new and improved

Branded fast food and a retooled ’people process’ inspire New West Petroleum to new-found profitability in the Golden State. California’s New West Petroleum often interviews 40 candidates to fill one store manager’s job or 20 candidates for one sales associate’s job. But the pools of talent in the two major markets in which the company

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

a gift horse

Petro Stopping Centers’ new prepaid card programs diversify the chain’s product mix. They also boost sales in the store, at the pump and in the dining room. The rapid transformation of the telecommunications superhighway hasn’t come without its share of potholes, detours and a few roadkill carcasses. Just five years ago, after all, longdistance cards

firstclass foodie

Trend-setting fuel marketer Bill Knight serves up ’chef-crafted meals to go’ at his amazing NexStore MarketPlace in one of South Florida’s most affluent locales. The birds living in the lush foliage adorning the NexStore MarketPlace in South Florida’s affluent Boca Raton community couldn’t have it much better. Thrushes and mockingbirds look happy and well fed,

fine dining at the circle k

A critic’s mock cooking competition paints convenience stores in a slightly more refined light. (Note the use of the word slightly.) Are the words “convenience store” and “gourmet foods” mutually exclusive? With a little help, according to one non-scientific “study,” virtually any convenience store can supply the goods for a delightful night of fine dining.

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

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