Before Eating

A new survey on consumer behaviors and attitudes toward hand washing before eating shows only one in three Americans clean their hands before eating in a restaurant. The figure holds the same for adults and children, whose parents claim they just don’t think about hand hygiene when taking their family to a restaurant. There is

ExxonMobil Presents Hispanic Engineering/Math Award

ExxonMobil and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation named Cynthia Reyna, a graduating student of Charles H. Milby High School in Houston, Texas, as the national winner of the 2008 Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards in Engineering and Mathematics, an award sponsored by ExxonMobil. Reyna was honored for her outstanding accomplishments in engineering and mathematics during a ceremony

Fuel of Champions?

London-based energy giant BP will be responsible for providing fueling facilities for the vehicles in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, as well as providing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for catering, vehicle-washing facilities and technical support services, including a system for tracking and reporting carbon emissions, the company said. BP said it aims to support

Hackers Hit 7-Eleven ATMs

Hackers broke into a network of Citibank ATMs inside 7-Eleven stores and stole customers’ PIN codes, making off with at least $2 million, The Associated Press reported, citing recent court filings. The court documents reveal a disturbing security hole in the most sensitive part of a banking record – the PIN numbers, The Associated Press

Sheetz Opens Store No. 350

Altoona, Penn.-based Sheetz Inc. opened its 350th store this week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a generous donation to a local park authority to fund maintenance and upkeep on soccer and baseball fields in the community near the new store. The Sheetz c-store in Dillsburg, Penn., brings the company’s presence in that state to 199

Valero Sells Krotz Springs, La., Refinery To Alon

Alon USA Energy Inc. said it completed the acquisition of the Krotz Springs refinery from Valero Energy Corporation, paying out $333 million in cash plus approximately $140 million for working capital, including inventories. “This latest acquisition is another step in our business plan to methodically grow our operations and expand our refining capacity,” said David

Gas Prices Drive Shoppers To Alternative Retailers

Alternative fuel retailers – supercenters, supermarkets, warehouse clubs and the like – are chipping away at the convenience store industry’s gasoline shopper base, a TNS Retail Forward report shows. Results from the most recent TNS Retail Forward ShopperScape survey indicate that a third of shoppers are buying most of their gas at alternative outlets, up

Dunkin’ Donuts Workers Get Creative For Cash

Dunkin’ Donuts chose three of its store employees as finalists in a company-wide contest to design the 2008 holiday-themed rechargeable Dunkin’ Donuts Card, the company said. Dunkin’ Donuts is allowing customers to vote for one of three final "Deck the Halls with Dunkin” designs at www.dunkindonuts.com. Online voting takes place July 1 to 15, with

Everything’s Coming Up 7 (and 11)

Leading c-store retailer 7-Eleven is celebrating its 81st birthday on July 11, and as a thanks to customers is offering free 7.11-ounce Slurpees at participating stores. Customers can pour their favorite Slurpee flavor in colorful, 7.11-ounce “birthday” cups throughout the day, while cup supplies last. Home of the Big Bite Oscar-Mayer all-beef hot dog and

Rutter’s Doles Out First of Four Gas Awards

Kathy Wallick doesn’t consider herself a lucky person, and her family members won’t even let her touch lottery tickets for fear she’ll have a negative effect on them. But if you want proof that her luck has changed, consider this: Wallick is the first grand-prize winner in Rutter’s Farm Stores’ gas giveaway, the company said.

Fresh & Easy’s Manhattan Beach Opening Draws 2,600

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market saw nearly 2,600 customers show up to the grand opening of its store in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, the company said. It’s the company’s 62nd store on the West Coast, the others being in California, Nevada and Arizona. The store’s “grill pack” sold particularly well, the company said, adding

Roundup On Competitors …

Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks announced plans to close 600 stores this week, while big-box retailer Wal-Mart said it’s stepping up efforts to bring more U.S. farmers into its supply chain as a way to keep food prices down. Dunkin’ Donuts, meanwhile, added a new Southwest Chicken Flatbread sandwich to its oven-toasted menu. Wal-Mart said it’s

Atlas Oil To Acquire 23 BP Sites In Indiana

Atlas Oil Co. will acquire 23 BP retail sites in Indiana, as well as operate a number of sites on the Indiana Toll Road, Crains News Service reported. The deal, scheduled to close this fall, includes a number of retail locations owned by BP and several dealer-supplied sites, Crains reported. As part of the transaction,

Gas And Diesel Demand Down

With fewer people on the road, retailers are seeing fuel demand drop, according to data released by a trade group representing the travel plaza industry. And ask any economist what happens when a product’s supply is ample but demand is lower, they’ll tell you the price of the product is likely to fall. Not so

RedPrairie Optimizes Shipping

RedPrairie Corporation announced enhancements to its industry-leading warehouse management solution, which is designed to improve the quality and efficiency of shipment and delivery of food and other perishable goods. While useful for a variety of multi-environment and campus distribution operations, the enhancements are especially helpful for food distributors and grocery retailers. “In food and grocery

The Cyber Slurpee

A Web site for 7-Eleven’s favorite frozen carbonated beverage, www.slurpee.com, just got a whole lot cooler, the company said. The redesigned site now includes interactive features, giving Slurpee lovers around the world a chance to post messages and share photos and videos featuring their favorite frozen beverage. The site was renamed Slurpee Nation to reflect

A Billion-dollar Deal?

Delek US Holdings Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn., is in exclusive negotiations to purchase a U.S. refinery for about $1 billion, a deal that could also land the company 400 to 500 retail locations if the plan pans out, according to documents the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Delek did not name the

Zarco 66 Teams With Dresser Wayne

Dresser Wayne and Zarco 66 Earth Friendly Fuels have announced the grand opening of Zarco’s sustainable and alternative fuel site in Lawrence, Kan. The Zarco location not only dispenses ethanol and biodiesel produced within a 75-mile radius of the facility, it also represents an innovative vision for sustainable construction and energy consumption, according to Dresser

Fresh & Easy Touts Holiday Savings

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is offering a special summer grill pack offering nearly five pounds of beef patties, mild pork sausages and lightly seasoned chicken – and a 12-pack of Fresh & Easy’s Taurino Cerveza beer – for under $10. The company said its USDA-certified grill pack includes a mix of eight hand-trimmed and

By the Numbers

» 3 Years Pennsylvania resident Kathy Wallick gets free fuel as part of Rutter’s Farm Stores’ gas giveaway. She is the first of four grand prize winners in the c-store chain’s promotion, which runs through Aug. 24. » 10 Optimum number of seconds for a pumptop TV advertisement to foster greater consumer recall of advertising