Profiting with General Merchandise

One customer’s purchase of a miscellaneous object is a retailer’s high-margin sale. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor Products that fall outside of the cash-cow categories of tobacco, fuel and foodservice are often dismissed as nice-to-have income, but for many convenience store and travel center operators, the general merchandise category is a big boost to their

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Rutter’s: Creating a Menu Medley

Tapping the pulse of customer demands and maintaining a fresh menu is a full-time feat for c-stores, but Rutter’s is up to the challenge. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor Rutter’s Farm Stores, which operates 68 convenience stores in Pennsylvania, continues to fortify its position at the forefront of c-store menu innovation. Convenience Store

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Latest in ATM Technology

From incorporating wireless technology to remote monitoring, today’s ATM technology offers more benefits for c-stores. By Lisa White, Contributing Editor Team Oil Travel Center’s ATM is one of the Spring Valley, Wis. Store’s best profit margin items per square foot. This wasn’t the case back in 2005, when the c-store’s ATM was contracted out. “We

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Cultivating Hispanic Foodservice

C-stores can provide a fresh look at navigating the factors of health while at the same time connecting better to Hispanic communities. By Sylvia Klinger As we face a significant amount of change in the retail industry as a population as a whole in the U.S., Hispanics aren’t exempt from these changes. More than ever,

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Prepaid Card Potential

Although retailers report prepaid cards are targeted to a specific customer segment in the convenience channel, there is potential for growth with these money makers. By Lisa White, Contributing Editor With credit card and identity theft on the rise, prepaid cards have become a safer alternative for those seeking more disposable, anonymous payment options. Unlike

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Big Data Decisions

Retailers are discovering the power of data to bolster their capacity to personalize the customer experience, increase sales and drive brand loyalty. By Anne Baye Ericksen, Contributing Editor No longer is each convenience store transaction a simple exchange of goods for cash. Technology empowers businesses to turn each purchase into an opportunity to mine information

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Streaming Car Wash Profits

Convenience store operators can clean up with a car wash, provided they do their due diligence. By Andrew Alvarez Demand for car wash services has been rising over the past decade due to its increased convenience and greater array of budget and luxury options, and with increasing environmental regulations prohibiting residential car washing, the industry’s

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What is your Processing IQ?

C-stores can take a swipe at interchange fees with savvy service solutions. By David Bennett, Senior Editor In the convenience store industry, distinguishing the ‘big guys’ from the ‘little guys’ can be straightforward. You can pick out a 500-store chain over a five-store operator pretty quickly. Some retailers get by with four fuel dispensers. Some

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Debunking the Myths of Hiring

Having trouble finding good help? Hiring expert Scott Wintrip said the shortage of skilled workers isn’t to blame. Instead, you may be buying into the many hiring myths circulating in the convenience channel today. By CSD Staff There’s a shortage of skilled workers across all industries in the country. You’ve likely experienced this skills shortage

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Financing Acquisitions and Upgrades

Some financial-related terms involving property acquisitions are often spelled out, while others aren’t as clear. By Mark Battersby, Contributing Editor Thinking about merging with or acquiring another convenience store or business? Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) can help a business expand, acquire new knowledge, move into a new area or improve buying power with one simple

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Pilot Flying J Teams with Bass Pro Shops for In-Store Experience

Shop-in-shop concept brings outdoor brand to Tennessee travel center. As the lines between online and in-store retail continue to blur, retailers are finding new ways to attract customers. Two of the nation’s biggest retailers—Pilot Flying J and Bass Pro Shops—have collaborated on a shop-in-shop initiative that promises to draw even more interest to their popular brands. The

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Taking Loyalty Forward

Loyalty programs must advance with the times, but the basics still remain the same. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor As customer needs and technology continue to evolve loyalty programs also must adapt to stay relevant, a delicate move as major changes can rattle loyal customers. Target, for example, recently ended its Cartwheel pilot

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Food Offerings Cross the Border

Burritos, tacos and other Hispanic dishes are becoming fast favorites in a growing number of convenience stores. By Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Editor When Rahim Budhwani, CEO at Hoover, Ala.-based 6040 LLC c- store chain, first introduced foodservice with a pizza program, it proved an instant flop with its customers, who are made up of construction

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Cigarettes Face Local Legislators

The cigarette category remains important to total convenience store sales—and still too conspicuous for regulators to ignore. By Howard Riell, Associate Editor Cigarettes continue to be a c-store staple, despite the proliferation of local ordinances aimed at restricting the category. According to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), for the 52-week period ending Aug. 13, 2017, the

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Recruiting and Retaining Quality Applicants

Savvy retailers know how to find, attract, onboard and retain high quality employees. However, with some due diligence and persistence, you can do the same. By Mel Kleiman   Convenience stores have long struggled with high turnover, but a few simple tips can help you hire well and improve your retention numbers. First, c-stores should

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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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Salty Snacks Boost Demand

Consumers’ propensity for all things snacking is good news for c-store operators. By Pat Pape, Contributing Editor The idea of three balanced meals—once a normal American lifestyle—is slowly going the way of rotary phones and television rabbit ears. These days, almost everyone who eats is a perpetual snacker. According to the Hartman Group, a research

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Easy as L-E-D

LED lighting can boost security, savings and help drive traffic to your stores. By Brad Perkins, Contributing Editor Like many companies, Ricker’s knew what its stores looked like in daylight. But a few trips after dark were even more illuminating. “We, as a team, went on nighttime site rides to really see what our stations

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Strategies for Site Planning

There are factors to consider and much data to gather when assessing the right plan to build a new store. By John Matthews Real estate site selection can be a complex web of evaluating store attributes within a potential store trade area. The process utilizes both a science and an art to the overall selection

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Selecting an Optimal Location for Your C-Store

There are various factors that determine the “Goldilocks Zone,” but they’re all driven by traffic. By Bryant Ficek All you really need to know about convenience store land use is in the name: convenience. Customers generally choose to visit these retail sites because of the ease and speed with which they can get in, get

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FriendShip Food Stores Welcomes New Additions to Management Team

Industry veteran Greg Ehrlich and foodservice specialist Ed Burcher join company ranks. FriendShip Food Stores, the retail division of Beck Suppliers Inc., has announced recent additions to its team. Industry veteran Greg Ehrlich has joined the company as chief operating officer of Beck Suppliers. Foodservice specialist Ed Burcher has also joined company ranks as it

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NAG Closes with Sessions on Food Delivery, Operations Boot Camp

Delivery, pure & simple and transparency were hot topics on the last day of the NAG Conference. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor The last day of the National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference kicked off with a session on foodservice delivery. Speaker Bonnie Riggs, director, industry analyst, foodservice, The NPD Group, and moderator Ed

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Bill Kent Receives NAG Lifetime Award for Convenience Retailing

NAG attendees head to Margaritaville for award ceremony, dinner and live music. By Erin Rigik Del Conte, Senior Editor The National Advisory Group (NAG) recognized Bill Kent, president and CEO of The Kent Cos., in Midland Texas, with the NAG Lifetime Award for Convenience Retailing. Kent is the third retailer to receive the award, which

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The Impact of Family Businesses, Millennials Hot Topics at NAG 2017

Educational sessions help attendees navigate family business transitions and working with the Millennial Generation. By CSD Staff Day two of the 2017 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference began with breakfast and educational sessions on burning industry issues, followed by a golf outing or time to explore Nashville. John Lofstock, executive director of NAG, welcomed attendees

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NAG Kicks Off in Nashville

C-store retailers arrive in Nashville to explore today’s burning issues and problem solve with non-competing chains. By CSD Staff The 2017 National Advisory Group (NAG) Conference kicked off Sunday evening, Sept. 10, in Nashville, Tenn., at the Hilton Nashville Downtown, with a welcoming reception hosted by the Young Executives Organization (YEO), dinner, live country music

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