fired up

Barbecuing brisket wasn’t anywhere on Rudolph Aue’s agenda in 1929, when heopened his one-pump country store in the tiny community of Leon Springs, TX,just a few miles west of San Antonio. In fact, it wasn’t until 60 years later,when Aue sold the operation, that the pit was first lit. The buyer was restaurateur Phil Romano,

keep on truckin

Carrying on a local college tradition has given New York retailer Albert Smith new menu items and a new generation of grateful customers. In the 28 years Albert Smith has operated the Shortstop Deli (Ithaca, NY), he has never gotten a hug from a customer. Sure, his patrons appreciate that the coffee is fresh, that

in control

Valero and Wesco are among the ’do-it-yourselfers’ finding efficiency and sales opportunities by handling their own distribution. Earlier this month, Valero Energy Corp. changed the way it conducted business at 650 of its Texas-based Diamond Shamrock Corner Stores. The chain leased a 130,000 sq. ft. warehouse in the San Antonio area and spent $7 million

if the safety shoe fits

Outfit your employees with stylish, comfortable shoes that can prevent slip-and-falls. One of the leading causes of employee injuries is slip-and-fall accidents. All the safety procedures in the world can’t protect a company from a momentary lapse that results in an employee taking a spill on a slippery floor, but a simple footwear program can

cobranded credit

cool

A new digital badge could help increase sales, improve the execution of in-store promotions and raise awareness of your brand. Seems like you just might need some ’stinkin’ badges’ after all. Picture this: It’s Super Bowl weekend and an adult customer comes to the register with a sixpack of Bud Light. He places the package

loss leaders

New technology convinces Town & Country and WESCO Inc. that slashing losses can be just as profitable as growing sales. About three years ago, WESCO Inc. (Muskegon, MI) implemented its "Churn Busters" program as a means of slashing turnover. The savings gained from the program—the company reduced its turnover by 50% in just one year—

speedyrecovery

Darker days behind it, Fas Mart stands poised to reap a bountiful harvest When Brad Chivington joined Fas Mart Convenience Stores Inc., he had a sobering realization just a few months into his tenure as senior vice president of sales and marketing: "What have I gotten myself into?" In early 2000, Chivington came to the

walmarts small mart

Might the world’s largest retailer take a run at operating convenience stores? Absolutely. By Michael Bergdahl Imade a presentation at the National Association of Convenience Stores’ 2004 annual conference in Las Vegas last October. My speech centered around my book, What I Learned from Sam Walton: How to Compete and Thrive in a Wal-Mart World.

ice ice baby

Are you producing the right type of ice for your customers’ dispensed beverages? If so, are you producing enough of it? Having the right type of ice and producing the right amount of ice in a costeffective way are critical to maintaining profitability at the beverage center. There are two basic types of ice made

paying a premium

Healthcare costs are on the rise nationwide. Self-insured Sheetz takes a committee-based approach to curtailing healthcare expenses. During the past five years, businesses across the country have seen health benefits costs jump an average of 14% per year. As a result, companies are making tactical moves to help stop the bleeding, so to speak. Whether

whats the big idea

Stuff your stocking with ideas for making more money in 2005 by Kate Buczko, Associate Editor, and Bill Donahue, Editor New ideas are the lifeblood of our industry. They give our stores the opportunity to grow and adapt to market conditions, and expand into virgin territory. The editors of CSD have compiled some of the

new retail concepts

Developing trends Approximately 40% of U.S. households will own at least one digital camera by the end of 2004, according to InfoTrends Research Group. As the technology becomes more prevalent, consumers are looking for affordable, convenient printing options, and if convenience stores are prepared, they could capture those customers. 7-Eleven Inc. (Dallas, TX) is in

wawa gets booked

Wawa Inc. (Wawa, PA), which today operates more than 550 convenience stores in five states, is the subject of a new book from Arcadia Publishing (888-313-2665; www.arcadiapublishing.com). The book spans parts of three centuries in detailing Wawa's evolution, beginning with its origins in the early 1800s as a manufacturer of cast-iron water pipes and stove

productsservices

Charge and protect Seven million people became victims of identity theft in 2003—an 80% increase versus the prior year, according to the research firm Gartner Group. Further research shows that 55% of Americans plan to use the Internet to buy "stuff." Next Estate Communications (www.nextestate.com) provides prepaid debit card programs through i-Gen® Free & Clear™,

advertisings final frontier

Forget TV. Radio shmadio. Billboards? Puh-lease. Why not advertise where you know consumers have their eyes and ears trained: their cell phones. Imagine having the power to send advertising messages directly to devices in the palms and pants pockets of your best customers. Well, now you do. Services from marketing vendors like Textalert.com (www.textalert.com) enable

building the a team

To hire and retain co-workers that are a cut above, KWIK TRIP offers benefits that are a world apart. by Jay Gordon, Editorial Director Every new Kwik Trip store built since 1991 is owned by Convenience Store Investments—and CSI is owned by all full-time Kwik Trip co-workers with five or more years of service. CSI

dynasty builders

I distinctly remember the conversation I had with Don Zietlow the day I called to confirm Kwik Trip's selection as the 2004 Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year: "You will have a good time doing this story," he promised, "because you will see things here that are not being done in any other convenience

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