Texas Brokerage Looks To C-stores

Pinnacle Brokers, Inc., a brokerage firm based in Georgetown, Texas, is expanding its operations into the foodservice, c-store and grocery segments, the company said. The company, founded in 2004, has been a category specialist for the vending and coffee industries. The company has hired Gene Ratliff and Bryan Brewster to manage the new expansion. Ratliff

CVS Purchases West Coast Drug Store Chain

CVS Caremark Corp. is planning to buy Longs Drug Stores Corp. for $2.9 billion, a number of California business journals reported. CVS will acquire Longs’ 521 retail drugstores in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona as well as its Rx America subsidiary, which offers prescription benefits management services to over 8 million members and prescription drug

Mountain Dew Gets Artsy

Mountain Dew is looking for new ways to extend its reach among thirsty young men, and this week will begin rolling out its latest experiment: Six limited-edition bottles designed by emerging artists, Mediapost.com reported. The interactive marketing effort by New York-based Seed Gives Life builds on the Green Label Art effort the brand introduced last

Casey’s at The Races

Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores will present “Casey’s Night at the Races” at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Aug. 15, an online publication by RaceFan Inc. reported. The retailer is celebrating its 40th anniversary this summer with a number of promotions. In July and August, Casey’s patrons have been able to purchase any 2 liter of

Mid-State Petroleum Launches Loyalty Program

Mid-State Petroleum is launching the FuelLinks loyalty program at 10 company-owned Pop Shoppe locations in the Greensboro-High Point and Charlotte, N.C., markets, the company said. Mid-State vice-president Tony Perez said the 10 stores, which are Citgo-branded, are the first phase of a planned rollout to approximately 40 Pop Shoppe locations – including dealer-owned stores –

Hunt Brothers Launches Racing-themed Web Site

Hunt Brothers Pizza has launched a new racing-themed Web site, www.hbpRacing.com, which features racing updates, news, driver bios, a photo gallery and more to keep Hunt Brothers fans up to date on their favorite racing team. “This is a very exciting time for our company as Hunt Brothers competes on racing’s biggest stage,” said Scott

Make New Friends

Market research gurus at the NPD Group Inc. have released the most recent monthly results from “Fast Checks Study: Consumers Speak Out on the U.S. Economy.” The report shows that consumers are changing their shopping purchase patterns. In July, 34% of consumers said they would not change their purchase behavior, compared to April, when 42%

Gilbarco, Cybera Streamline Network Connectivity

Petroleum retailers and convenience store operators will need fewer phone lines, enjoy greater security and faster connectivity as a result of a new partnership between Gilbarco and Cybera, the companies said. The two have joined forces to streamline voice, video and financial transaction data communication into a single, secure, converged network. The partnership is targeted

Clark Partners with Gilbarco

Clark Brands LLC of Naperville, IL and Gilbarco Veeder-Root have entered a strategic alliance that covers point of sale (POS) systems as well as installation services and Gilbarco Fuel Management Services (FMS.) As part of the agreement, Clark and Gilbarco are offering Clark customers a program to upgrade locations that are currently operating G-SITE POS

Retail’s Battle Royale

Showdowns are abounding stateside these days as Tesco’s Fresh & Easy, Wal-Mart’s Marketside and Japanese Famima stores are trying to achieve dominance in the convenience channel. The Orange County Register reported that in Fountain Valley, Calif., Fresh & Easy and Famima are squaring off right across the street from each other. The stores in that

Energy Drinks Need A Boost?

While energy drink sales continue to grow at convenience stores across the nation, the category may not be enjoying the same breakneck pace experienced in the past decade, according to reports from Beverage Digest and brandweek.com. Energy drink volume grew 30% last year, but in June was only up single digits (7%), Beverage Digest reported.

Pump-top TVs Pushing Traffic In-store

Three privately held companies operate more than 20,000 television screens at thousands of gas stations coast to coast, The Associated Press reported, and those TVs may be driving shoppers to other in-store offerings. "We try to bring some fun to the pump," Roy Reeves, vice president of sales and marketing for California-based PumpTop TV, told

EZ Energy Buys BP’s Remaining Pa. Sites

Israel-based EZ Energy Ltd. will buy 15 gas stations and convenience stores and five fuel supply contracts from BP Products North America Inc. for $3.2 million, Globes online reported. The properties are BP’s last remaining gas stations in the Petersburg, Penn., area. EZ Energy said fuel deliveries by the acquired properties totaled 33.1 million gallons

Clark Partners with Gilbarco on Passport Upgrade

Clark Brands LLC, of Naperville, Ill., and Gilbarco Veeder-Root have entered a strategic alliance that covers point-of-sale systems, installation services and Gilbarco Fuel Management Services, the companies said. As part of the agreement, Clark and Gilbarco are offering Clark customers a program to upgrade locations currently operating G-SITE POS systems to Gilbarco’s Passport POS systems.

Pump-top Obama

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign is playing 30-second political ad spots on pump-top televisions at gas stations throughout Florida, the Palm Beach Post reported. The ads remind viewers of Republican John McCain’s 26 years in Washington and promotes Obama’s energy platform. The Obama campaign will also have supporters at eight gas stations around the

Rutter’s Readies For Concept Store Opening

Pennsylvania c-store chain Rutter’s Farm Stores is gearing up for the October opening of its concept store in Penn Township, Pa., The Hanover Evening Sun reported. Made-to-order, omelets, fajitas, wok stir-fry, music and accent lighting will all be key elements at the new location, the newspaper reported. Construction crews will begin work on the 5,200-square-foot

7-Eleven Adds Prepaid Game Cards

PayByCash announced its Ultimate Game Card, a prepaid card that allows users to purchase premium content for online multi-player games, will now be offered at more than 5,600 7-Eleven locations throughout the U.S. The cards are available in $10 or $20 denominations. PayByCash partnered with InComm to distribute the cards and make them available at

10,000 Fresh Applicants

Fresh & Easy said it received more than 10,000 applications for jobs in July, the same month it opened six new stores in its West Coast market. All told, the number of people applying to work at Fresh & Easy nearly quadrupled since May, the company said, adding that it plans to hire another 750

Feds Bust up Mammoth Hacker Ring

Federal prosecutors have charged 11 people with stealing more than 41 million credit and debit card numbers, cracking what officials say appears to be the largest hacking and identity theft ring ever exposed, The New York Times reported. The thieves focused on major national retail chains like OfficeMax, Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Wholesale Club, the

Gulf Oil Selects KSS Fuel Pricing Solutions

KSS, a supplier of fuels pricing analytics, execution and optimization systems to oil and gas industries, convenience stores, grocery and big-box retailers, said Gulf Oil Limited Partnership has selected its PriceNet and Visualizer solutions. Gulf Oil, a Massachusetts-based wholesaler and distributor of petroleum products. Will use KSS’ RackPrice solutions to help manage its fuel prices

Nestle Waters Steps Up Hispanic Campaign

In its first national marketing campaign targeting Hispanics in the U.S., Nestlé Waters North America has signed a two-year deal with Hispanic television personality Cristina Saralegui to become a spokesperson for Nestle Pure Life, mediapost.com reported. The multimillion-dollar Spanish-language campaign, "Vive Sanamente" (Live Healthy), includes 15- and 30-second television ads on Univision, TeleFutura, Galavision and

Americans Cut Back on Beer, But Wine is Fine

Americans are drinking less alcohol and middle-aged people are consuming about one-third less alcohol than they did 50 years ago, according to research by the Boston University School of Medicine. The study, according to HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg, shows that Americans are drinking less beer, though liquor consumption has remained steady while wine consumption has

Citi Card, ExxonMobil Team To Launch Gas Rebate Program

Citi Cards and ExxonMobil today announced a new rewards program for the ExxonMobil MasterCard consumer co-branded credit card program, which will offer rebates of up to 15 cents per gallon on gas purchased at Exxon and Mobil stores nationwide. Starting Aug. 29, 2008, those who open a new ExxonMobil MasterCard account by Dec. 31, 2008

Casey’s Walljasper: No More Franchising

Casey’s General Stores Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer William Walljasper gave an earnest interview to The Wall Street Transcript this week, touting the chain’s rural store format and conservative strategies as pivotal elements to its growth over the years. The chain has 1,450 corporate-owned stores and 14 franchise locations, though all of those

OTP: Onward To Playboy?

Skoal smokeless tobacco is giving as many as 2,000 contributing editors the opportunity to contribute to the January 2009 issue of Playboy, which will be the magazine’s 55th anniversary issue, brandweek.com reported. The "Skoal Builds Playboy" promotion will allow fans to help put together a 12-page special section in the magazine, the Web site said.