Staying in the Loop

As it bolsters its brand, the Loop Neighborhood convenience stores chain is leading other competitors in its quest for freshness. By David Bennett, Senior Editor With the explosion of fresher food and beverages in the convenience store channel, such offerings are becoming more accessible. Then again, some c-stores are worth a trip just for the

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C-Stores Still Fit

Despite the ending of CST Brands and the unknown of Amazon, Kwik Trip and other retailers are pieces of an evolving industry. By David Bennett, Senior Editor When CST Brands Inc. had closed the deal on Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes at the end of 2014, it allowed the San Antonio-based retailer a substantial foothold

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Coffee Category Grows Cold

Coffee offerings in c-stores are hotter than ever, including cold-brew coffee programs. As this beverage offering gains in popularity, convenience chains such as Wawa are brewing up new programs to capture a different beverage experience. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Wawa Inc.’s signature branded coffee, introduced in the 1970s, is now one of the most

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Flooding in Texas Continues

Fuel supply disruption promises higher gas prices in the coming days as area retailers contend with the disaster. Many convenience retailers in southeast Texas have shuttered store operations in around the city of Houston as local communities are besieged by cresting floodwaters leftover from Hurricane Harvey. The nation’s fourth-largest city remained mostly paralyzed by one

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Built to Compete

More convenience retailers are becoming foodservice destinations rather than just pit stops. Moreover, savvy c-stores are learning that as they refine their fresh food businesses, adding the right equipment is an essential part of the equation. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In this new foodservice era, c-stores—both marquee chains as well as smaller operators—are committing

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Busy Bee Is Creating a Buzz

The Florida convenience retailer was recently chosen as the best truck stop in the country based in part because the growing chain specializes in both small-town touches and modern innovations. By David Bennett, Senior Editor It’s too easy to compare Johnson & Johnson Inc. to a hive of activity. That’s not to say the Madison,

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Clark’s PNS Plots Its Future

The retailer’s goal to assimilate fuller foodservice and larger stores while exploring new markets are just a few reasons why Convenience Store Decisions has chosen  Clark’s Pump-N-Shop as one of its 2017 Chains to Watch. By David Bennett, Senior Editor There are a number of convenience chains in the industry that go about their business

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Protein-Powered Profits

Convenience retailers hoping to stay in step with consumers’ changing preferences for meat snacks must do their due diligence. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A recent study from Nielsen Co. finds that sales of total-channel meat snacks, including jerky and convenience-packaged dry sausage sticks, has grown at the same time chip sales have slowed. Broken

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Deli Is Taking Center Stage

In their quest to craft hardy deli programs, more c-stores are combining the drawing cards of freshness and authenticity with their ace in the hole: convenience. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Freshness is on everyone’s mind lately, including Amazon, which last month announced its intention to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. Fresh is

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Couche-Tard Closes CST Deal

Circle K will run its largest U.S. business unit, the Texas Business Unit (BU), from San Antonio. The Texas BU will manage close to 700 stores in Texas. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., on June 28, announced that it has successfully closed on its deal for CST Brands Inc., following approval

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Tobacco Pressed by Local Laws

C-stores are finding the burden of tobacco control regulations is often heaviest within the communities where they operate. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In 2016, tobacco was the c-store industry’s biggest growth driver, generating $53 billion in sales, according to new Nielsen Homescan data. In fact, the tobacco category accounted for 38% of total c-store

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Dewbre Resigns From CST Brands Board

The industry veteran’s resignation was reported in a SEC notice filed today. Rocky Dewbre, a veteran with decades of experience in the energy, distribution and convenience store sectors, has resigned from the board of directors at San Antonio-based CST Brands Inc. According to the June 8 SEC filing, “effective June 5, 2017, Rocky B. Dewbre

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Renewable Fuel Helps C-Stores Stay on Top of the Sustainability Trend

By Jon Scharingson, Renewable Energy Group Inc. If it seems like the sustainability trend is everywhere, that’s because it is. Walmart recently launched Project Gigaton, with a stated goal of reducing emissions in its supply chain by 1 gigaton by 2030. The Hershey Company is on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which select companies based

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Apple to Introduce Peer-to-Peer Payments

Providing U.S. consumers another payment option, Pay Cash will allow one user to pay another user through their smartphone. CNBC recently reported that Apple announced that its new iOS 11 mobile-operating system will support peer-to-peer payments through a new feature called Pay Cash, making it a direct competitor to similar services offered by Square Cash,

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Alta Convenience Ready to Grow

After a restructuring of ownership, this Colorado chain is in the process of branching out within its marketplace. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Alta Convenience c-store chain, based in Denver, has undergone big changes in the last few years. The latest transition alteration occurred in October 2016 when Alta Convenience parent Western Alta Holdings LP

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Adopting Technology for Tomorrow

The most savvy convenience retailers are applying automation that puts the focus on the customer. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Inventorying, loyalty perks, customer engagement, forecourt marketing and supply chain strategies carry weight in a successful convenience store operation. How developed each segment is and how well it functions more often than not depends on

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Tobacco Accessories Face the Unknown

Tied to the fortune of cigarettes, sales of tobacco auxiliary products begin an uphill climb. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Given the market for tobacco accessories, lighters, rolling papers and other product lines produce an excellent margin for convenience retailers—between 40-50% in some cases. More importantly, sales have been steady for the past decade, despite

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M-PACT Reveals Impact of Generational Shift

Because of more Americans retiring and growth in retail markets, competition for younger workers will intensify. In light of this, companies should prepare ways to make Millennials feel more welcome. If convenience retailers are perplexed by the generational gap in today’s workforce, that gap will only widen in the coming years. The topic of disparity

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Kum & Go Donates Fresh Food

A pilot program that delivers fresh food to Colorado residents in need has the potential to become prevalent in other communities the convenience retailer serves. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Convenience retailer Kum & Go is exploring the power of fresh food as part of a program that targets a whole different group of consumers.

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Ideal Market Is Growing Its Kentucky Home

Rocket Oil Co., which does business as Ideal Market, just opened its newest store in Hanson, Ky. Going forward in 2017, the family-owned company has even bigger plans. By David Bennett, Senior Editor There’s more to the state of Kentucky than fine bourbon, fast horses and the legend of Daniel Boone. There are close-knit communities,

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Eby-Expo East Explores Foodservice

For the first time, Eby Brown is expanding its show presence to include the eastern U.S. Eby-Expo East wraps up today, April 5, in Cleveland, Ohio as more than 900 retail partners and vendors were on hand to preview what Eby-Brown Co. had to offer in terms of retail solutions for c-stores and their growing

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Nye Reaching New Heights at Holiday

In his 41 years at Holiday Cos., Robert Nye has been critical to bolstering the workforce programs that have made Holiday Stationstores a major convenience store player. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A human relations specialist plays a critical role in determining adequate levels of employee satisfaction, resolving staffing conflicts, maintaining workforce management costs and

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Boosting Your Beverage Business

Whether it’s a modest combination deal or full promotional blowout, c-stores are finding the best methods to churn cold and frozen dispensed beverage sales. By David Bennett, Senior Editor A March 2016 survey by Mintel Group Ltd. showed that convenience store visitors want a wider variety of fresh food and beverages as part of their

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Applying Today’s Automation

As retail channels vie for foodservice customers, the implementation of technological advances such as digital kiosks and self-checkout stations are making convenience stores even more competitive. By David Bennett, Senior Editor The story of how Ray Kroc grew McDonald’s into an assembly line service model—a mass producer of cheeseburgers and milkshakes—is the crux of the

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Mach 1: Breaking Barriers

This convenience chain is making cool things cooler and old things newer—all the while expanding its presence in the communities it serves. By David Bennett, Senior Editor Like many convenience retailers that pour over the details until they have a sure course of action, Mach 1 Stores contemplates its future steps carefully. The result has

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